KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) has voiced its support for enforcement actions to be taken against supermarkets and outlets displaying and selling products with ‘No Palm Oil’ on their label and packaging.
The use of discriminatory labels against palm oil is prohibited under the Trade Description Act 2011, and the penalty for the offence is a fine not exceeding RM250,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
In a statement today, the MPOC said the discriminatory labels against palm oil can be found on food, personal care and household products.
Products that require the use of fats and oil, particularly vegetable oils, are the most common products found bearing such labels.
In 2021, the MPOC conducted a survey to identify products that bear discriminatory labels against palm oil in the Malaysian market, and out of 251 outlets surveyed in the Klang Valley, 80 outlets were found to carry products with ‘No Palm Oil’ labels.
Most of the outlets carrying such products are located in Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur city centre and Cyberjaya.
The survey also found that 37 brands supported the anti-palm oil movement, where 204 product variations from 12 food product categories were found bearing such labels, including ice cream, snacks and cereals.
It also revealed that most companies were aware of the anti-palm oil marketing tactics of the brands but continued to import the products to cater to certain demographics.
MPOC chief executive officer Wan Aishah Wan Hamid said educational initiatives are important to raise awareness on the labelling issue and the anti-palm oil sentiment.
“To do that, we should leverage the public’s awareness of sustainability while promoting sustainably-sourced palm oil, starting with our own Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil certification,” she said.
Wan Aishah said the Malaysian palm oil industry has been a massive contributor to the nation's economy, and spreading a negative connotation against the commodity would directly affect many livelihoods.
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