Letter sent to the Irish Times, but not yet published.
It is heartening to see the excellent coverage the Irish Times has recently given to deforestation in Indonesia. (see Indonesia's failure to protect rain forests criticised. 16th July). Why? A lot of the food and household products we all have in our homes contains palm oil - singularly the biggest cause of deforestation in Indonesia. If you look at the ingredients of anything in your fridge or cupboard, if it has 'vegetable oil' listed, the chances are this is palm oil; some branded products specifically mention palm oil or palm kernel - it's the same thing.
Palm oil companies continue to destroys thousands of hectares of ancient rainforest every year. In doing so they kill millions of animals - everything; insects, fish, birds, even tigers, elephants, and orangutans - mercilessly wiped out. It does not have to be this way and the people of Ireland can join the rest of the world in helping prevent a lot of this needless destruction.
There is no need for palm oil companies to log rainforests. There is already more than enough cleared land for them to grow palm oil on.
Greenpeace are absolutely right to request an investigation into the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry; the Minister has already proven himself to be a sympathiser to illegal loggers.
You can make a difference. Please contact your local supermarket and ask them what steps have they taken to ensure palm oil in any products sold in their stores come from a fully sustainable and approved source? Let them know, you do not want to be eating food which may be tainted with the blood of orangutans.