PERSONAL NOTE: IF YOU WORK AT A ZOO, DO YOU THINK YOU COULD HELP RAISE AWARENESS LIKE THIS?
Zoo seeks support for campaign
North Shore Times New Zealand
Last updated 05:00 24/11/2009
Auckland Zoo is calling on Kiwis to get behind its Don't Palm Us Off campaign.
The campaign calls on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand to legislate to label palm oil on all food products that contain the ingredient.
Palm oil production is a billion-dollar industry.
The growth of oil palm plantations in South East Asia is decimating vast areas of rainforest, displacing indigenous people, and fast driving species like the orangutan, Sumatran tiger, Asian elephant and Asian rhinoceros towards extinction, says the zoo.
Palm oil is now in one in 10 supermarket products but on most of these products, it is not labelled, the zoo says.
Palm oil is also an ingredient in cosmetics and stock feed and ironically, a cheap biofuel.
"We believe people have the right to know what food products contain palm oil so that they can make an informed choice about what they buy and whether or not they want to contribute to this crisis," says Auckland Zoo conservation officer Peter Fraser.
He urges Kiwis to sign the Don't Palm Us Off online petition, or if visiting the zoo, fill out a Don't Palm Us Off postcard and place in one of the onsite postboxes.
The zoo's website, www.aucklandzoo.co.nz, also has a palm oil free shopping guide on it.