Coldiretti: Tears of Crocodile (Sovereignists)

Coldiretti has boycotted palm oil, which is sustainable and qualitatively safe. Many companies, for commercial purposes, have replaced it with sunflower oil that they buy abroad. The farmers’ union is now worried about our health. Too late. Palm oil was better. Who pays the bill now? Consumers and the state to which Coldiretti asks for the usual summer offer.

Five out of six sunflower oil bottles sold in Italy contain oil that is produced abroad. All without the knowledge of the citizens, and without certainties about quality and certification.

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It is Coldiretti who, through its analysis, supplies us with this data: imports of foreign sunflower oil rose + 11% in the last year, often coming from land with a radioactive past and countries of the former Soviet bloc. The total imports amounts to about half a billion pounds of oil. This has also resulted in the loss of several jobs over the past 10 years.

It seems a little too late, dear Coldiretti, to take sides today against the poor quality of foreign sunflower oil. Especially when they were the ones who started the palm oil war and who have invited dozens of companies to  abandon palm oil and change to this alternative ingredient.

Coldiretti has issued statements for years that, while they have never had any true response, have been a part of a strategy focused on alarmism and demonization. Coldiretti is one of the most powerful lobbyists in Italy and often uses demagogic and misleading arguments towards consumers: the other day the enemy was palm oil, yesterday the Canadian wheat, today it is the foreign sunflower. They are experts in manipulating facts.

After years of defaming a quality ingredient, palm oil, which sustainable for man and the environment, Coldiretti realized this week that foreign sunflower oil – used to replace oil palm – is not that little gem that they wanted us to believe.

For our part, we have demonstrated for years, appealing to data and scientific research, that palm oil stands as the most sustainable cultivation for oils, with a completely certified supply chain. It has the highest yield per hectare: 3.8 tons against 0.7 of sunflower. It also has the best life cycle assessment – a method used to assess the environmental impacts associated with the various phases of a product, ranging from the extraction of raw materials to the processing and distribution phases, and finally to the final product.

Coldiretti, denigrating palm oil for years, did not favor sustainability or quality. A responsible organization would have suggested investing in a sustainable supply chain instead of inviting – screaming – to boycott palm oil in order to focus on the Soviet or Ukrainian sunflower, of whose origin almost nothing is known. The correct way is that of sustainability. Not that of shortcuts and deceptions. Coldiretti has only noticed this week that preferring foreign sunflower oil to sustainable palm oil is not the right answer. As they say on the other side of the ocean: too little, too late.

For Free Choice aims to promote scientific information and method in public discourse. For Free Choice also defends consumers’ choice rights against the smear and demonizing campaigns which aim to confuse them and benefit specific interests.


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