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mercredi 12 juin 2013

Palm oil: the global commercial war about fats


For several months a number of articles dealing with the subject came from the use of palm oil in food products in industrialized countries. This debate was first initiated by environmentalists on the grounds that this production would be a danger to the ecological systems of the producing countries. Like all those environmental issues of palm oil does not escape the simplification or even simplistic ideological approaches. This is actually a very complex agricultural science subject, ecological and industrial as may be encountered in the climate debate, shale gas or GMOs ...
There can be no truth in this area but data, interpretations of changes based on the results observed in short a complex and dynamic system that producers, regulators, markets are changing from year to year. The theory of profit fall guilty of oversimplification, palm oil and its producers are certainly not guilty designated our environmental situation.


BUT WHO WANTS TO SACRIFICE PALM OIL?



Families to cook, industrial for their food products need fat.
Palm oil is a vegetable fat. Production worldwide has increased by about three from 2000 to 2010. Europe and within many countries including France are big dairy and oilseeds (sunflower, olive, soybean, canola, flax). This fat production competes with other animal or vegetable fats global market with oil palm. France was the largest producer of oilseeds in the EU in 2007(http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-SF-11-062/EN/KS-SF-11-062-EN.PDF).
Italy followed Greece and Spain was the largest producer of olive oil in 2007. Regarding dairy fats in France in 2007 was still the second EU country for the number of dairy cows. Palm oil (ME 556) is, in value, the second largest import item fats in the EU in 2010 after soybean meal (ME 6255). In this area after each defends his bold and it is natural for all should not forget these issues in the debate.
(Http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/highlights/2007/12/Indonesia_palmoil/)Palm oil is a production that is accused of having caused the deforestation of primary forests in countries where few other resources exist. This is the exact time and arrogant. How industrialized countries also have deforested centuries ago their respective countries could have a self-proclaimed legitimacy to limit the cultivation of oil palm in Indonesian or Malay? But there are also industrial issues. Consumption of palm oil by the food industry is currently difficult to replace because of lower yields on other oilseeds (it takes more agricultural land for the same amount of fat with sunflower or soybean). This is why the process of environmental palm oil seems to us unfounded and dependents.


Therefore the idea of a tax is obviously very suspicious of protectionism.
Remember that there is no nutritional tax, but only food taxes. They are paid by the consumer that the charge is paid to the production or consumption. Food taxes are experienced around the world for many yearse2931).. it has been amply demonstrated that food taxes have very little effect on human behavior (BMJ 2012, 344:  Provided it could be a perfect economic justification for a food tax: offset the cost of negative externalities paid by the community as a result of agricultural, industrial or degradation of the health of consumers of the food in question
to.tax on fatty foods affect health (read weight decrease) occurs only from a tax of 20% of the market price. In the literature the most effective food taxes are those on sugary drinks. This is why a tax on palm oil appropriately imposed on the food industry but paid by consumers without being able from the past experiences in hope for a health benefit is simply a trade barrier not paid by importers but by the French.


WE WILL HAVE TO TELL THE TRUTH TO THE FRENCH, THE SUGARS OR TRANS FATS THREATEN THEIR HEALTH MORE THAN PALM OIL



Accusing saturated fats in industrialized countries is unwise on scientific available data
It is clear that we have no consensus on the effects of palm oil on the health of people who consume. The many studies are contradictory. The paradigm that saturated fats are the cause of cardiovascular disease is largely dented. Palm oil is a topic of growing interest in the medical community since 2000 publications are 40-50 articles per year but in 2011 it increased to 129, then 154 and in 2013, 73 articles have been published . What is well established is that the first intake of saturated fat is not the cause of diseases related to atherosclerosis. The atheroma is a multifactorial polygenic disease and the risk is predicted with much greater reliability by an equation with several variables rather than the single digit of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol improperly named). In this equation smoked tobacco, heredity, high blood pressure, physical inactivity and obesity or diabetes are incomparably more important in augmenation risk. The second point is related to factual refining fats. In the same way as olive oil unfiltered richer in phenols and vitamin E contributes significantly to the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, the red palm oil (unrefined) is extremely rich in fats and vitamin E in antioxidants which is very favorable to health especially in developed countries where industrial food is poor in micronutrients. The third point is firmly supported by numerous and consistent work is the harmful effects of trans fatty acids from thermal hydrogenation of vegetable fats whatsoever. Again this is not the fat that is in question but its transformation which raises highly atherogenic fatty acids. Say that consume palm oil also contains 30% oleic acid (olive oil) is a public health problem is not scientifically established.


Consider the example of Nutella
In two tablespoons of Nutella there are 37 g of product. 4g saturated fat or 36 calories. For individuals at risk of total calories from saturated fat in the day should not exceed 140 calories, we are far from this recommandation (http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/5_population_nutrient/en/index12.html).
More importantly there are 21 grams of sugar is 84 calories and is refined sucrose (white table sugar beet) added a sugar high glycemic index of 80. The sugar is sucrose consisting of glucose and fructose. Glucose can be used by our cells after insulin was secreted by the pancreas in response. It circulates in the blood. The fructose is absorbed up by the liver and contributes to elevate triglycerides and LDL cholesterol particularly in sedentary individuals. Nutella is therefore 57% of refined beet sugar, also an inexpensive quick sugar.
It is more rational to ask metabolic consequences of this contribution of fast sugar (insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes) than that of 4g saturated fats especially in the perspective of obesity, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.
Finally it is always rational to focus on the fact that palm oil is refinedused depriving consumers of Nutella Vitamin A and E and phenols naturally present in red palm oil . Nutella is singularly deficient in micronutrients.




This tax and purpose seem particularly unclear on the facts.
This tax is potentially a source of revenue for the state. It is very unlikely in the light of scientific evidence that it improves the environment or the health of people who consume. Why is this will of the executive? It is political opportunism and the most important daily lobbies and the press. It is regrettable that the environmental aspects are reported in the press that a unilateral point of view, the environmental organizations in developed countries. A more balanced and fair perspective would improve the quality of fats in our diet incorporated rather than scapegoats. About the prevention of cardiovascular disease we can not escape questioning past about saturated fat truths, black magic of “bad cholesterol” and the effectiveness of changes in habits of life compared the drug approaches. Eventually, the food industry should instead wait for a regulation banning anticipate stopping to add trans fats to their products and improve the quality of fats using unrefined fats.

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