The Palm oil industry has drawn considerable controversy due to its hefty contribution towards deforestation in South-East Asia. Palm oil companies have directly caused the destruction of habitats for animals such as the Orang-utan in Borneo, the Sumatran Tiger in Indonesia and the Asian Rhino, all of which are now endangered species.
Not only animals are affected by the development of Palm oil plantations, more often than not land is taken from indigenous people by corporations, the displaced people are then open to exploitation. People who were once able to sustain themselves are forced into relying on big corporations for their survival and have no choice but to work in degrading conditions to earn enough for their family to barely survive. The industry is also linked to child labor in rural communities of Indonesia and Malaysia.
Aside from being high in saturated fats, palm oil is bad for many non-health related reasons.
Palm oil production companies are being blamed for some atrocious human and animal rights abuses. Palm oil has become one of the world’s leading causes of rainforest destruction. Unchecked expansion has pushed palm oil plantations into the heart of some of the world’s most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems and palm oil is among the biggest threats driving iconic wildlife species like the Sumatran orangutan to the brink of extinction in Indonesia. This large-scale destruction of rainforests and carbon-rich peatland landscapes is releasing globally significant quantities of carbon pollution into the atmosphere, making palm oil a major global driver of human induced climate change.