The Belgian Court of Appeal in Brussels ruled that No Palm Oil labels and their associated claims were misleading and were without any merit nor based on proven scientific facts.
In this regards, the Belgian Court of Appeal ruled on 2nd June 2017 that the Belgian supermarket chain, Delhaize, was misleading its customers when it made wild and inaccurate allegations about Palm Oil, including on the labels of its own ‘Palm Oil Free’ products.
The Belgian Court of Appeal stated emphatically that Delhaize’s allegations about Palm Oil were “unverifiable, unsubstantiated by fact based claims and therefore not objective” in relation to both environmental and health allegations it made against palm oil.
The Belgian Court of Appeal court was highly vocal in its ruling, that Delhaize must immediately cease and desist from making these illegal and unjust claims against palm oil through such No Palm Oil labels and its associated claims. Failure to comply with the court's ruling could result in imposition or pain of serious financial penalties up to a maximum of 1,000,000 EUR.
Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong expressed his appreciation to the world renowned producer of branded chocolate spread and confectionary products from Italy, Ferrero for pursuing the matter in defence and the use of palm oil sourced primarily from Malaysia despite the unfavourable ruling made by the Belgian Court when the matter was first debated in year 2013.
Mah said this in Rome, Italy on 14th June 2017 for a two day mission to promote and strengthen commodities based especially palm oil associated business linkages between government and private sectors in Italy.
During a roundtable session with Ferrero, Mah highlighted that the “No Palm Oil” denigration campaign has been rather challenging for the palm oil industry, given the proliferation of such labels to almost 1600 products throughout Europe. During these discussions he congratulated Ferrero in its persistent believe in palm oil and winning its court battle last week.
In his concluding remarks to the Roundtable delegates, Mah reiterated that the ruling on No Palm Oil labels by the Belgian court of Appeal has been brought to the attention of the European Parliamentarians and a series of important engagements already took place during Malaysia’s Special Mission of Palm Oil to European Parliament, Strasbourg earlier this week.
Mah applauded the Italian Government’s support of sustainable oil palm cultivation by signing the Amsterdam Declaration 2015 and reiterated that Malaysia is making its own sustainability commitment by mandating that the entire palm oil production in Malaysia will be sustainably certified through the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) Certification standard by year 2020.
Apart from roundtable meetings with Ferrero and Italian Alliance of Sustainable Palm Oil (IASPO), Mah also convened two bilateral meetings, including with Barbara Degani, Undersecretary of Environment and Ivan Scalfarotto, Undersecretary of Ministry of Economic Development.