Activists' efforts to incite food scares were dismissed by experts, who reassured the public about the safety of palm oil in a recent announcement by the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA).
In an October 13 article, MPOA chairman Datuk Sabri Ahmad was quoted as saying:
"Palm oil has been thoroughly tested for traces of paraquat in oil extracted from oil palm treated with paraquat. At the limit of detection of 0.02 mg/kg, no paraquat residues were found in the oil."
This information is consistent with over 40 years of experience with paraquat, including extensive analysis of harvested crops, which show that for the vast majority of uses no paraquat residues are expected in harvested crops. This is due the fact that the active ingredient, paraquat, becomes inactive on contact with the soil, and, therefore, cannot be taken up by the roots of plants.
For more information about the safety of paraquat click here.
Oil palm is an important crop in Malaysia and is growing increasingly important around the world, with global production of palm oil now overtaking soybean oil to be the world’s leading vegetable oil. Herbicides like paraquat play a central role in oil palm agriculture, helping to successfully establish the crop by eliminating weeds that compete for vital nutrients and water.
For more information about paraquat use in oil palm, click here.