Big Food has known for 12 years that the palm oil used in food carries with it toxic and cancerous contaminants. Documents from the authorities and multinational food producers clearly show that the risks connected to consumption of low-quality vegetable fat were known. Those parties discussed possible solutions, but never offered up a remedy.
The documents related to Palma-Leaks were made publicly available by GIFT, Great Italian Food Trade, a web portal available in eight languages, which promotes a sustainable and accessible Italian quality food. “You don’t need to bother Julian Assange, all you need is a quick search on the web to find out that Big Food knew about the risks related to palm oil consumption. Nonetheless, under the banner of more profit, it increased its use, doubling it in a few years,” says Dario Dongo, an attorney and food safety expert who founded the website. Dongo has created a petition to ban palm oil from foods, which already has 176,000 signatures.
The evidence gathered by GIFT is clear. The first notions of palm oil’s toxicity goes back to 2004, when the University of Prague described the presence of toxic contaminants (3-mpcd) in modified foods. After three years, the Center for food safety in Stuttgart (CVUA) analyzed 400 foods and discovered significant levels of toxic contaminants in products containing palm oil (products for children, crackers and candy bars). In the same year, the German Authority for food safety highlighted the need to reduce the cancerous substances in food for children.