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May 30, 2021
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Palm trees want to slow down

Palm trees want to slow down

The problem, which was not sharply expressed except perhaps by the mute, and “Mir novostei” wrote many times and indignantly, finally came to the attention of parliamentarians.

And not just ordinary State Duma deputies, but Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin himself. He suddenly became preoccupied with the uncontrolled use of palm oil in food and decided to deal with it. I wonder if it will work out?

Today, the range of products in the production of which palm oil is used is wide. For example, in the dairy industry, it is consumed especially a lot. All bakery and pastry products with a long shelf life also use palm oil, and not always write about it on the label. They disguise themselves as vegetable oil, and go and figure out what the manufacturer meant – sunflower, olive, palm, soy or whatever.

EVERYWHERE AND A LOT

Palm oil itself does not cause alarm, but in order to reduce the cost of production, enterprises often use the cheapest (sometimes poorly refined technical varieties) palm oil – not its liquid form, but processed and converted into a solid fraction, which forms the very trans fats. displeasing consumers and doctors. This substance in its refined state looks like butter, but is unhealthy because it is a carcinogen.

Many countries are trying to control the use of “palm” in products, and we seem to not notice the problems against the background of speeches about the need to make a product more accessible to the population. Well, this is so that it does not die of hunger at all and could at least somehow fill its stomach, even with a beggarly salary and pension. So the Russians are buying these, as it were, butter, cheese and cottage cheese of a plasticine type and not at all dairy taste. As in the joke about the collective farm, when the chairman announced that there was nothing to eat, he would have to eat manure, but there was a lot of manure and enough for everyone.

In Russia, unlike most other states, there are no legislative acts regulating the import of palm oil. The growth of its imports into the country is associated not only with economic, but also with political factors. In the spring of 2018, Moscow signed a contract with Indonesia for the supply of 11 Su-35 fighters in the amount of $ 1 billion 140 million, and under the terms of the deal, the state of Southeast Asia covered part of this amount by sending tens of thousands of tons of palm oil to Russia. India and Malaysia are not lagging behind – they pay off loans taken from us, including with palm oil. Such is the barter.

Of course, edible palm oil was also imported into the USSR. But don’t compare volumes! In 1961, for a huge country with fifteen republics at that time, Nikita Khrushchev gave the go-ahead for the purchase of 583 tons of an exotic product, and in January 2021, Russia alone imported 92.9 thousand tons of palm oil and its fractions, which is almost 19% more. than in January 2020.

The supply of palm oil to our country is growing, and the measures taken (in 2019, the VAT rate on the palm tree was increased from 10% preferential to 20%) did not have any noticeable effect on the state of affairs.

DUMA HEAD IS DISSATISFIED

And then the speaker of the State Duma decided to intervene in the matter. Viacheslav Volodin said that new solutions are needed to change the situation. “Many people talk about the dangers of palm oil, but, paradoxically, there are no initiatives to limit its use in food,” Volodin wrote in his Telegram.

The statement, frankly speaking, is strange: shouldn’t legislators initiate laws restricting the desires of food workers to add a “palm tree” with or without reason? As they say, you, United Russia deputy, have cards in hand.

Here, by the way, I recall that the Duma itself, under the chairmanship of the same Volodin in 2017, rejected a number of bills from representatives of a number of parliamentary factions, including United Russia, which were designed to somehow restrict the import and use of palm oil in Russia … Here’s the paradox, Vyacheslav Viktorovich.

Be that as it may, today the deputies are determined to fight the palm oil and, with the participation of relevant ministries and experts, work out proposals for establishing “palm order” in the food industry. According to Volodin, they may be different, it is possible that changes in technical regulations for food products will have to be made.

“The main reasons for the growth in imports of palm oil are the large number of the poor and the rise in prices for sunflower oil,” said Dmitry Yanin, chairman of the board of the International Confederation of Consumer Societies. – It is difficult to deal with bans and tax increases – either illegal import and falsification of products will increase, or not so much the producers as the citizens will suffer financially. It seems to me that it is more important that the state, first of all, does not allow deception of consumers and monitors the implementation of those norms and regulations that already exist. So that a person buying cheese is sure that it contains exactly what is indicated in the composition, and not some left-handed additives that the manufacturer hid.

Elena Khakimova.

Photo: ADOBESTOCK.

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