MSPO cert needs European Parliament nod to have legal force

THE Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification has no legal force unless it is accepted by the European Parliament, the Dewan Rakyat was told.

Plantations and Commodity De­­puty Minister Datuk Nasrun Mansur said the status of the certificate will only be known by October when the European Union Commission de­­­­­cides on the matter.

"We will know in October whether the terms of the certification can be enforced as a legal document,” he said when answering a question raised by Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (BN-Putatan) yesterday.

He said that MSPO documents were recently submitted to the Eu­­ropean Union Commission for consideration.

He said there were conflicting views on palm oil among European nations where some have touted the health benefits of the vegetable oil while there were others who were against it.

“India is the third-largest importer of palm oil after Europe and Chi­­na.

“However, unlike Europe, India and China are not a concern on other issues related to the production of palm oil, as they are only interested in obtaining vegetable oil at cheaper prices,” he added.

However, Nasrun said there was a gradual change in the mindset of European countries as to the benefits of palm oil.

“We are part of the European Sustainable Palm Oil Advocacy Group, European Palm Oil Alliance and Belgian Alliance.

“Such pacts are crucial in providing the right information and creating better awareness of the industry here,” he said.

He cited a recent success where Malaysia was able to stave off attempts by France to impose higher tax on palm oil last month.

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