Rainforest group locks horns with Cargill

Nov. 20, 2012 at 8:36 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- A rainforest advocacy group said agricultural conglomerate Cargill isn't serious about addressing deforestation concerns related to palm oil.

Rainforest Action Network said, in a statement, that it received a letter from Cargill saying the company has been trying to work with the advocacy group for more than four years. RAN published a statement it said was received by Cargill that said "RAN refuses to have a constructive engagement" about environmental issues.

In April, RAN said U.S. regulators were under pressure from lobbying groups aligned with the palm oil industry. In its latest statement, the advocacy group said "Cargill has never once made a sincere attempt to address our core concerns."

It called on the company to enact social and environmental safeguards to ensure the industry wasn't leading to tropical deforestation or to conflict among indigenous communities fighting for land.

Cargill, in an undated statement that addressed some of RAN's earlier concerns, said that it was working with "respected environment groups to conserve forests."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that biodiesel produced from palm oil didn't meet the basic standard requirements to qualify as renewable diesel.

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