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Malaysia slams WHO for comparing Palm Oil industry with Tobacco, Alcohol lobbyists

Malaysia hopes that WHO continues to advocate its policies and recommendations purely on unbiased science

Sunday February 3, 2019 3:56 PM, UNA-OIC

Palm Oil Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia has demanded that a biased and unscholarly article titled ‘The Palm Oil Industry and Non-Communicable Diseases’ published in the World Health Organization (WHO) Bulletin, to be retracted.

“We view the article as half-truths, unscholarly, flawed and utterly biased against palm oil, with suspected intention of demonizing the palm oil industry,” Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim said.

She added that Malaysia also took offense on the study’s conclusion drawing parallels between the palm oil industry and tobacco and alcohol lobbyists.

“This outrageous claim thus casts aspersions on the reputation of our scientists and researchers while ignoring findings on the nutritional value of palm oil published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals,” Kok said in a statement after a meeting on Wednesday with WHO Representative to Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore Dr. Lo Ying-Ru, on that article.

According to Kok, WHO Malaysia expressed regret that the study was erroneously reported by Reuters as being a WHO study, giving an impression to the public that the study reflected WHO’s official views and stand on palm oil.

Malaysia hopes that WHO continues to advocate its policies and recommendations purely on unbiased science and does not allow a repeat of this type of incidence.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) will register its critique of the published study via a Letter to the Editor of the WHO Bulletin.

Kok and the WHO representatives concluded that it would further be desirable to hold a joint technical seminar in the region to help correct many of the misinformation surrounding oils and fats especially palm oil.

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