ICYMI: WHO Backs Down Following Pressure from CPOPC and Indonesia

Following a recent Palm Oil Monitor (POM) critique of the WHO’s misleading and inaccurate nutritional advice about palm oil during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, and strong formal protests from both Indonesia and the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), the WHO has now conceded it was wrong, and moved to correct its false dietary recommendations.

The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs led criticism from producer countries, denouncing the irresponsible decision of WHO to suggest that adults should avoid palm oil as part of their nutrition intake in a formal complaint to the WHO.

The controversy began when the WHO’s Mediterranean office issued a simple slide stating that there are some foods that should be avoided during the COVID-19 crisis. These include: “saturated fats: fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oils, cream, cheese, ghee and lard”, as well as “industrially produced trans fats.”

The WHO has now seen sense. The same slide no longer includes palm oil on that list. 

A reminder of why this is important, and why the WHO was wrong: palm oil contains no trans fats, and has about half the saturated fat content of dairy fats such as butter. The recommendation on saturated fats from most health agencies around the world is check your consumption, not avoid completely. 

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