Environmental Impacts

Independent data from the leading international institutions show that Palm Oil is superior in yields, productivity, land use, health benefits and commitment to the environment and sustainability – compared with Rapeseed and Sunflower, and other vegetable oils.

These facts highlight the falsehoods pushed by ongoing defamatory NGO campaigns, supported by Rapeseed and Sunflower interests in Europe.

The Oxford Handbook of Food, Politics, and Society sets out clearly the massive inefficiency and environmental footprint of Rapeseed and Sunflower.

Vegetable OilRapeseedSunflowerSoy BeansPalm Oil
Fertilizer99kg 315kg47kg
Pesticides11kg 29kg2kg

Additionally, Palm Oil is far more efficient than Rapeseed and Sunflower. Oil palms produce 11 times more oil per hectare than soybean plants, and ten times more than sunflower.

Vegetable OilRapeseedSunflowerSoy BeansPalm Oil
Vegetable Oil Yields per Ha per Year0.670.480.383.74  

These data show that planting Rapeseed and Sunflower has a real-world negative impact. Forests and other environments (such as grasslands) across Europe are decimated to grow Rapeseed and Sunflower. This destruction has happened for centuries.

Indonesia has significantly higher areas of protected forest compared to European countries that plant Rapeseed and Sunflower. For example, 49 per cent of Indonesia is forested, covering an area of 91 million, which is larger than the area of France and Germany combined. Indonesia’s protection and conservation areas cover equal 27 per cent of the country’s land area. 

CountryPercent of Forested Area
United Kingdom13.1%

Growing inefficient Rapeseed leaves less land available for conservation.

Growing inefficient monoculture Rapeseed leaves less land available for biodiversity.

Growing inefficient pesticide-hungry Rapeseed pumps more chemicals into the soil and the water and the air.

Planting efficient oil palm leaves more land available for conservation, biodiversity, forests – and it uses fewer pesticides and less fertilizer.


Palm Oil has a strict, widely adopted certification standard for sustainability, through national schemes (e.g. ISPO); regulatory schemes (e.g. ISCC); or NGO-led schemes (e.g. RSPO).

Rapeseed and Sunflower do not. This is a critical point as there are no safeguards in place to hold to account the powerful Rapeseed and Sunflower industry despite their causing significant environmental harm. Sadly, Western governments have turned a blind eye towards these oils, and as a result they are not scrutinized or regulated.

As a result, these agro-industries are able to spend millions of Dollars and Euros annually on anti-palm oil campaigns, in league with protectionist NGOs. The real scrutiny should be turned on to the inefficient, environmentally-destructive European oilseeds.

Health Impacts

Rapeseed and Sunflower oils have for decades been subject to ‘partial hydrogenation’, an artificial process that creates trans fats. Trans fats are labelled by scientists as [one of the biggest dangers for human health]

Palm Oil contains zero trans fats.

Due to palm oil’s unique physical properties, with a balance of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, it is an ideal source of oils/fats to replace animal fats and ensure a long shelf life for food.

Palm oil is also the richest natural source of Vitamin A carotenoids, a natural chemical compound, from vegetable oils, containing 15 times more than carrots, and 30 times more than tomatoes.  Preliminary research also suggests that the Vitamin E in palm oil, tocopherols and tocotrienols, are vital for neural health and help to mitigate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

It is evident that the world needs and relies heavily upon Palm Oil to be a healthy sustainable product that is also sustainable. Unlike Rapeseed and Sunflower Oil, Palm Oil is actually sustainable in regards to its production and its ability to meet global demand.