The Straits Times
Published on Nov 12, 2012

Malaysia slams proposed 300% French "Nutella" palm tax


PARIS (AFP) - Malaysia's official Palm Oil Council on Monday slammed as "irresponsible" and "badly informed" a French senator's call to slap a 300-per-cent tax increase on palm oil, known in France as a "Nutella tax" after a popular brand of spread.

"The proposal is based on inaccurate claims that palm oil is bad for health and nutrition, and that Malaysia does not respect the environment," the council said in a statement received here.

It insisted that palm oil is "a healthy, natural and important product which 240,000 small farmers in Malaysia are proud to produce" and urged the French government to reject the call by Senator Yves Daudigny.

Mr Daudigny asked for the tax hike on the grounds that production of palm oil harms the environment and its consumption fuels obesity.