Amnesty: Companies using Indonesian palm oil tainted by abuse


JAKARTA: Multinational companies are selling consumer products containing palm oil from Indonesian plantations where workers suffer rights abuses, Amnesty International warned Wednesday, listing problems including child labor and exposure to toxic chemicals. The edible vegetable oil is a key ingredient in many everyday goods, from biscuits to shampoo and make-up, and growing demand has led to a boom in the industry in Indonesia, which is the world’s top producer of the commodity. But palm oil has long been controversial, and a new Amnesty report said it found a “wide range of abuses” at Indonesian plantations. Palm oil from the sites could be traced to nine global firms, including Kellogg’s, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever, it said. Amnesty spoke to 120 workers on plantations owned by two subsidiaries of Singapore-based agribusiness Wilmar International and three Wilmar suppliers, on Sumatra island and the Indonesian part of Borneo.



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