This news was sourced from Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Rainforest Action Network (RAN) protesters unfurled a giant banner in front of General Mills' corporate headquarters in Golden Valley on Tuesday, 19 January 2010, accusing the food maker of using palm oil from suppliers that destroy rainforests.
About 40 RAN protesters walked onto General Mills' property, held up a banner, and posed for a photograph taken from a hired helicopter. Although security guards arrived to check out the protest, there was no confrontation.
"It was a non-event; they were polite. They seemed to be all about getting a photo, and they left," said General Mills spokesman Tom Forsythe.
Some of General Mills products, like Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Nature Valley Granola Bars and Yogurt Burst Cheerios do contain palm oil but Forsythe said, the company has committed to using palm oil only from companies belonging to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a group that brings together growers, users, environmentalists and bankers, working toward the goal of a sustainable palm oil supply. Most of the palm oil shipped into the US originate from Indonesia and Malaysia.
"General Mills shares concern about palm oil exports, particularly in regard to expanding into tropical rainforests," Forsythe said, adding that "we have been engaged in the issue with suppliers."
Cargill, which supplies palm oil to General Mills, said in a statement, "We are making important contributions to ensuring that palm oil is grown sustainably throughout the entire palm oil industry. We are committed to sustainable palm oil production."
RAN activists claim growing demand for palm oil in recent years has fueled destruction of tropical rainforests in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. RAN spokeswoman Margaret Swink called on General Mills "to be more transparent about their standards" in purchasing only sustainably grown palm oil. Until then, she said, "we'll be doing more fun and games to pressure General Mills."