A new video from Rainforest Action Network aims to draw attention to the threat to endangered orangutans caused by palm oil.
This vegetable oil is used in almost half of the products found in grocery stores, according to RAN, and is often grown on vast palm plantations in Southeast Asia once occupied by natural rainforests.
Sumatran orangutans (Pongo abelii) are currently listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and their Bornean cousins (Pongo pygmaeus) are listed as endangered. The IUCN notes that along with habitat fragmentation due to road construction and logging operations, conversion of forests into palm oil plantations is a major threat to Sumatran orangutans.
This video is the latest in RAN's "Last Stand of the Orangutan" campaign against "conflict palm oil" which launched in September. The organization previously released a report identifying major food companies that use palm oil and have not "yet adopted and fully implemented adequate safeguards to eliminate conflict palm oil from entering their supply chains and contaminating their products."
The "Snack Food 20" list includes Campbell Soup Company, Kraft Food Group, Inc., The Hershey Company and others.