Girl Scout Cookies Clash with International Politics
Friday, May 13, 2011
The Girl Scouts of the USA received a harsh lesson recently in social media etiquette when they tried to censor online comments calling for a change in the ingredients of their famous cookies.
To date, Girl Scouts cookies are made using palm oil and that has a lot of eco-friendly supporters unhappy, because the oil is harvested from disappearing rainforests and has endangered popular animal species, including tigers, orangutans and rhinoceroses. Some scouts and environmental organizations have called for the organization to use another ingredient, but CEO Kathy Cloninger has refused.
Then, advocates for recipe change organized a “Day of Action” in which they left comments on the Girl Scouts’ popular Facebook page calling for the end of palm oil in cookies. The Girl Scouts responded by deleting all such postings—which only infuriated people and produced unwelcome criticism across the Web.
Activists have urged both the Girl Scouts and Cargill, the agribusiness giant that supplies them with palm oil, to at least switch to sustainable sources of palm oil that don’t threaten forests.
Girl Scouts Censor Facebook Criticism of Palm Oil in Cookies (by Glen Hurowitz, Grist)
Cruel Oil: How Palm Oil Hams Health, Rainforest & Wildlife (by Ellie Brown and Michael F. Jaconson, Center for Science in the Public Interest) (pdf)
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