Britney Spears took aim at some of the tabloid stories that have dogged her through 2009, publishing a list of the top 75 articles deemed to be the most ridiculous. A statement on Spears's official website said more than 13,000 stories had been written about the singer this year — and many were either "patently absurd or simply offensive."
"We ranked the ones we believe were the most ridiculous," the statement said, trumpeting the website's list of the "top 75 Bulls#!t Britney Spears stories" of 2009.
Among the stories to make the list include a report from a London tabloid citing a new Spears biography which stated that the singer's family used to eat squirrel meat during her "trailer park childhood."
According to the Daily Star, the revelations had sent "sales of squirrel meat soaring" as fans "snapped up squirrel, rabbit and possum meat from butchers and restaurants."
Another item on the list — weighing in at 57th place — was Spears's addiction to "flower therapy," a system which uses plant essences to "balance physical and emotional disturbances."
Also on the list was a report from London's Evening Standard claiming that Spears had requested a stripper's pole to be installed
at her suite in The Dorchester Hotel to help the singer stay in shape.
"Britney loves pole dancing, it is her new favorite workout," an unidentified source told the newspaper. "She wants to be able to do
it in the privacy of her own hotel room."
At number one was a January story from Britain's Daily Mirror revealing that Spears was dating Indian choreographer Sandip
Soparrkar and that she had hosted a private New Year's Eve party to introduce him to her friends and parents.
Several of the stories near the top of the list related to Spears's recent troubled tour of Australia, including a November 7 story from the Herald Sun newspaper which revealed fans had walked out of a concert in Perth because of her lip-synching.
Despite quotes from several named fans unhappy at Spears's performance, promoters for the concert insisted that reports of a
walkout were inaccurate.
Palm oil is no stranger to the sort of ridiculous and barefaced lies circulated by anti-palm oil lobbies on the health aspects of its consumption and its supposed deleterious effects on the environment, lies on a far greater scale than those that Britney Spears has had to endure.
Using proxies such as the infamous Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and diverse organizations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth (FOE) and, in recent times, even zoos such as the Melbourne Zoo and the Auckland Zoo ( who, of all people conducted a campaign to protect one of their exhibits, the orang utan from the "relentless expansion of palm oil plantations"), the lobbies have invested in various ploys to stop the growth of palm oil in its tracks.
First CSPI launched a campaign in the mid eighties alleging that palm oil was largely saturated fat and thus unhealthy. When tons of scientific studies were conducted and the results published in peer reviewed journals showing that a palm oil rich diet was, in fact heart friendly as it lowered serum cholesterol and increased HDL (good) cholesterol (see: "The Truth About Palm Oil"
http://www.palmoiltruthfoundation.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=329&Itemid=811), CSPI beat a hasty retreat and bided their time whilst planning a new mode of attack against palm oil.
Almost 2 decades later, CSPI thought out a new stratagem.
This time, in a report called "Cruel Oil: How Palm Oil Harms Health, Rainforest and Wildlife", CSPI sought to paint a picture of utter
devastation of pristine rainforest by the palm oil industry and hence causing massive deforestation and threatening the extinction
of the orang utan.
Before long, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth joined the bandwagon issuing "reports" with such emotive tiles as "Cooking the Climate", "The Oil for Ape Scandal" and "Rainforest in your Shopping".
Both outfits organized loud and theatrical demonstrations often dressed in orang utan suits.
They were quickly joined by a disparate group of "environmental" organizations with the inevitable alphabet soup abbreviations such as RAN (The Rainforest Action Group) and the POA (Palm Oil Action Group) together with others carrying such exotic names as "Treehugger", Mongabay, etc.
The trouble with the anti-palm oil campaigns, and this is their Achilles heel, is that they totally ignore the fact (or they're ignorant of the fact) that palm oil is an inherently sustainable crop with the highest productivity and thus most efficient land use factor amongst all edible oilseeds. With a yield of close to ten times the yield of other oilseed crops, palm oil requires ten times less land to produce the same unit of edible oil as its nearest competitor.
This explains why, Malaysia, which had been the world's largest producer of palm oil for over a century still has an enviable forest
cover of more than 55%, which is one of the highest forest cover prevailing in the world today.
Further, palm oil cultivation takes up less than 1% of the total world agricultural area, with Malaysian palm oil plantations occupying less than 0.5% of it. How can it then be credible to claim that palm oil is causing "massive deforestation" and is responsible for 20% of global carbon emission? However, the green groups have never shown than they were evr overly concerned about the veracity of facts.
If conservation is truly a concern, these green NGOs should propose that palm oil be cultivated in place of the current oilseed crops such as soy, corn, sunflower and rapeseed (weather permitting) in view of its superior efficient land use!
It is obvious that if palm oil cultivation is curtailed or taken away altogether from the trade equation, the world would be scrambling for more oil which , in turn, would see ten times more land being opened up for other oilseed cultivation to fill the gap left by palm oil.
In those circumstances, perhaps the CSPI, Greenpeace and FOE's claims of massive deforestation may then have a modicum of
credibility and become a stark reality!
Deforestation Watch is compelled to ask: Could the extreme productivity of palm oil be the real reason for the irrational and concerted attacks launched against the commodity by the likes of CSPI, Greenpeace and FOE? Could Greenpeace and FOE be paid agents for competing oilseed lobbies to launch their senseless anti-palm oil campaigns to ensure that palm does not continue to make inroads into the traditional oilseed markets in the Northern Hemisphere?