KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysians and the American Soybean Assn. have decided to halt a bitter feud about a U.S. campaign that said palm oil consumption causes heart disease, a Malaysian palm industry official said Wednesday.
Both sides have agreed to stop portraying competing products in a negative light, effective immediately, a Malaysian Oil Palm Growers Council statement said.
The soybean association launched a highly visible advertising campaign in the United States in 1987 saying palm oil and other tropical oils contained saturated fatty acids that increased the risk of heart disease.
Malaysia accused the association of using smear tactics to garner a bigger share in the billion-dollar world edible-oils market and countered by taking out expensive advertisements in U.S. newspapers promoting the virtues of palm oil.
Traders Welcome End of Feud
The ASA is "not now and will not in the future communicate directly or indirectly in any member publication, comments or stories that portray other oils in a negative light," the statement said.
Council officials said the statement had been released with the American association's approval.
Traders in Malaysia, the world's largest palm oil supplier, welcomed the halt to the feud but some said the damage had already been done.