French Minister apologises for Nutella Climate Claim

Nutella chocolate spread. Original photo by Christophe Jacquet, attribution license
Nutella chocolate spread. Original photo by Christophe Jacquet, attribution license

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal has apologised for claiming the popular breakfast spread Nutella exacerbates climate change.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald;

“A thousand apologies for the row over Nutella,” she wrote on her official Twitter account.

The mea culpa related to comments she made on French television on Monday, when she said “we should stop eating Nutella… because it’s made with palm oil” – an ingredient that ensures the soft but not liquid consistency of the popular chocolate-hazelnut spread.

In the interview, she argued that oil palm plantations were supplanting forests, leading to deforestation and causing “considerable damage to the environment”.

Read more:

Nutella is an iconic Italian export success story, so the attack on Nutella seriously upset France’s Italian neighbours.

Segolene Royal supports producing biofuel from domestic French oil crops such as Rapeseed, rather than importing foreign palm oil.

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June 19, 2015 4:44 am

Yet never a mention of palm oil and other biofuel crops “supplanting forests, leading to deforestation and causing “considerable damage to the environment”.
Go figure !!!

June 19, 2015 4:54 am

Palm trees, typically, do not grow where hardwood forest’s grow. So there IS no ‘supplanting’ here! Besides, farmers/land owners can grow (or NOT grow) whatever they desire. No government (or other) organization has any right trying to tell them otherwise!

Silver ralph
Reply to  PC Bob (@IAMPCBob)
June 19, 2015 9:35 am

The problem is that there have been subsidies that have been distorting the market, resulting in massive palm plantations displacing other crops and other natural environments.

Reply to  PC Bob (@IAMPCBob)
June 19, 2015 11:14 am

Never heard of the Farm Bill? i guess you could TRY to run a farm without taking government money, but it’s not likely you’d be profitable.

Reply to  TomB
June 19, 2015 1:26 pm

Tom – as usual, another Tom said it best”
” Were we directed from Washington when to sow, & when to reap, we should soon want bread. ” Jefferson
But, you can (or at least could, four decades ago) hold the DOA at bay. When we bought lime from GLF (later Agway) they asked for a government purchase order. Heck, they were plenty happy with a timely check instead. When we were building a farm pond, the excavator said he could not put in a “riser” (a pipe to take water out the side) because he supposed it was a federal “conservation” project. When told it was privately financed, the pipe was OK.
Couldn’t get around them on total “wheat allotment”. The goon with the “bicycle wheel” walked around the field and decided we had 0.06 acres too much planted. Had to mow down a 400 foot by 7 foot swath. But the goon was happy!
Likely things are far worse today – so you are probably correct.

Reply to  TomB
June 20, 2015 2:28 pm

Tom B
US statistics show that farmers growing unsubsidized crops make more money than farmers growing subsidized crops.
Reasons might include (my educated guesses):
– subsidies encourage inertia
– better farmers can handle the change to newer or less familiar crops (farming requires knowledge and versatility)

June 19, 2015 4:56 am

Well deforestation in favour of biofuel cropping is a crime, it inflates food costs and user costs by 100%. So any area used to grow fuel even at home is also a crime. We have cheap fuel, coal, gas and oil. Helps the poor and helps plants grow due to the extra CO2.

June 19, 2015 4:56 am

I have observed the establishment of palm plantations in forest areas and agree they cause considerable environmental damage replacing a diverse ecology with an almost monoculture after going through a clear felling and extensive terracing (on hilly country) process. However, to link the industry to climate change is a set too large.

June 19, 2015 5:04 am

Will she apologize for implying that Rosetta is a tool to measure climate, since 67P/Tchourioumov-Guérassimenko according to her “stayed out of climate change”?
Will she apologize for the 20 millions euros spent by the region of Poitou-Charente on Heuliez/Mia, the electric car maker and Eco&Mobilité?
The Mia electric car:
Tribunal de Commerce de Niort declared Mia in “judicial liquidation”:

Tom J
June 19, 2015 5:17 am

Everything I hate causes climate change. Everything. Everything I hate causes climate change. Mommy, Billy’s staring at me. I hate it when Billy stares at me. It’s going to thunder outside.

June 19, 2015 5:20 am

Will Ségolène Royal apologise for saying she will forbid non-professionals from buying Roundup, when all she actually proposes is that non-professionals wouldn’t be able buy in a free service store, but only over-the-counter (like prescription only drugs, but without the prescription)?

June 19, 2015 5:42 am

The absurdity of the “climate change” meme just drives me crazy.
Supposedly, a changing climate is a bad thing for humans and we must do something, namely severely curtail our CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
By limiting those CO2 emissions, we will cause…wait for it… the climate to change!
Which, as we all know, is a bad thing for humans.
Oh, I know – “bad climate change” causes warmer and cooler summers, warmer and cooler winters, increased and less droughts, more and less precipitation, more and less floods, etc. while “good climate change” causes warmer and cooler summers, warmer and cooler winters, increased and less droughts, more and less precipitation, more and less floods, etc.

Mayor of Venus
Reply to  JohnWho
June 20, 2015 4:59 pm

There is no “Good Climate Change”. The unstated presumption is the world and its climate were perfect before the rise of mankind. It is impossible to improve on perfection; therefore, any change in the climate resulting from humans must be bad.

Bruce Cobb
June 19, 2015 6:03 am

Picking on Nutella was stupid, but then, her Belief in manmade climate change is sheer idiocy. Instead, she should be slamming the biofuels monstrosity itself, which is responsible for the huge uptick in demand for palm oil.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 19, 2015 9:47 am

Apparently, nutella didn’t pay for its sustainable seal of green approval, and the green mafia didn’t like it.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
June 19, 2015 1:37 pm

Nutella, I have read, I think on the BBC – some I know call it the Blatantly Biased Catspaw – anyway – Nutella may be owned by Signor Ferrero, the Ferret Rock chap, the richest man in Italy.
Apparently he’s worth twice as much as the old democrat Berlusconi!
It was on the BBC.
It is possible it’s true.

M Courtney
June 19, 2015 6:07 am

Deforestation is a real problem.
And I hate Nutella too. Marmite is the future.

Reply to  M Courtney
June 19, 2015 7:05 am

Blessed be the Marmite eaters for they leave more eggs and bacon for us.

Reply to  M Courtney
June 19, 2015 7:40 am

I also dislike Nutella. I spent 39 months over there (in the mid-70s), and they had many more tasty things that could have be exported — except beer — their brew was “Nastro Azzurro” — but it did have a redeeming quality — it did contain alcohol (I think).

Reply to  M Courtney
June 19, 2015 9:04 am

Go Vegemite!

Reply to  M Courtney
June 19, 2015 2:37 pm

Is Marmite made from the mites of marmots? Sounds good, but I’ll bet it’s hard to catch the little buggers.

June 19, 2015 6:46 am

Good. Now I can back to rubbing this stuff all over everything. It’s chocolaty, it’s European, It’s Nutella.

Pamela Gray
Reply to  Charlie
June 19, 2015 7:25 am

Ummm…everything? Just asking.

Tom J
Reply to  Pamela Gray
June 19, 2015 7:39 am

Pamela, I’m shocked!

Reply to  Pamela Gray
June 19, 2015 7:47 am

Pamela, bad girl… just sayin’

Reply to  Pamela Gray
June 19, 2015 10:04 am

do you have pictures…. science demands evidence….

Reply to  Pamela Gray
June 19, 2015 9:14 pm

As I’m unable to eat peanuts without repercussions, I discovered years ago that Nutella is far superior with more applications. Too sweet to eat much at a time, nut a wonderful topping.

Reply to  Charlie
June 21, 2015 3:59 am

I just love Nutella Lawson, very tasty!

June 19, 2015 7:03 am

I don’t think Indonesians will suddenly start protecting their environment whether French socialists do or don’t anything.
Most of France looks pretty deforested BTW.

Reply to  DirkH
June 19, 2015 11:59 pm

I think it depends where you take your baseline. From Wiki

Metropolitan France contains a total of 16,900,000 hectares (65,000 sq mi) of tree coverage, with 13,800,000 hectares (53,000 sq mi) considered to be forestry by the National Forest Inventory (IFN). Of those 13,800,000 hectares (53,000 sq mi), 8,700,000 hectares (34,000 sq mi) consist of leafy forests while the remaining 5,100,000 hectares (20,000 sq mi) consist of evergreen forests.

According to data here in terms of cubic metres most of Europe is being reforested. Much of that, in France, is natural regeneration.
In this part of France fields and gardens left fallow and ungrazed soon have oak seedlings growing. A great deal of wood is burnt for heating in winter, but there are also large tracts of wood which appear to have been left untouched for decades.
Thanks for making me check what you claimed, just from personal very local experience I thought that this area was gradually being reforested by natural processes. Much of the countryside round here is still being depopulated as family sizes decrease and young people move to the cities, so even the demand for wood for heating is not growing.

June 19, 2015 7:23 am

If reports about sugar and fat don’t stop people eating Nutella, reports about deforestation from Palm oil sure won’t!
Might stop you using bio-diesel in your car though!

Reply to  wickedwenchfan
June 19, 2015 9:50 am

Last year it was the end of hazelnuts.

Reply to  Mick
June 19, 2015 11:22 am

But now they are finished with them?

Reply to  Mick
June 19, 2015 1:53 pm

No, Hazelnuts were in the news. Globalclimateweirdingwarming change was responsible. I still find them in abundance. And plenty of hazelnut bearing trees where I live.

Reply to  Mick
June 19, 2015 8:46 pm

Hazel trees grew on the Orkney Islands thousands of years ago until globalclimateweirdingwarmingcooling change kicked in. Messed with their beach properties too.
All for want of a carbon trading system too, the losers.

Tom J
June 19, 2015 7:55 am

I’ve always had an overwhelming urge to leap naked into a vat of Nutella.

Reply to  Tom J
June 19, 2015 8:40 am

TMI, Tom J.

June 19, 2015 9:40 am

stupid stuff. approx 35% of “corn” shipments by rail in 2014 went to ethanol production that would have been better used for cattle feed or the land used for edible corn.
thats a lot of corn.
for something that uses more resources to give us less miles per gallon.
sometimes you just want to scream.
been a long time since I had any nutella but thinking of buying a case now just because. I used to add a touch of it to peanut butter sandwich and liked it.

Reply to  dmacleo
June 19, 2015 9:51 am

Cows should be eating grass not corn.

DD More
Reply to  dmacleo
June 19, 2015 2:16 pm

Ever been around an Ethanol plant after 10 years running? There is no piles of dried up corn kernels around. It is sold as ‘millers grain’ to (wait for it) feed cattle. Cows actually do better eating the millers grain as the starches are broken down during the heating process.

Reply to  DD More
June 19, 2015 4:38 pm

But 70% of it is still unusable, even after taking out the feed for cattle.

Reply to  DD More
June 19, 2015 8:37 pm

Which is why the 70% waste starch (not good for a cow’s GI tract) is converted to a slightly higher value product – ethanol, so the whole system is somewhat profitable without subsidies now.
Nothing to do with the global warming fr@ud anymore.

Reply to  DD More
June 19, 2015 9:21 pm

Only the ‘ethanol’ plants that store their ethanol in charred wooden barrels.
I guess that I should own up to a local ‘ethanol’ plant that exports their ethanol to Russia where it is rebottled as ‘vodka’. The same plant sells incredibly cheap vodka locally; harsh harsh stuff. I don’t recommend it for drinking with friends. However for drinking with certain family members or unwanted guests, that’s another matter entirely…

Jeff C
June 19, 2015 10:04 am

You would think the fact that Nutella is sugar-loaded processed garbage is reason enough not to eat it. Forty percent of the calories are from sugar, it’s the first ingredient. As far as nutrition, the palm oil is probably the best thing about it.
From Nutella’s website with some added commentary:
Nutella® hazelnut spread was first imported from Italy to the U.S. over 25 years ago by Ferrero U.S.A., Inc. The popularity of Nutella® has grown steadily over the years (as has the rate of obesity and type 2 diabetes) and it is the number one selling branded hazelnut spread in America (yeah, people like eating sugar and somehow thinking it’s good for them).
The unique taste of Nutella® hazelnut spread continues to come from the combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa (uh no. It’s unique taste comes from 40% sugar, the others are all but trace ingredients compared to it). In addition, Nutella® has no artificial colors or preservatives (okay, but it does have an artificial flavor, vanillin, typically obtained as a waste product from wood pulping. Funny how Nutella doesn’t mention that.)
Royal is a loon, but my I’m somewhat sympathetic to her on this one. Nutella is garbage but it’s intentionally marketed to harried parents as an alternative to peanut butter, a product that is actually nutritious. This stuff is close to poison that should be reserved for a rare treat, yet uninformed parents give it to their kids daily. Nutella has no problem with that, a sale is is a sale after all. They should be boycotted, she just had the reason wrong.

Billy Liar
Reply to  Jeff C
June 19, 2015 11:33 am

Everything has its place. You’d be amazed how many mountains in the French Alps are scaled by people fuelled with Nutella. The breakfast of summiteers.

Reply to  Jeff C
June 19, 2015 11:36 am

My local supermarket had a two-for-one sale on the stuff a year or so ago. (That alone shold have sent up a red flag.) I bought it and tried it. That jar was immediately tossed out for the raccoons and the other is still on a shelf. I can’t give it away.

Reply to  Jeff C
June 19, 2015 11:43 am

Read the on Ferrero. 1944 would have been a heck of a time to start a company in Italy. (And it would have been a real feat had it been in nothern Italy!)

Reply to  inMAGICn
June 19, 2015 11:44 am

…the article…

Crispin in Waterloo
June 19, 2015 10:13 am

“In the interview, she argued that oil palm plantations were supplanting forests, leading to deforestation and causing “considerable damage to the environment”.”
Well there is no doubt about that, but the problem is not Nutella, it is EU environutz demanding they put biodiesel in their tanks. Where do they think it comes from? Oil wells??? That stuff grows on palm trees!
The monocropping is causing the catastrophic destruction of Malaysia’s jungles and the extermination of species and the destroying of natural habitat for hundreds of thousands of species of creatures large and small. It is directly caused by biodiesel mandates in the EU in order to offset global warming, the claim. The burning of the peat bogs and slashed jungles of Western Indonesia that clouds the air in Singapore is an extension of that Climate Calamity Industry. If Segolene Royal is driving a diesel car she is contributing to the destruction she quipped Nutella was causing. Someone invented a word for that.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
June 19, 2015 12:11 pm

“If Segolene Royal is driving a diesel car”
No, as I wrote, a Mia (sexy electric car):

michael hart
June 19, 2015 11:36 am

Is there no English target worthy of her ire? Standards are slipping.

Eugene WR Gallun
Reply to  michael hart
June 20, 2015 1:07 am

michail hart — good one — Eugene Wr Gallun

June 19, 2015 11:37 am

OK, I’m confused. Can I put this in my car’s engine or not? Presently I’m getting 10 miles to the marmite jar.

June 19, 2015 11:56 am

The madness of the EU they are all NUTS

June 20, 2015 7:15 am

To be gender-specific, there are innumerable Nutelles and Nutellas in the EU.

June 19, 2015 4:18 pm

R**e vs Palm? No wonder there is an uproar.

johann wundersamer
June 20, 2015 5:41 am

so EU states rally for fuel taxes of hightend costs from ‘bio-fuel’, enforced onto the citizens under the sun-flower-bio-logo.
See how they care about the environment: dare to produce food of our renewables, much lesser taxed!

johann wundersamer
June 20, 2015 6:39 am

with TTIP we’ll get drowned in cheap maiz sugar by the US.
Industrial refined sugar is already the cheapest nutrient, pure energy, C6H12O6 spells a l c o h o l. Kids like it. Causes them diabetes typ B, Altesdiabetes.
And the poorest nutricient:
no minerals, enzymes, proteins, iron …
the amount of energy leads the body to store the superfluant converted in fat cells.
The onrush of insulin starts diabetes in juveniles – the Schilddrüse useless since then.
Still – cheapest nutricient to your kids.
You excuse my dinglish, you’ll get me anyway – Hans

johann wundersamer
June 20, 2015 6:48 am

no minerals, enzymes, proteins, iron …
add NO vitamins, NO whatever you think of except Kohlehydrate – which in the end are some enriched: SUGAR.
Regards – Hans

johann wundersamer
June 20, 2015 7:01 am

Kohlehydrate, Altersdiabetes. /Schild 2/ Bauchspeicheldrüse:
carbohydrates, adult-onset
diabetes. PANCREAS
Thanks – Hans

johann wundersamer
June 20, 2015 7:31 am

at last ‘dangerous salt’ /to whom not bored enough/
we hairless animals prevent from overheating by condensing water due to osmose via salt: sweating.
Thus our need of minerals, salt:
when salting to much we drink, working as heating exchanger / not paid but paying for / at the piss -anyway regulating energy + salt household ‘naturally’.
/ watch plant fed desalinated cows when the farmer offers salt – home made small stompede /. Hans

johann wundersamer
June 20, 2015 7:41 am

ever watched cattle grasing neareast a highway, road:
Particulate Matter – greed for minerals, salt. Pollution.
correct me where I’m wrong. Hans

johann wundersamer
June 20, 2015 8:23 am

turns back to CAGW:
de-particle-mattered air provides little condensation / crystallication seeds.
thus vater vapour / clouds linger over continents for weeks, unwilling to get rained out.
When a dust layer from the sahara conquers Europe we have Starkregen – heavy rains, hail, turbulences – heavvy storms. CAGW events! devastation ‘rivers’ under the cleared skies.
beeing a layman feel free to correct me wherever I’m wrong. Hans
/ ‘pollution’ was a regulation means BEFORE man walked the planet. greetings to sahara, death valley, taklamakan /

June 20, 2015 8:37 am

Outrageous comments by public figures are a freudian slip: they crave attention and seeing themselves on TV is their main driver. The topic itself is irrelevant.

johann wundersamer
June 20, 2015 9:25 am

last to the icon destroyers:
‘primitive’ culturs look in disgust at us anthropomorphing rule of time and space to a grandpa in red winteruniform mounting a cola truck; reduce humor to smilys. And let grimmassing porkeys advertise there body meat in tv.
We can’t stand reality – makes me smile.

June 20, 2015 7:31 pm

Silver Ralph: The problem is that there have been subsidies that have been distorting the market, resulting in massive palm plantations displacing other crops and other natural environments.
Really? PROOF! Nonsense GARBAGE, myth. Repeat a myth loud enough and long enough, many people will think it is fact.

June 21, 2015 12:53 am

Mme Royal is a good 60 years late in worrying about the bad effects of palm oil. When I was at sea I sailed in quite ordinary cargo ships, which had a section of cargo hold converted into a cargo oil tank. For the homeward passage from West Africa, it was filled with Palm Oil. In Liverpool it was cleaned out and the massive lid lifted off, turning it into an ordinary cargo tank. Then back in West Africa the reverse took place. We carried thousands of tons of the stuff, which is not at all unpleasant, nor is it a dangerous cargo, during my time. Other European companies did the same.
I guess it’s export to Europe was a major contribution to the economies of West Africa, and their peoples.
And still is, although now on a much greater scale.

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