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Breaking: 9 Arrested After Death-Defying Protest of P&G's Use of Palm Oil
In James Bond style, nine Greenpeace activists were arrested Tuesday after they rappelled down Cincinnati's Procter & Gamble (P&G) skyscraper and hung two large posters protesting P&G's use of palm oil in its Head & Shoulders products.
The naturally-occurring oil is typically extracted through widespread deforestation and has pushed exotic animals, like the orangutan and Sumatran tiger, to the brink of extinction.
The protesters, one dressed in a tiger costume while hanging from a zip line, hung the pair of 60-foot banners to call attention to these environmental concerns, and were consequently charged with burglary and vandalism by Cincinnati police, reports WCPO-TV.
The banners stated: “Head & Shoulders, Stop Putting Tiger Survival on the Line” and “Head & Shoulders, Wipes out Dandruff & Rainforests.”
P&G employees called 911 to report the protest with police responding just after 1 p.m.
Both banners were removed about an hour after the daredevil protestors had mounted them.
P&G officials later said in a statement the protest “ended peacefully” and the product giant's key concern was “the safety of our employees, the security of our facilities and the safety of the protesters.”
“P&G is buying palm oil linked to rainforest destruction, to make everyday products like Head & Shoulders and Oil of Olay,” Greenpeace Palm Oil Campaigner Joao Talocchi said in a blog post. “Rainforest destruction is endangering species like the Sumatran tiger and orangutan. We should be able to wash away dandruff without wiping out tigers.”
P&G officials also stated they agree with Greenpeace and that “deforestation is a significant issue.”
“[This] is why we are committed to the sustainable sourcing of palm oil. We have already pledged to reach 100 percent sustainable sourcing of palm oil by 2015 and we will continue to drive to that goal with urgency."
But, according to Talocchi, "The bottom line of all this is simple. Instead of ignoring the demands from thousands of people and trying to hide the facts, Procter & Gamble needs to address the issue as a serious company. It will only do that when it adopts and implements to a No Deforestation policy that goes beyond their commitment to buying palm oil that, while certified by the RSPO as sustainable, is still linked to the destruction of forests, including orangutan and tiger habitats."
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