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French Ecology minister' Mea culpa for Nutella boycott

French Environment and Energy Minister Segolene Royal (R) and French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius attend a conference on an agreement to limit global warming in air transport during the 51st Paris Air Show in le Bourget near Paris June 18, 2015.
French Environment and Energy Minister Segolene Royal (R) and French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius attend a conference on an agreement to limit global warming in air transport during the 51st Paris Air Show in le Bourget near Paris June 18, 2015. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

France's Environment minister, Ségolène Royal, has been forced to apologise for telling people not to eat Nutella because it contributed to deforestation and climate change. Her comments sparked fierce controversy amongst the French, who are the biggest consumers of the chocolate walnut spread.

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"A thousand apologies for the row over Nutella," Ségolène Royal wrote on her official Twitter account this week.

The Ecology minister has been trying to put an end to the controversy caused by her comments to boycott Nutella. Her wrath against the chocolate spread comes from the fact it's made with palm oil- an ingredient Royal argues, is responsible for supplanting forests and causing mass deforestation.

These assertions have been slated as preposterous by Ferrero, the Italian company that makes Nutella, which assures that its palm oil- which comes mainly from Malyasia- is sourced in a responsible way.

Palm oil gives Nutella its succulent texture, and it's a best-seller in France, where 30% of the population consume 300,000 tons per year.

In an ironic drawl, Prime minister Manuel Valls, warned that Royal's comments could lead to demonstrations by thousands of Nutella-loving children. "Should we ban the demo, or send in the police?" he amused.

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