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Posted on Mon, May 23, 2011 : 10:55 a.m.

Girl Scouts from Ann Arbor on ABC World News Tonight

By Juliana Keeping

Ann Arbor Girl Scouts campaigning to get palm oil out of cookies like Thin Mints got a chance to spread their message on a national platform Sunday evening in a segment on "ABC World News Tonight."

Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva, who are sophomores at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, stopped selling Girl Scout cookies in 2007 after they began working on a public service project to bring attention to the plight of endangered orangutans in Borneo. The animals live in the rainforests that the cultivation of palm oil destroys.

They won a Bronze Award from the Girl Scouts for the orangutan project. But they didn’t stop there.


Girl Scouts Rhiannon Tomtishen, left, and Madison Vorva, both of Ann Arbor, have been campaigning to raise awareness of the human and environmental impact of the organization's famous cookies.

They’ve waged a campaign to get Girl Scouts leadership to remove the palm oil from the cookies since that time.

In a Sunday evening segment, they said they have a meeting with leadership from Girl Scouts USA Tuesday to discuss the removal of palm oil from the cookies.

Girl Scouts USA started using palm oil about five years ago as a healthier alternative to trans fats.

• Watch the report.


DJ DeMarco

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 7:50 p.m.

Way to go young ladies! Whatever the issue, I love to see people be active about an issue that can care about. No matter how dismissive the comments you've gotten may be, it is people like you who change the world around them and will make a real difference! You will find that every time you reach for the levers of power, you will get slapped around by those who would rather you stuck to various commercially-induced surrogate interests like sports, beer and partying with your friends. You represent a threat to the ordered world but it is people like you that resulted in amendments to the US constitution including the 13th, 15th and 19th) You ignore the negative that will inevitably (clearly here) be heaped upon you -- make a difference. The only loyalty you betray is to yourself for failing to make a difference. (BTW, I stopped buying those thin mints decades ago because of the palm oil -- thanks to you, I may have another chance at those addictive little cookies!)


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

I wonder how the impoverished folks working on the palm oil plantations will feel when their means of feeding their families are wiped out by some rich girls in Ann Arbor. Kind of reminds me of the free trade with China gig. We were supposed to bring freedom to the Chinese through economic development. That hasn't happened, but a lot of American manufacturing workers are still looking for jobs and wondering why their country threw them under the bus.

Top Cat

Mon, May 23, 2011 : 7:18 p.m.

Apparently the word "loyal" does not appear in the Girl Scout Law as it does in the Boy Scout Law. Perhaps it is a concept that the Girl Scouts should teach to those who join and belong.


Tue, May 24, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

The Girl Scout Law DOES say: I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout. Wow, what is Girl Scouting thinking asking girls to do THAT?


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

who get's all the money from those overpriced GS cookies anyway? if these girls cared about people as much as they do some orangatan's and stopped selling those crappy cookies we would all be better off.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 6:21 p.m.

Sounds like they fit right in here in AA. I didn't realize that Birkenstocks were part of the official uniform.


Tue, May 24, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

I'm also disappointed that they're not hanging out at the mall, listening to "Ke$ha."


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

yup, those terrible socially-engaged youths of Ann Arbor! What a shame that we have children in this town who care about things beyond their clothes and pop music.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

Forget the orangutans. There are plenty of things to be fighting for right here in our country. Things like abortion, starvation, homelessness. Worry about what happens at home first. If the economy doesnt get any better, the cookie situation will take care of itself. No one will have any money left to afford your overpriced cookies.


Tue, May 24, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

Just because you want to fight for abortion rights, doesn't mean they should.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 6:22 p.m.

everyone has their own priorities. If we all thought that the same things were the "most important problems" all the other problems would get worse. Just be glad that two kids are being socially active.


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

Why not campaign to stop selling the Girls Scout Cookies! After all, they cause human suffering, destroy the earth and make Americans fatter! This Girls Scout Organizations sounds EVIL!


Mon, May 23, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

Save the orangutans! Bring back the trans fats!