Slave worker at work in the Amazon Rainforest.
Usinginflatable boats, 11 activists blocked the ship, W-One, in the North Sea Canalto stop her offloading Amazon soya from the US commodities giant Cargill.
As partof a year long, undercover investigation presented in a new report, Eating upthe Amazon (1), Greenpeace traced the global trade in soya from criminalrainforest destruction in the Amazon to fast food outlets, such as McDonald'sand KFC, and supermarkets in Europe. It found that Cargill is central to thetrade and is leading the criminal invasion of the Amazon. (2)
Greenpeaceforests campaign co-ordinator, Gavin Edwards, said: "Cargill is trashing theAmazon so we can eat cheap meat. Every time you buy a Chicken McNugget or KFCchicken burger, you could be taking a bite out of the Amazon."
Cargillhas done deals with unscrupulous farms that have illegally grabbed anddeforested areas of public and indigenous land. Some have even used slavelabour. The company exports the soyadirect to Europe from its illegally built port in the Amazon. Over half comesthrough The Netherlands (3).
Arecent report in scientific journal Nature (4) warned that 40% of the Amazonwill be lost by 2050 if current trends in agricultural expansion continue,threatening biodiversity and seriously contributing to climate change. Soyamonocultures also rely heavily on toxic chemicals, and some also growgenetically engineered soya in the Amazon.
Edwardsadded: "This crime stretches from Cargill in the heart of the Amazonacross the entire European food industry. Supermarkets and fast food giants,like McDonald's and KFC, must make sure their food is free from the links toAmazon destruction, slavery and human rights abuses."
In theUK yesterday, dozens of seven-foot-tall chickens invaded McDonald's restaurantsand chained themselves to chairs. Scores of restaurants were also fly-postedovernight with images of Ronald McDonald wielding a chainsaw.
Greenpeaceis an independent, campaigning organisation that uses non-violent, creativeconfrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutionsessential to a green and peaceful future.
Other contacts: Laura Westendorp, media Officer, Greenpeace Netherlands (m) +31 6-25031013 (at the action site)Gavin Edwards, Greenpeace International forests campaign co-ordinator (m) +31 652 391429
Notes: (1) A copy of the "Eating up the Amazon' is available on:http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/eating-up-the-amazonA shorter crime file, based on the report: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/amazon-soya-crime-file(2) Cargill, together with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Bunge, controls 60% of soya production in Brazil and more than three-quarters of Europe's soya crushing industry that supplies soya meal and oil to the animal feed market.(3) In 2005, 787,000 tonnes of soya were exported from Santarem: 52% went to the Netherlands; 31% to the UK; 6.5% to Spain; 6% to France(4) Nature, 23rd March 2006.
Exp. contact date: 2007-04-07 00:00:00