Greenpeace International in the Netherlands released evidence today exposing the role of Cargill in rainforest destruction,and revealing the company’s ties to slavery and land-grabbing in the Amazon. As a result of the investigation, Greenpeace is urging Cargill to end its unlawful operations in Santarem, Brazil, and commit to buying soy from legal farms that are not destroying rainforests or using slave labor.
A two-year investigation, documented in a new Greenpeace
International report entitled "Eating up the Amazon," used
satellite images, aerial surveillance, previously unreleased
government documents and on-the-ground monitoring to trace the
global trade in soy from the boardrooms of U.S. multinationals to
the disappearing rainforests of the Amazon to supermarket shelves
and fast food counters in Europe.
The investigation exposed Cargill as a leading culprit in this
rainforest invasion. The Minnesota-based giant has illegally built
a port in the Amazon to export its soy and has made deals with
unscrupulous farms that have grabbed public and indigenous lands by
force and fraud, illegally cleared large areas of rainforest, and,
in some cases, even used slave labor. The major ranches behind
these tragedies are named for the first time in the investigation
"Cargill is destroying the Amazon rainforest, supporting the
enslavement of its inhabitants, and promoting illegal
land-grabbing," said Greenpeace forests expert Scott Paul. "They
have been trying for years to paint a rosy picture of what they're
doing in Brazil. This investigation proves Cargill's true colors
in the region.."
A recent report in the scientific journal Nature warned that 40%
of the Amazon will be lost by 2050 if current trends in
agricultural expansion continue, threatening biodiversity and
seriously contributing to global warming. Soy monocultures also
rely heavily on toxic chemicals, poisoning land and water across
huge areas of the Amazon.
"This crime stretches from the heart of the Amazon straight to
the American midwest. Agribusiness giants like Cargill, ADM and
Bunge must make sure that their operations are free from the links
to the Amazon destruction, slavery and human rights abuses," added
VVPR info: Steve Smith,
Exp. contact date: 2006-05-05 00:00:00