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Brazilian Embassy Defends Beef Over Deforestation

13 August 2009

BRAZIL - The Brazilian Embassy has denied claims that eating Brazilian meat will fuel the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

According to a news item from MeatInfo, the embassy said that Greenpeace's report ‘Slaughtering the Amazon’, published in June this year, was "wrong to depict cattle farming in the Amazon region as the largest driver of deforestation in the world." Insisting that “European consumers can rest assured that in buying Brazilian beef they are not exacerbating Amazon deforestation”, the embassy pointed out that all of the farms licensed to export to the EU are located at least a thousand kilometres away from the edge of the rainforest.

The embassy added that it would be highly unlikely for cattle to be moved from the Amazon to farms that are licensed to export beef to the EU, says MeatInfo.

“It is very unusual in Brazil for cattle to travel more their 300km between farm and slaughterhouse," said a spokesperson.

"Longer journeys would be particularly likely in the case of animals raised in the Amazon, where many roads are unpaved and vehicles tend to move at an average speed of less than 40km per hour.”

Greenpeace’s report on the Amazon claimed that UK retailers are selling products made from Brazilian beef produced on illegally deforested land. The report produced evidence that Bertin, JBS or Marfrig – which supply 90 per cent of the UK’s Brazilian beef imports – knowingly buy cattle from farms engaged in recent and illegal deforestation.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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