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Published October 2003 - Updated Feb 2006
LGVN Environment / Animals - Rain Forest Destruction

Brazilian Rain Forest Destruction Sped Up by Illegal Soy Bean Plantations.
Palm Oil Plantations Destroying the last of the Indonesian Rain Forests - Driving Orangutans to Extinction

The destruction of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil is being dramatically accelerated due to massive plantations of soy. European consumers are inadvertently causing the effect due to preference of non-genetically modified soy instead of the American GM equivalent.

Areas the size of Belgium in the Brazilian rainforest are being cleared annually by illegal loggers. The logged land is then used to plant non-GM soy beans. The Brazilians are making huge profits from this illegal activity by tapping into the public demand for GM free foods. Once the soy crops have been harvested, the land becomes useless and nothing is able to grow in these areas again. The Amazon contains one third of the world's plant and animal species. It's feared that with this added strain on the destruction of the world's most vital ecosystem, the forest will be completely lost in years rather than decades. On top of this, the Brazilian government are now allowing genetically modified soy beans to be planted in the south of the country. Until now, the country had banned the growing of GM crops.

Looking-Glass says:
The irony is that soy is a common food of vegetarians, many who will be horrified to know that their protein supplement is causing such devastating environmental damage to the rain forest and its animal life. If the United States reverted to non GM soy plantations then European soy product manufacturers would surely turn towards to America as an environmentally acceptable alternative. In fact research shows that the agricultural performance of GM crops is frequently worse than non-GM varieties. So why are millions of acres of GM crops being grown by the US anyway?
The public are advised to check the source of the soy beans in the product before purchasing. Alpro, the manufacturers of Soya based drinks and products based in Europe tell Looking-Glass and VeggieGlobal, "We source our soya beans from Brazil, China, Canada and parts of Southern Europe. The organic beans sourced from Brazil come from established soya bean farms in the Planalto region, south west of Sao Paulo. In all cases we only buy non-gmo soya beans which have full traceability".

More News stories about Brazil

... while the world can only watch in horror

As a country of rich bio-diversity on which the entire planet largely depends for environmental stability, Brazil continues to display an astonishing disregard for both its natural habitat and animals ...more

News on the destruction of Malaysian and Indonisian rainforest

Ordinary food shoppers are unwittingly causing the extinction of rain forest animals such as the much-loved Orangutan. One in ten of supermarket products contain palm oil; from foods like bread, crisps and chocolate to cosmetics, soaps, shampoos and toothpaste. Most mass-produced palm oil is responsible for the accelerated destruction of precious rain forests in Malaysia and Indonesia, home to the Orangutan, and around 5,000 of these intelligent apes are being driven from their unique habitats in Borneo and Sumatra each year, as loggers make way for palm oil plantations. ...more

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