Posted by: r.m. | June 2, 2009

rainforests destroyed for meat and toothpaste?

The cattle business is expanding rapidly in the Amazon, and now poses the biggest threat to the 80% of the original forest that still stands. Where loggers have made inroads to the edge of the forest in the states of Para and Mato Grosso, farmers have followed.

A report today from Greenpeace details a three-year investigation into these cattle farms and the global trade in their products, many of which end up on sale in Britain and Europe. Meat from the cattle is canned, packaged and processed into convenience foods. Hides become leather for shoes and trainers. Fat stripped from the carcasses is rendered and used to make toothpaste, face creams and soap. Gelatin squeezed from bones, intestines and ligaments thickens yoghurt and makes chewy sweets.

The environment campaign group wants Brazilian companies that buy cattle to boycott farms that have chopped down forest after an agreed date. To get the industry onside, it is seeking pressure from multinational brands that source their products in Brazil, and, ultimately, from their customers. Three years ago, a similar exposure of the trade in illegally grown Brazilian soya brought a rapid response from the industry, and a moratorium on soya from newly ­deforested farms that still holds.


Note: The ‘Middle East’ is the number one importer of agricultural goods (namely meat) from Brazil. Ask about your meat – where is it from – before you choose whether or not to buy it.



  1. I do not understand! why cut down trees in the Amazon to make place for the cattle business!!
    Aren’t there already large spaces on earth that are already empty waiting for proper investment?

    Large companies should cultivate those lands instead of cutting down all of the amazon and causing catastrophic environmental problems in the future.

    The boycott should work, although I highly doubt that boycott really works!

  2. it’s been a while since i’ve checked the blogg.i was really hoping to find some good news but i was’s sad and frustrating to see that people still don’t see or understand what they’re doing to our environment. i thought brazilians would know how important their rainforests were.i hope they fight fot them.

  3. Amazon forests are one of,if not the most fascinating and rich forests on Earth..People should try to protect them from deforestation,and i solute the Brazilian’s farmers and community for defending their lands..the plan proposed and initiated by the Greenpeace in 2007 is highly is up to the Brazilian government to co-operate as much as they can to preserve their national forests..moreover, free lands should be provided in a well studied manner to raise the cattles ,without worrying about cutting the famous Amazon forests..

  4. It is very unlikely that the boycott request be met with by many companies as long as the current global economic crisis persists. In the case it does meet with success like the mentioned case 3 years ealier then that would be a marvelous effective step forward to preserve and protect one of the worlds most important and rich biodiverse spots.
    the thought of 20% of the rainforest being lost is very devastating; the measures that some ignorant people take should really be put to an end fast. certain attitudes, if honeslty taken by companies can indeed be very helpful. these include; the company”makes permanent investments in initiatives that minimise impacts resulting from its activities”, it seeks “to be a reference in the sector” as well as it blacklists suppliers for “irregularities”.
    In fact, being bombarded by the effects of climate change, it would be wise to pursue such protecting acts rather than try to maximize profits.

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