Part 1 of 5: Fat Like Us: Europe’s Diet Becoming Americanized Thanks to Soy Feed Imported by Bunge Et Al
“‘International trade rules have created a soybean industrial complex that is fattening both livestock and humans in Europe, just like it has in America,’ says Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter.”
“Trade rules have made soy a cheaper alternative to domestic feed, helping transform pig and poultry holdings in Europe into factory farms like their U.S. counterparts. With this shift to cheaper feed comes more processed, industrialized, fast food. In 2009, McDonald’s actually earned more revenue from Europe (41 percent) than the United States (35 percent.) Now, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil made largely from soybeans is a key shortening in processed desserts and frozen foods as well, adding even more soy to European diets… In the past several decades, these changes have helped broaden waistlines. The obesity rate in the U.K. more than tripled between 1980 and 2007, and France’s nearly doubled between 1990 and 2006. Almost half of Germany’s population was obese or overweight in 2005.”
“Four international firms dominate the global oilseed trade: U.S-based Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge [pronounced BUN-ge with a soft e], Cargill, and the French company Louis Dreyfus. These firms were four of the top six exporters of soybeans from Argentina in 2009… Bunge operates 56 oilseed-processing plants worldwide, processing more than 13,000 metric tonnes (28.7 million pounds) each day in Argentina alone.”
Part 2 of 5: ADM, Bunge, Cargill: the ABCs of Rainforest Destruction
“Today, the Rainforest Action Network turned up the heat on US Agribusiness giants ADM, Bunge, and Cargill. Early this morning, when employees arrived at the Chicago Board of Trade, they were met with a massive banner, reading: ‘ADM, Bunge, Cargill: the ABCs of Rainforest Destruction.’ We’re stepping it up and we want these companies to know how serious we are. Yesterday Chicagoans opened the Tribune to find our full page ad, calling out ADM, Bunge, and Cargill for profiting from false solutions to our climate crisis. By promoting industrially produced soy and palm oil as biofuel, these companies are diverting our resources and attention away from truly renewable energy. Our newly-launched Rainforest Agribusiness Campaign is letting these companies know that destroying the world’s rainforests for profit won’t fly…”
Part 3 of 5: The Space Between Bunge’s Rhetoric and Bunge’s Actions
“They talk about feeding the world and had a whole packet enumerating their values of integrity, citizenship and environmental stewardship. Mr. Weisser spoke at length about working with local growers in South America and investing in social projects. I’m all for a business culture that values “integrity and citizenship”. The problem lies in the space between Bunge’s rhetoric and Bunge’s actions.
* While Bunge insists it is working to curb greenhouse gas emissions; it has continued to expand its operations in Brazil, which has become the fourth largest greenhouse gas polluter in the world with deforestation accounting for three quarters of its emissions. Soy expansion by companies like Bunge is the leading cause of deforestation.
* While Bunge talks about funding social programs in communities, it is still responsible for the human rights disaster of displacing Indigenous peoples throughout its South American operations
* While Bunge stresses a commitment to farmers and its employees, the expansion of soy forces small farming communities off their lands, providing just one job for every 11 subsistence farmer it displaces.”
Part 4 of 5: Bunge Funds Brazilian Communist Front Tied To Killing Forests and Environmentalists
“On May 24th, environmentalist Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria [image link below], were gunned down near Maraba, Para, where the couple worked in a sustainable extractive reserve. Only three days later another prominent activist was killed. The leader of the Amazon Peasants Association, Adelino Ramos, was murdered in front of his family in Vista Alegre do Abuna, Rondonia. Both Ramos and da Silva were vocal opponents of deforestation in the Amazon. The deaths of these activists are being compared to the murder of American nun Dorothy Stang in 2005 and rubber trapper Chico Mendes in 1988, considered martyrs by many.”
“Some have linked the high-profile killings in part to proposed revisions to Brazil’s Forest Code, the country’s primary law addressing deforestation. The revisions have incited tension between those in favor of allowing further clearing in the Amazon and environmentalists who support the original code, drafted in 1965. The revisions, now passed by Brazil’s lower house, loosen restrictions on clearing forests along riverbanks and on hilltops. In addition, under the original law, landholders were required to maintain 80 percent of their lands in forest, and technically could be required to reforest cleared property, however the revised Forest Code would require only 50 percent of land to be preserved, and reforesting will not be required.”
“Aldo Rebelo, the head of Brazil’s Communist Party, has led the charge against the Forest Code. He argues that existing forest requirements keep small farmers in poverty, however critics say Rebaldo’s claims to represent the rural poor are misleading. Rebelo’s coalition, the “ruralists”, is comprised of industrial agribusiness interests, including the National Agriculture Confederation (CAN). According to Brazil’s Center of Environmental Studies (CEA), Rebelo received R 70,000 ($44,200) from Bunge Fertilizers, an immense multinational agricultural conglomerate based in New York and one of the principal agribusiness firms in Brazil.”
Part 5 of 5: Bunge North America Spends $3,725,000 Lobbying, Lands 73 Federal Contracts
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