Greenpeace today accused McDonald's of destroying the Amazon rainforest. Using satellite images, aerial surveillance, previously unreleased government documents, and on-the-ground monitoring, Greenpeace says it has traced soya grown on land that once was rainforest to an animal feed producer whose chickens are processed into Chicken McNuggets and other McDonald's products.
To dramatize their claim, this morning dozens of seven foot tall chickens invaded McDonald's restaurants across the UK and chained themselves to chairs. Scores of McDonald's around the country, including Leicester Square, London, were also fly-posted overnight with images of Ronald McDonald wielding a chainsaw. In Munich, Germany, protestors also gathered at McDonald's European environmental affairs headquarters and called on the company to stop destroying the Amazon rainforest.
Greenpeace forests campaign co-ordinator, Gavin Edwards, said, "Fast food giants like McDonald's are trashing the Amazon for cheap meat. Every time you buy a Chicken McNugget you could be taking a bite out of the Amazon."
As part of a new campaign to tackle the latest threat to the Amazon, Greenpeace has completed a year-long undercover investigation into the global trade in Amazon soya. The findings were published in a new report, "Eating up the Amazon."
McDonald's UK responded by confirming that the company "will be investigating the claim made by Greenpeace in full and will review it for consistency in line with our existing policy not to source beef from recently deforested areas." "McDonald's in the UK sources the majority of its food from the UK and Ireland," the company said. "In 2005, over 17,000 British and Irish farmers supplied the company with ingredients."
Greenpeace says it has documentary evidence that proves the soya from Amazon farms is exported from Santarém, Brazil to Europe, along with non-Amazon soya. "Three U.S. commodities giants, Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill, which control most of Europe's soya market, are fueling the rainforest destruction to grow feed for animals in Europe," Greenpeace said.
The Greenpeace Amazon Soya Crime File is online here.
The full report "Eating up the Amazon," is found here.