The Amazon rainforest is being used to satisfy global beef demand. According to a new investigation by The Guardian, 800 million trees were cut down in six years due to cattle ranching, which accounts for 80 percent of the current deforestation throughout the Amazon.
Brazil is the top exporter of beef globally, Causes.com reported.
“The destruction of the Amazon is not only a Brazilian affair,” Delara Burkhardt, European Parliment member, said. “It is also an affair of other parts of the world, like the EU, the UK, or China that import Amazon deforestation. That is why the consumer countries should enact supply chain laws to make sure that the meat they import is produced without inducing deforestation.”
Data revealed that “approximately 4.2 million acres of Amazon rainforest were destroyed near global meat plants” despite Brazil’s beef industry’s pledge to avoid farms linked to deforestation, Causes.com reported. Therefore, the European Parliament approved a regulation in April on deforestation-free products, “which prohibits the placement of a number of agricultural and livestock products originating from deforested or degraded forest areas on the EU market,” Lexology reported.
“I hope that the new EU law against imported deforestation will be a blueprint for other major importers like China to follow,” Burkhardt said.
Experts believe that an effective way to end deforestation is to educate and encourage consumers to purchase sustainably produced meat from “non-rainforest cleared areas.”
“Consumers simply cannot rely on the representations of corporations when they are deciding whether or not to purchase a product,” Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said.
Sen. Schatz and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) introduced legislation to ban different commodities that originated from illegally deforested land from entering the United States last year, The Washington Post reported.
“Our bill will give people the security to be sure that what they’re purchasing is not destroying ecosystems and kicking native people off of their land,” Schatz said.