Over 235 organisations oppose Round Table on Responsible Soy

A proposed new label for ‘responsible’ soy will not stop deforestation, 235 civil society groups from across the globe warned in a letter today, ahead of a conference set to finalise the labeling scheme in Sao Paulo, Brazil.[1] The 235 groups, including Friends of the Earth International and Corporate Europe Observatory, have written to oppose the Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) certification scheme, which they say could facilitate soy oil being used to meet the EU target for biofuels. This is despite evidence that soy biodiesel is worse for climate emissions than fossil fuels. [2]

Dutch Parliament: critical debate Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS)

On Thursday 10 September, the Dutch Parliament discussed the outcomes of the last RTRS-conference in Brazil last May, where a set of 'Principles and Criteria' for 'responsible soy' was agreed upon. The Dutch Parliament had called on both the Ministers of Agriculture and Development Cooperation to be present at the debate. Both Ministries support the RTRS financially and politically.

New article: Brazil's Agrofuel Push

Monday 17 November, Corporate Europe Observatory Press Release

Groups Highlight Brazilian Government’s Damaging Agrofuel Push

Brazilian agrofuels, including ethanol from sugarcane, should not be accepted by the EU as sustainable, campaigners said today (Monday) in a joint open letter [1], published as EU representatives attend an International Biofuel Conference, hosted by Brazil, where leaders are expected to push for greater reliance on agrofuels [2].

The call comes as the EU prepares to decide on the Renewable Energy Directive, including mandatory targets to promote the use of agrofuel (fuel from crops) in transport [3].

New research, published by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) alongside the letter to European decision makers shows how the Brazilian government is engaged in a global campaign to expand its agrofuel industry, including the promotion of projects in developing countries, some of which are funded from European aid budgets [4].

International Biofuel Conference (17-21 November) in Sao Paulo ethanol propaganda show - African countries on the sell out

From 17 to 21 of November, the Brazilian government organised the International Biofuels Conference , aimed to promote global trade in agrofuels. 'Sustainability' criteria and 'marginal lands' were major themes at the conference, as well as trade barriers and innovation. At the same time, a coalition of Brazilian and international organisations and movements held a counter seminar "Agrofuels as an obstacle to food and energy sovereignty". The final declaration of this forum was read out during a press event inside the official conference. <

La Soja Mata was at the counter seminar, and went inside the official conference. Below you will find some impressions.

UNICA was one of the winners of the 2008 EU Worst Lobbying Awards. See the video about the Sao Paolo events made for this occasion:

Corporate Europe Observatory simultaneously published an article, highlighting the role of the Brazilian government and agribusiness in boosting agrofuel production and trade, both in Latin America and in African countries. See press release elsewhere on this site. Link to the article:

Sustainable soy or destruction under green image?

On Monday october 15th, 2007, in Wageningen (The Netherlands), a conference is being held on "Sustainable Agriculture in Brazil. Responsable soy for food, feed and fuel" On this conference the Brazilian soy lobby, Brazilian minister of agriculture and researchers will talk about strategies to develop and 'realise'sustainable soy production. Various organisations however think that the emphasis should be to stop the expansion of soy production and consumption.

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't?

Why the production of agrofuels offers no solution to global climate problems, but rather creates and intensifies already existing social and ecological problems.

september 2007 - Reto Sonderegger, Asunción, Paraguay
Translation : Anton Pieper, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Presently the Amazonian rain forest is burning in 70.000 different places. The planet's green lung is getting more permeable while steadily drying out. The evapotranspiration capacities are being drastically decreased by the loss of biomass, the deforestation and slashing and burning to expand the cultivable land for soy and sugarcane, or the creation of new feedlots for the extensive cattle rearing. The blushing holds off and therefore consequentially also the rain. This results in an agricultural loss of production and some even fear an infernal conflagration that wipes out the rest of the dried out Amazonia.

Syngenta Threatens to Violently Expel the Family Farmers of the Via Campesina from the Free Land encampment: Act Now!

The multinational Syngenta Seeds is pressuring the Governor of the State of Paraná to expel the family farmers of the Via Campesina currently residing on the Free Land encampment with police force.

The 120 families occupied the área more than a year ago, in protest to the environmental crime committed by Syngenta. The multinational illegally cultivated genetically-modified soy and corn at the site, within the protective zoner of the Iguaçu National Park. The family farmers demanded that Syngenta pay the fine of US$ 465,000, imposed on the corporation by the IBAMA, the federal environmental agency. In November of 2006, the Governor of Paraná expropriated Syngenta´s site, and planned to turn the area into an agroecological research center.

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