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Greenpeace shuts down soya export terminal

Greenpeace shuts down soya export terminal of leading Amazon destroyer

European companies urged to reject criminal cargo from Cargill

Sao Paulo/London 19 May 2006 - A team of climbers from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise shut down Cargill's illegal soya export facility in the heart of the Amazon rainforest today. The soya, which is exported to Europe as animal feed, is grown in deforested areas of the Amazon rainforest.

Climbers are trying to occupy the roof and conveyor belts of Cargill's facility where they have displayed a banner reading 'Fora Cargill' - 'Cargill get out'. Other volunteers are also trying to prevent soya being unloaded from barges into the facility. Meanwhile, the Arctic Sunrise is attempting to occupy the dock of the facility, preventing barges of soy from arriving and unloading, but is being rammed by a Cargill vessel. Cargill workers on the dock are reacting violently, and one activist has been thrown in the river. Eight people have been arrested so far.

Greenpeace Amazon Forest Campaign Coordinator, Paulo Adario, said: "American corporations like Cargill are eating up the Amazon to grow soya. Meat fed on this soya ends up on supermarket shelves and fast food counters, like Tesco and Kentucky Fried Chicken, across Europe. Our volunteers will stay here as long as possible to prevent soya from the world's most precious rainforest being exported to Europe to feed chickens, pigs and cows."

Recent Greenpeace investigations documented in 'Eating up the Amazon' (1), shows that the Cargill export facility is not only illegal (2) but is also laundering soya from illegal deforestation to the world market (3). It operates 13 silos in the Amazon rainforest - more than any other company.

Soya is now a leading cause of rainforest destruction in the Brazilian Amazon. In total, an estimated 1.2 million hectares of what used to be rainforest have already - mostly illegally - been destroyed to grow soybeans. Cargill makes no secret of helping establish soya farms in the Amazon, some of whom are complicit in other illegal activities such as land grabbing and slavery

"US corporations like Cargill must stop seeing the Amazon as a place to expand their soya businesses, and instead see it as the world's greatest rainforest that's in need of urgent protection," said Greenpeace International forest campaign coordinator, Gavin Edwards.

In recent weeks, Greenpeace has taken action in Europe against soya imports from Cargill's Amazon port, including preventing soya ships unloading in Amsterdam. Cargill responded to allegations yesterday claiming that it had an 'environmentally friendly' approach to encouraging soya plantations in the Amazon. But it has made no commitment to curb ongoing deforestation, and will not actually ensure protection of the Amazon.

Greenpeace is calling on Cargill and the European food industry to ensure that the soya and animal feed they buy and use does not contribute to the destruction of the Amazon and that none of their soya products are genetically engineered.

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.

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