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new report has been released focused on a study of the meat industry. Published by Mighty Earth, the researchers have found evidence that links the industry with “astounding” large-scale deforestation, environmental destruction and human rights abuses. The geographical locations focused on primarily concern regions in Argentina and Paraguay, associated with global meat producers.

Soy production is expanding across Latin America’s agricultural frontier, a global hotspot for deforestation. Large companies like the American agribusinesses Cargill and Bunge are driving the destruction of ancient native ecosystems and the wildlife habitat they contain to make way for industrial soy monocultures.

Europe and China are two markets noted for relying heavily on imported soy, used for the production of meat, dairy and poultry. One of the key issues when it comes to company transparency and reliable consumer information, has to do with slightly deceiving promotion of European meats as either or both sustainable and locally produced. The researchers note that while this may be true, the feed used for meat production is associated with a distinctly destructive reality.

Major European supermarket chains like Carrefour, Lidl, Tesco, Aldi, Marks and Spencer and Ahold Delhaize know that many consumers are concerned about the outsized ecological and health impact of meat consumption. As a result, they frequently market their meat and dairy products as sustainable and locally produced. While the chickens, pigs, and cows that they sell are normally raised in Europe, the feed consumed by the livestock often comes from thousands of miles away, and has a much bigger impact on the environment. As such, the locally grown labeling only represents half the truth about the origins of this meat.

The report is accessible, and can be read here.

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