Help Save the Amazon Rainforest — #BoycottBrazilianFood
Brazil’s environment is under siege, as President Jair Bolsonaro has approved hundreds of new toxic pesticides this year and gutted watchdog environment agencies. Among the many dreadful results, news reports indicate that between December 2018 and March 2019, Brazilian beekeepers found more than 500 million dead bees. As the Amazon burns, Indigenous activists are calling on the world to help, and Beyond Pesticides is responding by promoting a boycott started by a Swedish Supermarket owner: #BoycottBrazilianFood.
The Amazon rainforest is the world’s biggest terrestrial carbon sink, and home both to the planet’s richest biodiversity and approximately 400 indigenous tribes. The country has 2300 pesticides registered for use; a total of 290 new toxic pesticides have been approved as of late August 2019.
Swedish supermarket owner Johannes Cullberg started an international boycott in response to Brazil’s approval and use of hazardous pesticides in food production. #BoycottBrazilianFood began in June of 2019 when the total of newly registered pesticides stood at 197. Cullburg declared, “We need to stop (the president) Bolsonaro, he’s a maniac.” The boycott prompted a response from the Brazilian embassy, stating, “…the Embassy wishes to inform you that Brazil, despite being an agricultural powerhouse, is not the biggest user of pesticides. It is ranked 5th or 7th in the World, according to applicable parameters in pesticide studies,” and so on.
Cullberg responded, “I salute you for that fifth-runner up position in 2017, but it seems you might actually win in 2019.” The European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility recorded 4,208 cases of pesticide poisoning and 355 deaths from agricultural chemicals in Brazil in 2016. Culberg contends, “These numbers are far from acceptable to me and should not be to anyone.”
Bolsonaro is insensitive to pleas regarding human or environmental rights. His campaign last year ran on a platform that touted protected lands as an obstacle to economic growth, and committed to removing barriers to commercial exploitation. This has led to more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover loss since Bolsonaro took office in January and the fires that we now see in the Amazon. Local mining groups are clashing with indigenous tribes for land, and there is a lack of enforcement because protective agencies have been crippled by budget cuts. Ewerton Marubo, an indigenous activist, stated bluntly, “Just imagine if all this is destroyed, if the government opens this area up. In two years it will all be gone. The wood will be gone. The fish will be gone. The rivers will all be polluted. All they want is to destroy.”
U.S. total imports of agricultural products from Brazil totaled $3.3 billion in 2018, our 10th largest supplier of agricultural imports. Leading categories include: coffee, unroasted ($934 million), fruit & vegetable juices ($504 million), prepared meats ($281 million), tobacco ($211 million), and essential oils ($145 million).
A boycott of Brazilian food will weaken the industry that stands to gain from environmental exploitation and pesticide poisonings. Defund the destruction of the rainforest. Pledge to #BoycottBrazilianFood and share the message to friends and family today!
This message will be sent to:
- Whole Foods: CEO John Mackey: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Costco: CEO W. Craig Jelinek: email@example.com
- Kroger: CEO Rodney McMullen: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Albertsons (owns Safeway): CEO Vivek Sankaran Vivek_Sankaran@albertsons.com
- Ahold (owns Giant/Martins): CEO Nicholas Bertram email@example.com