True Costs of Cheap Meat

10 Nov 2009

A new investigation has revealed that the cheap meat sold in supermarkets across Europe is arriving at a severe cost to the environment and human rights in one of Latin America’s most impoverished countries. The film Killing Fields: the battle to feed factory farms exposes that vast plantations of soy destined for animal feed in intensive farms, are causing an array of problems including deforestation, excessive pesticide use, poisoning, rising food insecurity, forced displacement of rural communities, violence, landlessness and poverty.

Soy, prized for use as animal feed as it provides a cheap source of protein, is now produced in increasingly large quantities in Paraguay – a country attracting agribusiness because of its cheap land prices, poor environmental regulations and widespread corruption. The growth of export-orientation soy production in Paraguay has led to the destruction of vast areas of forest, threatening biodiversity and depleting food resources for rural communities.

Ninety percent of soy production is thought to be genetically modified, dependant on applications of large amounts of pesticides and other chemicals linked to environmental degradation and health problems among locals. The film also investigates the forced removal of indigenous people, whose protests are commonly met with seldom-reported violence.

Produced by Friends of the Earth, Food and Water Watch and Via Campesina in conjunction with the Ecologist Film Unit, the film was released in response to international concern over global food security and the looming threat of acute hunger in the world’s poorest countries. It is planned to be used to highlight the unsustainable nature of modern food production, and raise awareness of the real cost of factory farming systems supplying Europe’s cheap meat and dairy. 

Source: The Ecologist

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