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Greenpeace targets Burger King over Amazon fires and deforestation

Demand for meat and animal feed linked to rainforest blazes, but fast food giant says its beef is from UK and Ireland and it sources soy responsibly.

Protester dressed as a monkeys outside Burger King as Greenpeace banner is unveiled (Paul Hackett/Greenpeace/PA)
Protester dressed as a monkeys outside Burger King as Greenpeace banner is unveiled (Paul Hackett/Greenpeace/PA)

By Emily Beament, PA Environment Correspondent

Environmental campaigners have unfurled giant banners at Burger King’s Leicester Square restaurant in London in protest at the Amazon fires and deforestation.

Greenpeace climbers dropped two 10 by 6 metre banners reading Fast Food Fries Forests and Burger King Flame Grilling the Amazon over the building while performers dressed as white-cheeked spider monkeys greeted customers and passers-by.

The green group claims Burger King is sourcing meat and animal feed such as soy or soya from companies linked to destruction of the rainforest and savanna known as the Cerrado in Brazil.

But Burger King UK said all its beef was sourced from UK and Irish farmers and it had a policy on responsible soy sourcing.

Environmentalists warn that demand for land to ranch cattle and grow soy, most of which is fed to animals, is leading to the burning of forests in Brazil, hitting people and wildlife that live in them and releasing vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere.

Tens of thousands of blazes have engulfed huge tracts of the Amazon rainforest and surrounding areas this year, significantly up on last year’s fires, Greenpeace said.

Greenpeace head of forests Richard George said: “The Amazon is still burning, yet Burger King keeps buying meat and animal feed from the companies responsible for the crisis. Their burgers are flame-grilling the Amazon.

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Greenpeace targets Burger King over Amazon fires and deforestation (Paul Hackett/Greenpeace/PA)

“Growing demand for meat from fast food giants like Burger King is leading to vast areas of Brazilian forests being destroyed for cattle ranches and animal feed.

“Burger King must stop buying meat and soya from Brazil until the Amazon and its people are protected.”

Greenpeace warned soy is the second largest driver of deforestation globally, much of it comes from Brazil and 90% of it goes into animal feed.

A statement from Burger King said:  “We invited Greenpeace to engage in a discussion with us last Wednesday, September 18, but we are still yet to receive a response from their team – we would welcome a discussion with them on this important topic.

“Burger King UK only source 100% British and Irish beef.

“Burger King UK has a clear sustainable soy policy setting out the legal, environmental and social requirements of sustainably sourced soy.

“We work in partnership with our suppliers to ensure that our ingredients and raw materials are sourced in a sustainable way, with minimal impact to the environment.”

PA

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