News media from around the world are reporting on studies that find soy and coconut crops are causing devastating deforestation in the Amazon and other rainforest regions. “A fifth of Brazilian soy in Europe is the result of deforestation,” reports The Guardian. This comes as Malaysia has filed suit against the EU for discriminating against the use of certified sustainable palm oil.
The Guardian cites a study published in Science which found that, “roughly 20% of soy exports and at least 17% of beef exports from both biomes to the EU may be contaminated with illegal deforestation.” The Guardian had previously reported that two major UK supermarkets had soy products in their supply chains that are linked to deforestation.
“In the UK, only about 27% of soy is officially certified as not being associated with deforestation or destruction of other natural habitats, but two-thirds of the soy imported comes from countries with high deforestation rates,” reported The Guardian.
Meanwhile, Food Ingredients First is the latest to report on study, gaining international attention, out of the UK’s University of Exeter that found, “Coconut oil threatens more species per liter produced than palm or other vegetable oils.” The article notes that coconut is mostly grown and harvested on tropical islands where there are many unique species.
The article quotes lead study author Erik Meijaard of Borneo Futures, “The outcome of our study came as a surprise. Many consumers in the West think of coconut products as both healthy and their production relatively harmless for the environment. As it turns out, we need to think again about the impacts of coconut.”