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Brazil extends Amazon soy moratorium

July 29, 2009
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A moratorium on the purchase of soybeans grown on illegally logged areas in the Amazon rain forest has been extended for another year, Brazilian vegetable oil producers said reported by the Associated Press. The Brazilian Vegetable Oils Industry Association announced that the moratorium that went into effect three years ago has been extended until July 2010. The renewal was signed by Greenpeace and other environmental groups, by Brazil''s Environment Ministry and by Brazilian and foreign soy traders such as Cargill Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Co., Bunge Ltd. and Louis Dreyfus Commodities. Government figures show a sharp drop in the rate of deforestation, though it is not clear how much of that is due to the soy moratorium. Between August 2008 and May 2009 a total of 2,957 square kilometers (1,140 square miles) of Amazon rain forest were destroyed, against 6,952 square kilometers (2,685 square miles) the year earlier. Sportswear giant Nike Inc. said last week it would stop using leather from cattle raised in Brazil''s Amazon rainforest as part of the company''s commitment to curbing deforestation. Last month, Brazil''s three largest supermarket chains, Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Pao de Acucar, announced that they would suspend contracts with suppliers found to be involved in Amazon deforestation, the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets said on its Web site.
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