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Billions of Consumers Buy Products Made by a Company That’s Destroying Rainforests | Take Action Tuesday @EarthFoodLife

July 28, 2020
Killing nature: Land clearing in Kalimantan, Indonesia, in July 2007. Deforestation to create palm oil plantations has devastated the nation’s natural ecosystems, including wildlife habitats for critically endangered Sumatran elephants. (Photo credit: Ryan Woo/Center for International Forestry Research/Flickr)

Rainforest Rescue: Unilever’s “sustainable palm oil” is an empty promise. Its palm oil supplier, Wilmar, is destroying one of the largest mangrove forests in Indonesia—and this is only one of many such cases. Tell Unilever to get palm oil out of its products and stop profiting from the destruction of nature. Unilever’s brands “are used by 2.5 billion people every day,” as the consumer-goods giant proclaims on its website. The key raw material for products such as Dove, Flora and Ponds: palm oil. Rainforests are being destroyed and people driven from their land to produce this cheap tropical vegetable oil. Unilever claims to use “sustainable” palm oil. Yet the grim reality is that Unilever’s supplier Wilmar buys palm oil that was produced on recently cleared rainforest land. Rainforest Rescue’s Indonesian partners have uncovered one of many instances of destruction and violence for palm oil currently taking place: Kubu Raya district is located on the west coast of Borneo, a remote dream landscape where mangrove forests line the rivers and coastline and proboscis monkeys come to greet the rare boats. Its mangrove and peat swamp forests are among the most extensive and biodiverse in Indonesia. Yet the beauty of nature does not stop businessmen looking to make a quick profit, and oil palm plantations are pushing into Kubu Raya. PT Sintang Raya has a brutal business mode—the palm oil company considers itself above the law, terrorizing local people and flattening mangrove forests for its plantations. PT Sintang Raya is one of the producers that supplies oil to Wilmar, the world’s largest palm oil trader, which sells it to companies like Unilever. The Leuser Ecosystem on Sumatra—the last place on the planet where elephants, rhinoceros, tigers and orangutans share a habitat—is also impacted: According to a Rainforest Action Network investigation, Wilmar is selling palm oil produced on freshly cleared rainforest land to various multinationals, including Unilever.
>>>Urge Unilever to eliminate palm oil from their products and get rainforest destruction out of their supply chain.

Environmental Working Group: Tests conducted by the Environmental Working Group have found shockingly high levels of cancer-linked glyphosate in popular PepsiCo products like Quaker Oats and Sabra Hummus. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, and California state scientists agree that glyphosate is linked to cancer, but Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, has led a misinformation campaign to cover up any evidence linking glyphosate to cancer. Glyphosate is the key ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s signature herbicide Roundup, the most widely used pesticide in the U.S. Despite their claims that glyphosate is safe, Bayer recently agreed to pay $10 billion in a settlement over claims Roundup causes cancer in people. But PepsiCo continues to allow this dangerous chemical in their food. This is unacceptable. Consumers and parents shouldn’t have to worry about cancer-linked pesticides in food.
>>>Urge PepsiCo to get cancer-linked glyphosate out of popular foods like Sabra Hummus and Quaker Oats.

Care2: The Tennessee legislature is considering an important animal rights bill, HB 1643, that would prevent convicted animal abusers from owning a companion animal for at least two years after their conviction. Introduced by Rep. Darren Jernigan (D-60), the bill would also authorize courts to impose a lifetime ban against ownership of a companion animal by anyone convicted of animal cruelty, including animal abuse, animal fighting and bestiality. “Tennessee lawmakers have remained focused on curbing animal abuse in the state,” reports NBC News, noting that in 2016, the state became the first in the nation to formally establish an animal abuse registry to track residents convicted of aggravated animal cruelty.
>>>Urge the Tennessee State Legislature to pass HB 1643 to give animals the protection they deserve.

Cause for concern…

The heat is on: Salmon leaping at the Ballard Locks in Seattle. (Photo credit: Ingrid Taylar/Flickr)

“Sixty per cent of studied fish species will be unable to survive in their current ranges by 2100 if climate warming reaches a worst-case scenario of 4-5C (7.2-9F) above pre-industrial temperatures, researchers have found,” reports Valerie Yurk for the Guardian.

Round of applause…

Friend, not food: Michelle Alvarez, director of outreach and special Events at Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, New York, spends some quality time with a friend who will never be killed for food. (Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals)

Parting thought…

River runs deep: The Yellowstone River has carved down more than 1,000 feet to create the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. (Photo credit: Diane Renkin/U.S. National Park Service)

“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.” —Rachel Carson

Earth | Food | Life (EFL) explores the critical and often interconnected issues facing the climate/environment, food/agriculture and nature/animal rights, and champions action; specifically, how responsible citizens, voters and consumers can help put society on an ethical path of sustainability that respects the rights of all species who call this planet home. EFL emphasizes the idea that everything is connected, so every decision matters.

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Questions, comments, suggestions, submissions? Contact EFL editor Reynard Loki at [email protected]. Follow EFL on Twitter @EarthFoodLife.

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