Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

  • Dansk
  • NL
  • EN
  • FI
  • FR
  • DE
  • EL
  • IT
  • NO
  • PL
  • PT
  • RO
  • SL
  • ES
  • SV

Soy Round Table fails on all fronts

Soy Round Table allows further deforestation. Brazilian soy farmers walk out.At the May 28 meeting of the Round Table on Responsible soy, criteria were agreed that will allow further deforestation, and GM RoundupReady soy to be labelled 'responsible'. NGOs WWF and Solidaridad nevertheless support the outcome. Brazilian soy farmers and an Argentinean NGO walked out. At the May 28 meeting of the Round Table on Responsible soy, criteria have been agreed that will allow further deforestation, and GM RoundupReady soy to be labelled 'responsible'. NGOs WWF and Solidaridad nevertheless support the outcome. Brazilian soy farmers and an Argentinean NGO walked out.

On May 28, the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) held its general assembly to vote on criteria for responsible soy. These had been heavily criticised by many environemental organisations and peasant movements. Within the RTRS, there was deep disagreement about whether and what biodiversity-criterion to adopt, a key element.

At the last minute, the Executive Board published criteria, which could allow responsible soy to be grown on land that was deforested as recently as May 2009. Even soy fields on recently cut prime rainforest can produce responsible soy. Worse still, soy can be labelled responsible from land deforested after May 2009 too, if the producer can demonstrate that it was not prime forest or High Conservation Value (HCV) area, or ‘local peoples’ land’ (not further defined).

This was too much even for the Brazilian association of soy producers APROSOJA, who physically walked out and cancelled their RTRS membership. Unilever representative Jan Kees Vis downplayed the importance of APROSOJA by saying they “only” produce 8% of world soybeans. This might seem little, but it is not. At the level of Brazil, APROSOJA reportedly counts for 25% of Brazilian soy production.

Representative of development NGO Solidaridad Jan Maarten Dros commented on the issue in a Dutch newspaper. He said “it is positive that APROSOJA is still willing to talk, be it under new conditions”. What conditions, we may wonder, and not a very promising negotiation strategy. Solidaridad has become the new President of the RTRS.

Argentinean NGO FUNDAPAZ has also walked out, as they don’t find the criteria strong enough, and don’t see a further role for themselves to play. This means the illegitimacy of the RTRS has only increased. After the May 28 vote, the next day Friends of the Earth Netherlands protested in front of AHOLD, a Dutch supermarket chain, who is hiding behind being member of the RTRS in order not having to take real steps to address the soy issue. (See www.milieudefensie.nl ) To date, 2400 people from around the world have sent emails to WWF, Solidaridad, AHOLD, Carrefour and other RTRS members to disbandon the RTRS via the website www.toxicsoy.org.

On May 28, the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) held its general assembly to vote on criteria for responsible soy. These had been heavily criticised by many environemental organisations and peasant movements. Within the RTRS, there was deep disagreement about whether and what biodiversity-criterion to adopt, a key element. At the last minute, the Executive Board published criteria, which could allow responsible soy to be grown on land that was deforested as recently as May 2009. Even soy fields on recently cut prime rainforest can produce responsible soy. Worse still, soy can be labelled responsible from land deforested after May 2009 too, if the producer can demonstrate that it was not prime forest or High Conservation Value (HCV) area, or ‘local peoples’ land’ (not further defined). This was too much even for the Brazilian association of soy producers APROSOJA, who physically walked out and cancelled their RTRS membership. Unilever representative Jan Kees Vis downplayed the importance of APROSOJA by saying they “only” produce 8% of world soybeans. This might seem little, but it is not. At the level of Brazil, APROSOJA reportedly counts for 25% of Brazilian soy production. Representative of development NGO Solidaridad Jan Maarten Dros commented on the issue in a Dutch newspaper. He said “it is positive that APROSOJA is still willing to talk, be it under new conditions”. What conditions, we may wonder, and not a very promising negotiation strategy. Solidaridad has become the new President of the RTRS. Argentinean NGO FUNDAPAZ has also walked out, as they don’t find the criteria strong enough, and don’t see a further role for themselves to play. This means the illegitimacy of the RTRS has only increased. After the May 28 vote, the next day Friends of the Earth Netherlands protested in front of AHOLD, a Dutch supermarket chain, who is hiding behind being member of the RTRS in order not having to take real steps to address the soy issue. (See www.milieudefensie.nl ) To date, 2400 people from around the world have sent emails to WWF, Solidaridad, AHOLD, Carrefour and other RTRS members to disbandon the RTRS via the website www.toxicsoy.org.
 
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) told CEO today, and publicly announced on their website, that they would disclose most of the raw data of studies on glyphosate used in the EU's toxicity assessment of glyphosate.

The European Commission's upcoming regulation proposal for acrylamide, a dangerous contaminant formed in many starchy foods when cooked at high temperatures, relies on codes of best practices developed by food industry lobby groups.

Corporate Europe Observatory's new report 'A spoonful of sugar' illustrates how the sugar lobby undermines existing laws and fights off much-needed measures that are vital for tackling Europe’s looming obesity crisis.

This week's European Commission decision to extend Glyphosate's market authorisation points to many broader problems - here is a CEO overview of the issues at large.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) yesterday announced it will release the majority of the raw study data used in its toxicity assessment of glyphosate. This is a welcome step towards greater regulatory transparency.
The latest revelations about ‘Steelie’ Neelie Kroes show that, when it comes to ethics and transparency, the Commission is complaisant about conflicts of interest and far too relaxed about the risk of corporate capture.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) told CEO today, and publicly announced on their website, that they would disclose most of the raw data of studies on glyphosate used in the EU's toxicity assessment of glyphosate.
In an attempt to fix its public image, Dieselgate-shaken Volkswagen names former EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard as member of its new ‘Sustainability Council’. Although the role is unpaid, it is highly questionable whether Volkswagen is actually committed to making up for its previous foul play.
 
 
 
 
 
-- placeholder --
 
 
 

The corporate lobby tour