Scientists and indigenous groups right to raise alarm about impact of EU trade

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Brussels – Over 600 scientists from across Europe and representatives of 300 Indigenous groups from Brazil have called on the European Union to make trade talks with Brazil conditional on the protection of human rights and the environment.

In a letter published in the journal Science on Thursday, the signatories condemned the forest destruction and human rights violations linked to EU imports of beef and animal feed from Brazil.

Commenting on the letter, Greenpeace trade expert Sebastian Bock said: “The EU must make sure the food we eat and what we buy do not contribute to human rights violations and the destruction of forests and other ecosystems in Brazil or anywhere else. It must stop pursuing a trade policy that ignores human, climate and environmental costs in order to maximise profits for a handful of multinationals. Trade cannot be an excuse to rob people of their rights and their future.”

While the European Commission has promised to table a plan this spring to address the impact of European consumption on the world’s forests, it continues to put trade ahead of commitments on climate action and environmental protection.

Last week, European governments approved a Commission plan to restart trade talks with the US, despite concerns over president Donald Trump’s intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement. The European Parliament has called for ratification and implementation of the UN Paris climate agreement to be a requirement for trade deals with the EU.



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