03 Jun 2009

Beauty industry is a contributor to the Amazon’s demise, says Greenpeace

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Cattle-based by-products sourced from the Amazon and used in beauty ingredients, such as gelatin, are contributing to the destruction of the Amazon’s natural ecosystem, according to environmental advocacy group, Greenpeace. Entitled "Slaughtering The Amazon," the report shows that the cattle sector in the Amazon is the single largest driver of global deforestation, thereby making Brazil the world’s leading CO2 polluter; approximately 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions are the result of tropical deforestation.

These recent findings could severely implicate many popular brands as their linkages to widespread deforestation in the Amazon are revealed. The report uncovers how cattle by-products from ranches involved in illegal deforestation, the invasion of indigenous lands, and slavery in Brazil are tracked back to the supply chains of top brands, such as Tesco, Gucci, and Kraft. And while it is difficult to measure the exact impact that the beauty sector has on the sourcing of cattle-based by-products, Greenpeace has indicated that the industry’s effect is significant.

Along with beauty products, the report also names pharmaceutical and personal care companies as significant players in the sourcing of such Amazonian-based ingredients.  According to report co-author, Judy Rodrigues, Greenpeace is working to "encourage companies to be more thorough about their sourcing, ensuring greater accountability and choice for consumers."

For more information on Slaughtering The Amazon, view the full Greenpeace report. A view from the cosmetics industry perspective is also accessible via Cosmetics Design-Europe.com.

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