The environment group Greenpeace launched a campaign against McDonald's, accusing the US restaurant chain of abetting the destruction of the Brazilian rainforest by buying meat raised from Amazonian soya.
Greenpeace protestors staged colourful but peaceful demonstrations at several McDonald's restaurants in Britain and Germany, it said in a press release.
Protesters dressed as chickens demonstrate outside a McDonald's fast food outlet in central London April 6, 2006. The direct action at stores across Britain was in response to a report from pressure group Greenpeace claiming a role played by the fast food company in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. REUTERS/Toby Melville
"Fast-food giants like McDonald's are trashing the Amazon for cheap meat. Every time you buy a Chicken McNugget, you could be taking a bite out of the Amazon," said the group's campaign coordinator on forests, Gavin Edwards.
A study published last month in the British scientific journal Nature said that, on present trends, cattle ranchers and soybean farmers will have destroyed 40 percent of the Amazonian forest by 2050.
Greenpeace said three US commodities giants -- Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland and Bunge -- control 60 percent of soya production in Brazil.
The soya is then used to feed farm animals in Europe, and some of the meat is then purchased by McDonald's, it said.
"Cargill, which is leading the invasion, has done deals with unscrupulous farms that have illegally grabbed and deforest areas of public and indigenous land. Some have even used slave labour," said Greenpeace.
It added that Cargill had "illegally built its own port in the heart of the Amazon" to facilitate the soya trade.
Copyright © 2006 Agence France Presse