Eating the Amazon

Brazil's soy king does not, repeat, does not, speak for the trees.

By Andrew Leonard

Published April 29, 2008 10:35AM (EDT)

In 2005, reports MongaBay, Greenpeace gave Blairo "the King of Soy" Maggi, governor of the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil, a "'Golden Chainsaw award' for being 'the Brazilian person who most contributed to Amazon destruction.'"

Mato Grosso is the center of Brazilian soybean production. And in this case, no one can accuse Greenpeace of the crime of hyperbole. On Friday, the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper quoted Maggi's straight talk on deforestation.

"With the worsening of the global food crisis, the time is coming when it will be inevitable to discuss whether we preserve the environment or produce more food. There is no way to produce more food without occupying more land and taking down more trees. In this moment of crisis, the world needs to understand that the country has space to raise its production."

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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