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Factory Farms and Industrial Soy

GM soy-fuelled factory farms are not inevitable, they are a choice. Food & Water Europe chooses small and family farms because the produce the humane, quality food people want and the environment needs while nurturing rural communities.

DID YOU KNOW
  • The average EU consumer now eats 56 kilos of “hidden” soy every year, much of which is genetically modified (GM), used to produce meat, milk and eggs without most shoppers ever knowing it is there.
  • This industrial soy/factory farm vicious circle drives small farmers everywhere off the land, either to make way for soy plantations or because their responsible meat and dairy production can’t keep up. Now some want to expand this problem into factory fish farming, too. Learn more.
  • The Roundtable on Responsible Soy sets its own standards for its “responsible” soy label, but it has no independent monitoring or enforcement, so consumers are likely to be misled.

U.S.-style factory farms are moving into the EU, forcing food quality down to push corporate profits up and driving smaller operations, often run by families, out of business. Food & Water Europe thinks agriculture policies should support farmers, not factory farms, to help build strong rural economies which deliver the kind of healthy, ethical food and farming Europe wants.

Europe is addicted to industrial soy imports to fuel these factory farms. This is a new problem. Until 1995, Europe was growing its own soy, and production was on the rise: EU soybean output nearly tripled from 1980 to 1990, and imports were steady.

This didn’t suit everyone. U.S. agribusiness claimed a 53 per cent reduction in their exports and wanted something done. So trade agreements restricting what European farmers can grow were part of setting up the World Trade Organization (WTO). Since then, EU soy production has plummeted and imports are up 57.1 per cent. Now EU soy imports are big business, dependent on factory farms to survive.

The Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) is a group of multinational traders (such as Cargill), agribusinesses (such as Monsanto), processors (such as Nestlé) and food retailers trying to greenwash industrial soy, including GM soy. Read more in our press release, “New ‘responsible’ soya label meets global rejection” and our press briefing, “Over 25.000 people tell Ahold: stop misleading consumers, genetically modified toxic soy is not responsible!”

GM soy-fuelled factory farms are not inevitable, they are a choice. Food & Water Europe chooses small and family farms because they produce the humane, quality food which people want and the environment needs — while nurturing rural communities.

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