Business, Economics and Jobs

JBS Brazil to sue Greenpeace


A photo released by Brazil's environment ministry shows a deforested area in the rain forest in the southern Para state.


Jefferson Ruddy

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil's JBS said on Wednesday it will sue Greenpeace for claiming the world's largest meat company has aided in the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

According to Reuters, Greenpeace released a report this week accusing JBS of breaking an accord the company signed in 2009 — along with other Brazilian meat packers — promising not to buy cattle raised on deforested land. Greenpeace claimed JBS purchased cattle raised on Indian reserves and other restricted land.

More from GlobalPost: Brazilian ranchers accused of illegally clearing land

JBS said the report could cause it a loss in sales, but didn't say what damages it would seek, reported the Associated Press. Greenpeace said its accusations are based on its field investigators' observations and on information in reports from Ibama, Brazil's environmental protection agency.

"In researching JBS's business practices, Greenpeace has found, once again, numerous new cases of JBS purchasing cattle directly and indirectly from farms involved in illegal deforestation, invasion of protected areas and indigenous lands, and also of farms using slave labor," the group said in a statement to the AP.

JBS rebutted, saying a number of Greenpeace's points were factually incorrect, according to Fox Business. The company said some of the ranchers Greenpeace identified were only blacklisted by Ibama after JBS bought cattle from them, and other ranchers were never blacklisted at all. The meat company also said the suppliers alleged by Greenpeace to operate on Indian lands were either not JBS suppliers or were located on land that was not reserved for indigenous peoples.

Reuters also reported that Greenpeace released a report in October 2011 with similar accusations that JBS also denied at the time.