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Amid protests, Argentina postpones mega trade deal with China to produce pig

Video Credit: Newsflare - Duration: 03:45s - Published
Amid protests, Argentina postpones mega trade deal with China to produce pig

Amid protests, Argentina postpones mega trade deal with China to produce pig

The Argentine Foreign Ministry led by Felipe Solá reported from his Twitter account that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with China that was scheduled to be signed today is postponed until November.

“We have specially incorporated into the Memorandum of Understanding with China an article that ensures respect for the laws of environmental protection, natural resources, and biosafety.

For this reason, the signature will be delayed until November ”, it was officially reported from the Foreign Ministry on the social network.

In recent weeks, criticism and demonstrations in the streets have multiplied from different sectors that prioritize the protection of nature and the rights of animals over the eventual economic benefit of the measure.

The initiative foresees investments of almost US $ 3.8 billion over the next four years and aims to increase pork production by 882,000 tons and generate exports of US $ 2,500, which will be destined solely for the Chinese market.

According to the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation, pork is the most consumed worldwide, with China being the country that consumes almost half of the total global production.

During 2019, the Asian country suffered an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) that forced the slaughter of more than 1,000,000 pigs, which were buried and remained alive to prevent the spread of the disease.

This made Argentina appear as a fundamental actor for China to provide itself with this meat.

Achieving those almost 900,000 tons would imply increasing the stock of animals by almost 10,000,000, adding millions of tons of corn and soybeans that the pigs should eat, plus drinking water for drinking, considerably increasing the emissions of Greenhouse Gas.

(GHG) of the pig sector.

The main critic's highlight that the draft agreement does not take into account previous studies that allow measuring the risk of the impact and does not contemplate the participation of citizens and local communities.

The organizations participating in the protests criticize the role of Argentine Foreign Minister Felipe Solá in the agreement with China, who in the 90s was Minister of Agroindustry while the development of transgenic soybeans in the country and the consequent use of the glyphosate herbicide were authorized.

The development of transgenic soy cultivation in Argentina is considered the main environmental problem in the country, at a time when forest fires hit Argentina.

According to the numbers of different organizations, more than 175,000 hectares are under fire.

Even government sources, such as the Minister of the Environment Juan Cabandié, have declared that most of the fires are intentional, with the extension of the agrarian frontier for the cultivation of soybeans and transgenic corn and land for grazing the main causes.

Environmental analysts agree that, if the agreement with China is signed, the growth in demand for corn and soybeans to feed pigs could further increase the country's environmental problems. Another of the potential problems of pig mega-deal is the use of water.

On the one hand, the contamination of the watersheds as a result of the waste from the pig industry.

Among the requirements that, according to the reports, will be demanded of the production fields, are access to 1.5 million liters of water per day and capacity to plant soybeans and corn in the vicinity.

The detractors of the project maintain that water is a scarce resource that must be managed prudently, and question whether crops that could be used for human consumption are used to fatten pigs for export.

They also reject the promotion of monocultures that deplete fertile soil, the proposed accumulation of animal waste in ponds, as a source of contamination, and the anticipated use of antibiotics among pigs.

“This is an agreement that will benefit agribusiness and antibiotic laboratories, NOT the people.

We must unite to defend what is ours and begin to build an agroecological and sovereign country.

Exploitation is NOT progress ”, assured the message of the organizers in which they called for the mobilization.


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