|experience:||Researcher and Activist|
The witness wrote to McDonalds concerning their environmental policies and below gives a transcript of their reply and claim of exoneration from using beef reared onpreviously rainforested territory an issue which has now been shown to be false.
My name is Laura Waters and I am a volunteer worker for Veggies, particularly researching information on multinational companies. Full cv:
(not available for this witness)
In January 1994 I wrote to McDonalds Restaurants Ltd in East Finchley, asking them to send me some information particulalry on environmental policies.
In reply McDonalds sent me their own information sheets, one of which was entitled 'Tropical Rainforests', reference: envrain.pm4/sept92.
In this McDonalds stated that "In our Central and South American operations ... (list of countries) ... our suppliers document that McDonalds beef comes from established cattle ranches, not rainforest land" and that "neither the American or the Canadian companies, nor any other McDonald's company, has used, or does use, meat from cattle raised in former rainforests."
This caused me concern because I understood that some of the cattle ranches referred to had been established on ex-rainforest land, a fact denied in this statement. I was concerned that members of the public were being decieved and so brought the matter to the attention of other members of Veggies.
We would firstly like to reassure you of McDonald's commitment to establishing and enforcing responsible environmental practices in all aspects of our business.
McDonald's has always been concerned about the international environment including the clearing of tropical rainforests.
NOWHERE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD DOES McDONALD'S USE OF BEEF THREATEN, OR REMOTELY INVOLVE, TROPICAL RAINFORESTS.
McDonald's has a long-standing policy of buying as many of our products as possible from suppliers in the country where we are doing business.This policy is designed to increase the financial stability of the host country and to assure the freshest and highest quality products.
HERE IN THE UK, WE USE EC-SOURCED AND APPROVED BEEF FOR ALL OUR 100% PURE BEEF HAMBURGERS.
McDonald's does not use any South American or Central American beef for hamburgers sold in the USA or Canada. In these restaurants we serve only 100% pure, USDA-inspected, domestic US beef.
In our Central and South American operations, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and Venezuala our suppliers document that McDonald's beef comes from established cattle ranches, not rainforest land.
All over the world meticulous steps are taken to make sure that our suppliers do not sell us any beef that has been imported or does not meet our rigidly controlled specifications. Not only do we have people monitoring this in our supplier's plants, we also carefully check and double-check invoices, packing documents, government stamps and labels.
McDonald's has exacting standards and we have faith in our suppliers to meet our strict quality controls.
The research and reputation of the World Wildlife Fund (World Wide Fund For Nature) on the subject of the destruction of tropical rainforests is well known. A principle contributor to their research is Dr Norman Myers.
Until approximately May 1983, Dr. Myers had made erroneous assumptions about McDonald's and the rainforests. This came to our attention as a result of a comment made to Mr. George Cohon, the President of McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited, by the President of the World Wildlife Fund, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Following that comment, we brought to Dr. Myer's attention the fact that neither the American or the Canadian companies, nor any other McDonald's company, has used, or does use, meat from cattle reared in former rainforests.
Subsequently, Mr. Cohen was pleased to receive from the Duke of Edinburgh, a letter acknowledging that Dr Myers and the World Wildlife Fund were satisfied that McDonald's were exonerated from any implication in the destruction of rainforests. Please see the attached statements for your further information.
|date signed:||March 3rd, 1994|