WWF: Average EU citizen consumes 61 kg of soy per year, most from soy embedded in meat, dairy, eggs and fish

Posted on May, 18 2015

A new research report commissioned by WWF concluded that the average EU citizen consumes 61 kg of soy yearly, 93% (57 kg) of which is embedded as animal feed in the animal products that most consumers eat daily.
Brussels, Belgium - A new research report commissioned by WWF concluded that the average EU citizen consumes 61 kg of soy yearly, 93% (57 kg) of which is embedded as animal feed in the animal products that most consumers eat daily. 
The highest amount of embedded soy (109 grams per 100 grams) was found in chicken breast, closely followed by eggs (35 grams of soy per egg of 55 grams), salmon steaks (59 grams soy per 100 grams), pork chops (51 grams soy per 100 grams of meat), hamburgers (46 grams soy per 100 grams) and cheese (25 grams of soy per 100 grams).
WWF has highlighted this information and more in an interactive infographic that was launched in social media today, just prior the opening of the annual conference of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS RT10) taking place in Brussels on May 19 and 20.  The statistics on EU soy consumption contained in the infographic are drawn from a new WWF-commissioned research report by Profundo, Mapping the Soy Supply Chain in Europe.
A key part of the global food supply, soy is a beneficial, high-protein crop that can have negative impacts on people and the environment if grown irresponsibly. Its explosive growth over the past 50 years has come at the expense of millions of hectares of forest, grassland and savannah that have been converted to agriculture around the world, and in particular in South America, either directly or indirectly as a result of the soy boom. 
“Most European consumers have no idea how much soy is embedded in their favourite meat, dairy, eggs and farmed fish products,” stated Sandra Mulder, acting lead for WWF’s soy team, “Even less understood is how this hidden soy has had a devastating impact on some of the worlds’ most valuable ecosystems, such as the Amazon, Cerrado and Gran Chaco.”
“WWF feels that a crucial short term strategy is for companies that buy soy or animal products raised with soy in Europe to make commitments to responsible soy and start buying it now.  This will send an immediate message to producers in South America that EU buyers want soy that has not been produced at the expense of nature, soy workers or communities in soy growing areas.
“It is time consumers start to realize how their consumption can be linked to irresponsible practices. Companies providing these products can no longer wait and need to act. Frontrunner companies in the retail and dairy industries are already showing that sourcing responsibly produced soy is both possible and feasible.”
WWF urges EU consumers to take action and contact their favourite retailers, fast food companies and brands to ask them to source responsible soy such as that produced under the Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS) scheme, or for markets favouring non-GM soy, RTRS-non GM or ProTerra soy.  WWF also urges consumption of animal protein in line with national health guidelines.
In 2014 WWF issued the Soy Report Card which evaluated the progress of 88 European retailers, manufacturers, meat and egg and feed companies on their actions on responsible soy and found that, despite a few positive exceptions, European companies are not doing enough to promote responsible soy production.
WWF intends to update its Soy Report Card in 2016, reviewing the progress European companies have made on commitments to source soy from responsible sources.
Contact: Carrie Svingen (csvingen@wwf.panda.org or +49 151 188 54 833)
For more information on the growth of the soy industry, its impacts on natural ecosystems around the world, and possible solutions to influence a more responsible soy industry, see WWF’s Growth of Soy Report (2014)
About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with more than 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
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Burning is used to clear land for soy cultivation in the Argentine Chaco: the harvested area devoted to soy has increased fourfold in Argentina in the last 25 years © Pablo Herrera/Lab. Ecología Regional - FCEyN UBA
© © Pablo Herrera/Lab. Ecología Regional - FCEyN UBA
We can all play a role in reducing the environmental impacts of soy
© Agrarfoto