By Simon JonesPublished Mar 08, 2017 07:03:04What are soya products?
Soya, also known as wheat, is a crop that is widely grown in South-East Asia and Africa.
It is used in traditional cooking and is often used as a source of protein.
But soya has also been linked to some of the world’s most devastating environmental disasters.
The United Nations has called for urgent action to address the environmental impact of soya production, particularly when it comes to climate change.
In recent months, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been conducting a number of research studies, including one that analysed the impacts of soyan production in the Amazon, to look at the impacts that these products have on climate change, water resources, food security and other issues.
In a report released on Monday, FAO’s Food Security Programmes said that soya use in the United States is responsible for 6.6 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, or about 30 billion tonnes of CO2.
It also found that soyan and other crops in the US are responsible for up to 2 percent of the greenhouse gas released by agriculture globally.
In addition, FAOM found that the use of soy from South-east Asia, where the US is based, is responsible to an estimated 1.3 percent of greenhouse gas releases globally.
The FAO report, titled “How Soya Is Making the World a More Eco-friendly Place: An Assessment of the Scientific Literature”, says that this impacts a number different issues, including: climate change , the environment and biodiversity, water availability, food safety and land use.
According to FAO, soya contributes between 0.6 and 1.2 percent of emissions from food, including emissions from agricultural processes and the transport of raw materials.
But the report also said that the production of soys from the Americas, including the US, is among the most polluting of all regions.
The report said that because soya does not have to use a certain amount of water, the use is not only environmentally sustainable, but also has significant impacts on land use and water resources.
In particular, the FAO said that “soya production is associated with significant greenhouse gas emission in the production area, and it is particularly important to take into account the role that water use plays in producing the greenhouse gases”.
The FAOM report noted that “the use of genetically modified seeds and fertilisers to increase yields and improve the sustainability of the food supply is one example of the environmental benefits of using biotechnology”.
This is in addition to the significant impact of emissions linked to the use and production of synthetic fertilisers.
The study also said “there is a significant role for the food industry to take more action on sustainability in its production of food products, including in terms of sustainable sourcing”.
But FAOM did not recommend that the food production sector in the Americas should be exempt from the carbon tax, and the report does not say whether the FAOM analysis on this is valid.
It does, however, suggest that the FAOs recommendations to “take actions to reduce the environmental impacts of global food production and trade and to strengthen and expand access to and trade in sustainable food products” are “consistent with the FAOS principles of sustainability”.
It said the FAOU is also concerned about the impact that the trade in soya could have on food security.FAOM’s report said: “The use of soy as a feed ingredient in the meat and poultry sector is one of the largest and most polluted sources of greenhouse gases globally.
So much so that the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations recommends that soy is the largest greenhouse gas polluter in the food chain, with emissions linked almost entirely to the export of soy.”
It also pointed out that the US imports most of its soy from South Korea.
The researchers concluded that “it is important to recognise the significant role that the export and import of soymilk from South America plays in the global food supply chain and the potential for a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production and use of this product.”
The FAOU encourages all food producers and food processing sectors to ensure that their supply chains are not affected by these import and export patterns.