Brazil supermarkets to keep Amazon meat off shelves

A group representing Brazilian supermarkets has committed to keeping beef from cattle raised in the Amazon rainforest off the shelves, officials said.

The main objective of an agreement signed Monday by the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets is to reject meat from regions that are being deforested or from ranches that use slave labor or carry out other illegal practices, prosecutors said.

"We hope that the big chains will quickly take action" in the form of certification and control of their suppliers, Public Prosecutor Daniel Azeredo told AFP.

The Brazilian Association of Supermarkets signed the accord with the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office.

The biggest cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is the country's livestock industry, which consists of more than 200 million head of cattle.