Great Barrier Reef campaign sees Australian minister call for Ben and Jerry's boycott
The WWF has said it fears the Reef will be damaged by dredge spoil
An Australian Environment Minister has called on citizens to boycott the popular ice cream brand Ben and Jerry’s, after the firm began backing WWF’s campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef.
Earlier in April, Ben and Jerry’s withdrew its popular Phish Food flavour and handed out free ice creams across Australia, to raise awareness of the potential damage being caused to the reef.
Ben and Jerry's said the risks lie in a combination of intensive dredging, dumping, as well as the presence of mega-ports and shipping highways.
Queensland minister Andrew Powell called the project “propaganda” and said it had damaged the reputation of the reef, and jeopardised jobs and tourism in the area.
“Another company has signed up to the campaign of lies and deceit that's been propagated by WWF,” Powell said.
“The only people taking a scoop out of the reef are Ben and Jerry's and Unilever.
"If you understand the facts, you'd want to be boycotting Ben and Jerry's."
He added that he would outline his concerns in a letter to Unilever, the brand’s parent company.
However, Kalli Swaik, the ice cream firm's Australia brand manager, said: "Ben & Jerry's believes that dredging and dumping in world heritage waters surrounding the marine park area will be detrimental to the reef ecology.
"It threatens the health of one of Australia's most iconic treasures."
Fish are seen swimming around coral formations in Lady Elliot Island, Australia.
Read more: Starfish are smothering the Reef and digesting its flesh
Tony Abbott: 'Forests should not be locked up from loggers'
Great Barrier Reef dredging threat
The campaign comes after 3 million cubic metres of dredge spoil were dumped in the marine park and World Heritage area in January, to enable the Abbott Point coal port expansion – a move approved by The Queensland and federal governments.
The government predicts 70 per cent of the spoil will settle on the seabed.
But animal conservation charity WWF fear the spoil may get caught in currents and smother or poison the reefs just 40km away.
The CEO of WWF, Dermot O'Gorman, said the campaign reflected the concern of people around the world about how the reef is being managed.
"Ben & Jerry's' tour is a timely reminder that the world expects the Queensland and Australian governments to lift their game," he said.
Unesco is due to meet in June to consider the Australian government's progress in improving the management of the reef.
It's due to decide this year or next whether to list the reef as a world heritage site in danger.
Additional reporting by AP
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
AirAsia QZ8501: Black box reveals warning alarms 'screamed' before crash, as more bodies recovered from near fuselage of jet
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...