RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian supermodel turned environmental activist Gisele Bundchen is pushing back against the agricultural minister in her homeland, along the way wading into a growing debate about the future of the Amazon.
The brouhaha began Monday when Minister Tereza Cristina Dias accused Bundchen of tainting the country’s image abroad. During a radio interview, Dias called the supermodel a “bad Brazilian” for denouncing deforestation and said the model should be promoting Brazil’s agriculture and industries.
Late Wednesday, Bundchen wrote a measured response, saying she would “be happy to announce positive actions” taken toward sustainable development.
In her letter, Bundchen said she was surprised by the derogatory mention. She said her criticisms, which included a series of tweets last year, were based on science and came from a “worried Brazilian citizen.”
Citing a 13 percent increase in deforestation in Brazil, Bundchen said those behind illegal land occupations were the “bad Brazilians.”
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