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 forest.

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, the wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, wrote a measured response, saying she would “be happy to announce positive actions” taken toward sustainable development. She wrote that her criticisms, which included a series of tweets last year, were based on science and came from a “worried Brazilian citizen.”

The public feud underscores the enormous international attention being focused on the Amazon basin and fears that Bolsonaro’s administration is geared to roll back environmental protections.

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