genetically modified

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greenest grocer in sa?, why spier is green, gm vine field trials allowed & more...

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-08-24 14:55

World's tallest wooden building for Norway. Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Architects are responsible for the ambitious project, which will be situated in downtown Kirkenes on the historical ground of a multiethnic area. To achieve carbon neutrality, Reiulf Ramstad Architects is relying on integrated systems that also enable it- to adapt to the changing seasons and climate. The firm also plans to reuse biodegradable household and industrial waste to produce biogas. [inhabitat]

Who is the greenest grocer in SA? According to the Sunday Times Top Brands survey, the company that has done the most to promote 'green' in South Africa is Pick n Pay, followed by Woolworths. [the times] [bizcommunity] ...


greening it up - why go nuclear when cheaper options exist, organic food study slammed, & more

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2009-08-03 15:05

Why go nuclear – better and cheaper options exist
Why are Eskom and the departments of energy and public enterprises so grimly determined to generate electricity by the most expensive and complicated of all options -- atomic power stations and their high-level radioactive waste depositaries?

There are two bombshell facts for taxpayers and neighbouring residents. The first is that the PBMR generates more than 10 times the volume of radioactive waste than any other known type of atomic reactor. The second fact never aired by PBMR promoters is that its defects include the radioactive gas by-products of nuclear fusion, such as a radioactive isotope of xenon, seeping and percolating through their famous pebbles and escaping into the coolant. [m&g] [there is an alternative; the california option]

Organic food study slammed by Soil Association A food fight has broken out over the health benefits — or lack thereof — of organic produce. The UK Food Standards Agency released a report saying that organic food did nothing to improve health or offer any more nutritional benefits than non-organic food


greening it up - no new plant for koeberg, uk outsourcing emissions, sa to lead biotech & more...

Submitted by Ahmed on Fri, 2009-07-24 12:45


Koeberg plan nuked The City of Cape Town has refused to approve plans to build a new nuclear power plant at Koeberg (yes!). The current Koeberg power station, like the proposed one, doesn't allow for quick evacuation of residents living in the vicinity, should a nuclear emergency arise, and the City recognised that Eskom manages to sidestep the responsibility of removing nuclear waste from the site - something else that will affect locals![Cape Times]

South Africa aims to lead in biotechnology Naledi Pandor, current Minister of Science and Technology, and former Minister of “I-want-to-make- children-pledge-allegiance-to-the-flag-every-morning” has now announced that there are plans to make South Africa a leader in biotechnology...


the unhealthy truth: how our food is making us sick

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-07-16 10:36


- and what we can do about it.

Robyn O'Brien is an American mother. She is also a mother of children with allergies, something American (and South African) children appear to be suffering from at an alarmingly increasing rate. And Robyn wrote a book about why.

Her delvings have led to her being called the 'Erin Brokovich of the food industry' because she exposes the hidden dangers in the apparently 'safe' ingredients we feed our children and families.

1 out of every 3 American children today has allergies, asthma, ADHD or autism. There has been a 400% increase in allergies, a 300% increase in asthma, and a 400% increase in ADHD in the last 20 years.


public service announcement from the ministry of rice

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2009-06-22 21:25

At present, GM rice is not grown commercially anywhere in the world. But Bayer, the German chemical giant, has genetically manipulated rice to withstand higher doses of a toxic pesticide called glufosinate, which is considered to be so dangerous to humans and the environment that it will soon be banned from Europe.

Sign the petition: stand up for your rice!


victory for biowatch – the 'little guy' has a voice after all

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-06-04 11:10

In a landslide victory for Biowatch, the Constitutional Court, after a nine-year legal battle, has finally set aside the costs order awarded against Biowatch in favour of Monsanto and further awarded legal costs in the High Court hearings in favour of Biowatch and against the state. All eleven judges were unanimous in their decision!

We've been following the Biowatch case and blogged about it here, here, here and here.

We also blogged about their campaign against the GM potato here

Without bodies like Biowatch, who campaign in the public interest for sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, biosafety and farmers' rights, the public would not have a voice. The consequences of this final ruling by the Constitutional Court are enormous.


cover-ups, secrecy and the "myth" of the failing crops

Submitted by Ahmed on Wed, 2009-05-27 08:19

Whether you agree or disagree with genetically modified organisms, it is hard to deny Monsanto’s role as the world’s biggest supplier of seeds – most of which, under the waving banner of biotechnology, is genetically modified. They promise better yield, more efficient farming and play the markets and the farmers just right so that most of the world’s most necessary crops, like maize, soya, cotton and canola – all come from seeds modified by them.

Recently, three varieties of Monsanto’s genetically modified maize failed to produce crops here in South Africa during the 2008/9 growing season. This left nearly 200 000 hectares of fields barren of cobs and crop. This loss essentially spreads across several provinces in South Africa and affects roughly 400 farmers. Also these varieties were provided to resource the poorer farmers in South Africa.


gm crops not on the increase in sa

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2009-02-19 10:04

Despite a pro-GM press release by AgriSA sounding off about the ‘growth’ of GM maize crops in the country and South Africa’s maintained position as the eighth largest producer of biotech crops in the world, if you do the maths, GM maize crops have not even increased by 1% in the last year [1].

Further to the report from Kobus Laubscher, AgriSA’s CEO, about the supposed increase of GM crops in the country, were the disturbing statements that there ‘seemed to be a resistance to GM foods’, and that ‘This perception needed to be changed.’

He continued by adding that he didn’t know where this perception comes from, as there are no medical or scientific findings to support [this]…(!) [read: seven deadly myths of industrial agriculture myth two: industrial food is safe, healthy, nutritious]

My resistance to his statements are twofold: One, some media have


greening it up – pick n pay wants your designs, possible load shedding (again!), & brazil to slow amazon destruction

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2008-12-03 09:57

Submit your design for new Pick n Pay eco friendly bag. Pick n Pay has just launched a design competition open to amateur designers to come up with a design that will feature on their new eco-friendly "natural" cotton and jute shopping bag. Their objective: "To promote fresh local talent and reduce the use of plastic bags". First prize is R20 000! Hopefully with a funky new design and their partnership with Township Patterns (they’re a Fair Trade certified business! – thumbs up to Pick n Pay for using a team that base their manufacturing in the townships) the new bag will encourage more of us to stop using plastic bags.

Impending ‘maintenance period’ for Eskom – SA urged to save power. The government’s national energy efficiency campaign has received backing by business, organised labour and local government, and the rest of the country is urged to save power this summer. [engineeringnews] One quick and very obvious fix is a feed-in tariff scheme. How long will Eskom and government evade the issue?

Britain tries to block vital GM safeguard. Britain is this week single-handedly setting out to sabotage a vital safeguard against


the world according to monsanto documentary review

Submitted by Dax on Mon, 2008-11-24 11:28

World according to MonsantoWorld according to MonsantoI have watched a lot of documentaries on GM foods and Monsanto and although they each have their own style and there is always some new information, they generally cover a lot of the same material. This recently released documentary is not like that. It takes a very different angle, looking at the history of Monsanto and the way it operates, rather than focusing specifically on GM foods.

Proponents of GM foods are always suggesting that GM foods are rigorously tested. In fact, an article in the September 2008 issue of Shape magazine said exactly that (read my thoughts here). The testing that they are referring to is done by the Biotech companies themselves. This documentary tries to establish whether we can trust the Biotech companies or not. It looks mainly at Monsanto, which is the biggest Biotech company of them all...


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