gm tainted organic food

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2006-10-23 14:55

iwisa: gm maizeiwisa: gm maizeI recently came across this list of genetically modified soya and maize products available in SA and was shocked to see just how many of the random sample contain traces of GM. As can be seen from the results published by the GMO Testing Facility at the University of the Free State, there are no guarantees that even if your soya / maize product is labelled "organic" that it is GMO free!

Most of the unlabled soya / maize products contained GM, including the following lables: Ace, Blue Bird, Iwisa, Knorr, Impala, Nutribev, So Fresh.

76% (10 out of 13) soya products labled as either non-GM, GMO-free or Organic contained GM!

50% (2 of 4) maize products labled as free from GM or as Organic contained GM!

As a consumer in this country I'm not warned which products contain GM: I am unable to make an informed choice. I can go ahead and munch on my mielies, eat "stywe pap" and swig soya milk without having a clue that I'm ingesting GM! I'm really angry that the government does not require proper labling of GM food.

It makes me even madder yet to think that I'm buying organic soya only to read that it's tainted with GM.

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greening it up - tue 17

Submitted by sproutingforth on Tue, 2006-10-17 10:37

News around the world today:

Japan has apparently agreed to halve its tuna quota and has admitted that its fishing vessels have exceeded quotas, although stocks of fish are shrinking so rapidly that more needs to be done. [BBC]

Tuna ranching - catching tuna by purse seine vessels and taking them alive to cages close to the coast, where they are fed for months before being exported, mainly to Japan (I didn't know until now that they actually do this!) - explained. [Greenpeace blog]

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resting on his l'oreals

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2006-10-16 13:52

A lot of people may already know that the sale of The Body Shop is old news, the deal having been concluded back in March 06. I'm not sure why Barry Ronge decided to take up the torch now? I guess the sale by Anita Roddick of The Body Shop for £652m was just the kind of story that Ronge needed to substantiate the contradiction he feels the term "ethical consumerism" portrays.

Ronge's article ignores completely the hugely positive changes that both The Body Shop and Anita Roddick have brought into the world. To compare making a profit on the sale of a company that has changed thousands of disenfranchised peoples lives for the better to organised crime is just ludicrous.

Yes, there is greenwash out there. But rather pick up any oil companies annual report to find plenty of "contradictions in terms".

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greening it up - mon 16

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2006-10-16 11:14

News from around the world today:

I had every good intention of bringing you daily news, but I see that Thurs and Fri last week ran away with me. Will it suffice to quickly insert here that Barry Ronge pulled a tongue at ethical consumerism in the Times this weekend, and who can blame him when, cited as his main example, is the Body Shop's sell out to L'Oreal! Read an official example of the press release [Forbes] and then read what some former Body Shop enthusiasts have to say. [Naturewatch]

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greening it up - wed 11

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2006-10-11 09:53

News from around the world today:

I don’t know what it is about the news today, perhaps it is due to my foggy, flu-filtered brain, but there definitely appears to be a prevalence of ‘bad news’, when I usually try to stay upbeat and positive about what’s green out there! But it does deserve mention that North Korea has announced that it detonated a nuclear bomb in defiance of world opinion. The Mail & Guardian chose to view how this has affected the stock market, but I’m more alarmed by the total disregard for the environment! [MGonline]

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greening it up - fri 6 oct 06

Submitted by sproutingforth on Fri, 2006-10-06 09:31

News around the world today:

Starbucks is tripling it’s already large reach to 40,000 outlets world-wide – intending to expand into China, India Egypt, Brazil and Russia [and for those of you who think they’ve given SA a skip, simply refer to Seattle Coffee and you’re looking at Starbucks!]. Already the world’s biggest coffee shop chain, Starbucks has become synonymous with the ‘trendy, greenie’ because they support Free Trade coffee and run PR campaigns that include issues such as ‘going green in Africa’ [Fin24] - a promotion of environmentally sensitive coffee cultivation in Kenya and Tanzania.

They’ve even teamed up with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in a programme called ‘coffee for conservation’ because they’ve been criticised for ‘hurting’ farmers. Clever, no? It becomes difficult then to criticise, when they’re so cleverly disguised. But the fact remains that this is yet one more example of ‘big business’ - one which is witnessing an aggressive move to oust the small, local coffee shop in favour of the chain. So, again the debate about the ethics of such an aggressive expansion on the part of Starbucks, pursuing profit at any price and eventually wielding significant economic and thus political power – a green proposition? I think not. [Fin24]

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greening it up - thurs 05

Submitted by sproutingforth on Thu, 2006-10-05 09:57

news around the world today:

many councils 'bug' rubbish bins I like this story, it really appeals to my sense of order, and the Europeans are so good at finding the time to come up with ingenious ideas like 'pay as you throw'. It's an attempt at increasing people's awareness about recycling with a really intricate system of microchips (I kid you not!)fitted to rubbish bins. The bins are weighed and these chips can identify who threw how much and residents are charged accordingly. Britain is the EU's 3rd-worst recycling country and the government has excelled itself in a bid to push its recycling/composting figure up from only 18%. [BBC]

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greening it up - wed 04

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2006-10-04 09:24

News around the world today:

A BBC headline this morning calls for action on climate change by a UK government scientist, also a former World Bank chief economist (?), who has been quoted as saying that pursuing alternative energy makes "economic and environmental sense.” – the cynic in me can’t help asking whether this has anything to do with the UK’s need to take centre stage after the now prominent film by Al Gore – “An inconvenient truth” has made climate change a mainstream concern? Unfortunately, with the USA’s continued stance of rejecting the Kyoto targets, emerging economies, such as China are siting the Kyoto limits as ‘unfair’.[BBC]

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the urge to use public transport

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2006-10-02 15:57

Gauteng's transport minister Ignatius Jacobs is encouraging commuters to make use of public transport, admitting that although underdeveloped it's also underused.

As a green-minded individual I would be the first to make use of public transport, but...

(and here follows a list of buts when it comes to using public transport in SA)

...it would have to be:
- safe (ever been the only one on the carriage and Mr Threatening gets in?)
- convenient / practical (although a man of principal, I'm not going to cycle / walk / crawl for 5km to get to a station or bus stop)
- reliable (arriving at work 30 min late, three days in a go is not conducive to good employee-boss relations!)

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burgeoning eco-friendly wine industry

Submitted by sproutingforth on Mon, 2006-10-02 10:27

An article released this morning states that about 95% of South Africa's wine farmers have voluntarily subscribed to domestic integrated wine production guidelines to green the sector, according to WOSA (Wines of South Africa). It seems that SA has finally felt the demand on their export wines to produce 'environmental and ethically chic' labels.

Interestingly, when we began putting together our directory, over a year ago now, the wine farms we contacted about the possibility of converting to organic were rather negative about the process (bar those who had already converted). Some emphatically told us that the process was just too expensive to consider.


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