Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2000 12:34:46 +0200
From: "ekogaia" firstname.lastname@example.org
From: "Biowatch listserver" email@example.com
I know I have been sending out lots of information this week, but it is a
big week in the debate around GE in South Africa. Knowledge is power.
All the best
By Devinder Sharma, From: Business Line; July 21, 2000
The genetic engineering industry has been claiming that at a time when more than 800 million people go to bed hungry, and their number is likely to swell to over 1.5 billion in the next ten years, biotechnology provides the only hope to feed the burgeoning population.
Jumping on to the biotechnology bandwagon are many of the Nobel laureates, distinguished agriculture scientists, corporate bigwigs and of course the economists. After all, the cutting-edge technology, as biotechnology is fondly called, provides them with a perfect tool to distract the decision-makers from the more pressing problems of alleviating hunger and poverty.
The fact is that even at present the world has enough food to feed these 800 million hungry mouths. If the food that is currently available is to be evenly distributed among the 6.4 billion people on the planet (providing each individual with a minimum intake of 2,500 calories), there would still be a surplus left for 800 million people. The problem, therefore, is not of production but clearly of access and distribution. It involves more of politics than technology, with biotechnology having virtually no role to play.
A third of the world's 800 million hungry live in India. How grim is the poverty scenario is clearly evident from a recent World Bank poverty update: in absolute terms, the number of those below the poverty line who cannot manage two-square meals a day shows a significant increase in the post-reform era (after 1991). The number of the hungry and malnourished in India alone have been steadily rising. In the rural areas, from 224 million in the early 1990's to 250 million in the mid 1990's. This corresponds to an almost constant increase in the incidence of rural poverty and a slow decline in the incidence of urban poverty, the report states.
Eradicating hunger from India, therefore, would alleviate much of the problem at the global level. Successive governments, especially in the past three decades following the advent of green revolution, have, however, very conveniently abdicated their constitutional responsibility to feed the nation. Year after year, the governments have managed a sizeable buffer stock essentially by depriving the poor of their basic human right --- food.
India is once again faced with an unmanageable food glut. From a foodgrain surplus of ten million tonnes in 1999, the stocks have multiplied to 42 million tonnes of wheat and rice this year, some 18 million tonnes more than the annual buffer requirement of about 24 million tonnes. Instead of distributing the surplus grain among those who desperately need it, the government is toying with the idea of either finding an export market or releasing it in the open market (read the private trade) at a subsidised price.
Much of the plentiful stocks are lying in the open for want of adequate storage space, and by the time the next harvest flows into the markets, considerable quantity would have been rendered unfit for human consumption. Is the biotechnology industry competent to address the problems arising from over-production and its lack of distribution? Even if we were to buy the industry's argument that the technology will increase food production, how will it solve India's hunger crisis has never been spelled out and for obvious reasons.
In 1999, India had produced a bumper harvest of wheat, some six million tonnes more than what it produced a year before. It already had a carryover stock of four million tonnes. In effect, the country was saddled with a ìsurplusí wheat stock of ten million tonnes, above the buffer requirements. Aware that at least 250 million people were going to bed hungry every night, still the government had allowed the surplus stocks to be exported.
Although the country is "self-sufficient" in foodgrain production, reports of hunger and starvation pour in regularly from the infamous Kalahandi region of Orissa. The region, with a population of 20 million, suffers from the pangs of hunger and malnutrition despite any visible signs of ecological devastation. Kalahandi is otherwise a fertile tract and has traditionally been food surplus. So much so that in 1943, at the time of the great Bengal famine, Kalahandi had come to the rescue of the famine stricken Bengal.
Even in Kalahandi, the problem is not of production. What is not known is that Kalahandi region is the biggest contributor of surplus rice to the central food reserves. In the past five years, Kalahandi has provided some 50,000 tonnes of rice on an average to the food reserves of the government of India, the highest from the State. People die of starvation and hunger for the simple reason that they cannot afford to buy the food they produce.
Meanwhile, an American company, RiceX, has entered into a joint collaboration with the multinational agri-business giant, Monsanto, to produce and test its patented technology for nutritious food, converting the traditionally used cattle feed ñ rice bran ñ into a human food. While the surplus grains are being exported ñ much of it goes for the cattle in the west, the government has invited the American companies to convert cattle feed into a nutritious food for its ever-growing population of the poor and hungry.
This is merely an attempt to provide a clean cover-up to the collective guilt of the nation, which fails to find a solution of hunger, malnutrition and starvation. One doesnít know for sure how many Kalahandisí are tucked in different parts of the country. The only way to escape the humiliation and shame that is associated with governing over a country where at least a third of the population is deprived of food, is to find solace and escape in cosmetic measures. Biotechnology is yet another cosmetic tool, which is being attempted in the name of eradicating hunger.
Faulty policies have ensured that food reserves are built essentially by keeping the food away from the reach of the poor. But with food prices continuously rising, and with the percentage of the population earning less than a dollar a day also keeping pace, more and more people are finding it difficult to meet their daily food needs. How will biotechnology provide food to those who are desperately in need? In fact, given the high seed cost, royalty and the cost of other inputs that the farmers will have to use (for instance, more herbicides in the herbicide-tolerant plants), the cost of cultivation will go up and so will the market price. Food will then go out of the reach of still more people. Biotechnology will ultimately subject more people to hunger and starvation.
DWD:: Southern Africa, disaster relief, seed material, agrobiodiversity, review study, SPGRC, CTDT
Berlin, 31 July 2000
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The study was undertaken in March 2000 by SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) and Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT), and commissioned by Stiftung Umverteilen.
Except for one complex table (Table 3) - a compilation by Source, Variety, Maturity, Stocks Available, and Seed Quantities expected to be harvested - the study is completely mailed-out here.Table 3 is only available as a Word-formated file to be mailed out as an attachment on request by CTDT e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) e-mail: email@example.com
The Seed Study and further information is also available at: http://www.snafu.de/~usp/Seed-Ini.htm
Due to the devastating effects of cyclone eline and cyclone gloria which raged largely in most parts of Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, and in view of the destruction of the agricultural base of farming communities, including crop losses, the organisations made an appeal to the regional and international community in disaster relief and developmental assistance, calling for a short, medium, and long term approach, and a co-ordinated effort.
As a first and fast response to the disaster they suggested to conduct an immediate review study on reserves of local seed for relief purposes in the region. This survey was meant to help avoid the introduction of inappropriate crop varieties, including genetically modified varieties, which may be a threat to local production systems, biodiversity and the ecology. The Africa Committee of Stiftung Umverteilen in Germany joined in and commissioned this study, which we are pleased to present here electronically.
However, the report is not comprehensive enough, we suppose due to the duplication of efforts between the initiators of the exercise and activities of GTZ, an organisation in developmental cooperation. As hinted in the report under section 3.0 "Outcome", a confusion among the targeted organisations and institutes in the region apparently hampered higher turnout. This confusion came about because at the same time this study was realized, a parallel survey was carried out by GTZ asking the same people for the same information.
We think that rather than competing, the prospective challenges for those active in this field should be to maintain an open atmosphere, conducive for cooperation for the benefit of local farmers and communities in the SADC region.
Nevertheless, it is hoped that the information herewith provided on seed stock availability will be useful to the various Aid and NGO communities that are involved in the affected areas.
on behalf of the Africa Committee of Stiftung Umverteilen
Report by G.P.Mwila,
Commissioned by The Stiftung Umverteilen, Germany
© Copyright: SPGRC, CTDT, Stiftung Umverteilen, June, 2000
The floods, arising from excessive rains and from the cyclones Eline and Gloria during the 1999/2000 season inflicted some of the countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region destroying the agricultural base of farming communities, including crop losses. This disaster is leaving the affected communities with almost no hope of any harvest and eroding the traditional local seed supply system. This situation has led to responses from International Aid Agencies in many ways including emergency food supplies.
Crucial after the floods in Southern Africa is to rebuild the agriculture in order to restore food security in the affected regions. Thus, the aid activities are expected to go beyond emergency operations to those aimed at addressing the restoration of livelihood systems, in particular agriculture. The most obvious intervention for agricultural restoration is the supply of appropriate and locally adapted quality seed and planting material to enable farmers plant in the next cropping season.
In view of the above, the SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) in Zambia and Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT), a local NGO based in Zimbabwe together with the Germany based Stiftung Umverteilen (Foundation Redistribution), in March 2000 launched an initiative, calling for a short, medium, and long term approach in order to restore a sustainable agriculture.
As part of this "Seed Initiative" an open letter was issued and mailed out widely in order to draw the attention of regional and international bodies in disaster relief and developmental assistance to the impact of the importation of inappropriate seeds and to co-ordinated efforts imperative to reconstitute the various agricultural systems (see open letter at: http://www.snafu.de/~usp/seed-ini.htm ). Moreover, as a first response to the disaster, an immediate review study on local seed stocks in the region was initiated with the aim of making this information available for i.e. organisations in the relief sector.
This survey was meant to help avoid the introduction of inappropriate crop varieties, including genetically modified varieties, which may be a threat to local production systems, biodiversity and ecology.
It is hoped that the information herewith provided on seed stock availability will be utilised by the Aid Agencies that are involved in the procurement and supply of seeds to the affected areas.
We are most grateful to all people who have contributed information and helped to compile the data for this report.
© Copyright: SPGRC, CTDT, Stiftung Umverteilen! The information in this study can be used freely as long as it is for non-profit purposes. As for any quotation please refer to this paper and its initiators. Thank you!
The exercise was supposed to cover Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Crops to be included were Maize, Sorghum, Pearl millet, Rice, Cowpea, Beans and Groundnuts.
Information was to be obtained from the eight countries and two persons to gather the data. Mr Mwila based in Zambia was to cover the following countries: Zambia, Tanzania, Lesotho and Malawi whilst Dr Mpofu based in Zimbabwe was to collect the same information from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland.
Faxes were successfully sent to all contact persons in each country except Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The focus in terms of collecting this information was on Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi.
In Zambia the seed companies and other agencies involved in seed production and supply were contacted through fax messages. Second reminders were sent when no responses were forthcoming two weeks after sending the first messages.
Information requested was on the following:
The "Seed Initiative" was launched in March 2000 by SPGRC and CTDT in order to support co-ordinated efforts to restore a sustainable agriculture after the flood disaster in the Southern African Region, with the immediate survey being part of this initiative.
Almost at the same time the above mentioned inquiries were being send out to the different stakeholders in the region, a similar survey was undertaken by another body, approaching the same organisations and people. Besides the fact that this "Seed Initiative" survey was conducted at short, the unfortunate duplication of efforts was possibly also affecting the turnout, and thus affected the results.
Therefore, at the moment the information included in this report are obtained from one country: Zambia. For information on other countries of the region we refer to a complementary study of the SADC-Food Security Unit/GTZ.
The information in this report is presented in summary form in terms of total quantities available and expected to be harvested per crop in Zambia (Table 1), seed quantities available with each seed company/agency for each crop (Table 2) and details of seed stock situation for each crop (Table 3).
|Stocks Expected to be Harvested (MTs)|
The yield potential of the maize varieties given in this report is 4-6 tonnes per hectare for early maturing varieties, 6-8 tonnes per hectare for medium maturity varieties and more than 10tonnes per hectare for late maturing varieties.
Varieties classified as early are expected mature within the 100-115 days period, those which are medium within 125-140days and late varieties within 140-150 days
Based on the average seed rates for each crop the available seed from Zambia could be provided for the following hectarage:
The expected seed stocks that are expected to be harvested for maize during the 1999/2000 season could be much more than as one of the seed company did not indicate the expected seed quantities that is expected. The experience of the seed companies is that they always have some carryover seed especially for maize.
Conditions in some parts of the country allow for winter seed production, especially for maize. Some seed companies, in particular, Zamseed have the capacity to produce seed for most of these crops if required.
4.0 Table 3: Details on seed stocks available with different Seed Companies/Agencies in Zambia
These details are a complex table of three pages, a
compilation by Company or Source, Variety Name, Variety Type,
Maturity Class, Stocks Available (Tonnes), and Seed Quantities
expected to be harvested (Tonnes).
Table 3 is only available as a Word-formated file to be
mailed out as an attachment on request. Interested parties should
contact Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT) in Zimbabwe:
SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) in Zambia:
Table 3 is only available as a Word-formated file to be mailed out as an attachment on request. Interested parties should contact Community Technology Development Trust (CTDT) in Zimbabwe: e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre (SPGRC) in Zambia: e-mail: email@example.com
This Email From:
Andrew Taynton, SAFE FOOD COALITION , P O Box 665, Linkhills, 3652,
KwaZulu-Natal, Republic of South Africa;
tel: 031-763 2634, Cell 083 662 0411, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
References On Genetically Modified Foods And Crops + What You Can Do.
THE LANCET, April 2000
Andrea Hensher, 18/2/00, South Africa
What say the retailers?
Current South Africa legislation
This is done by injecting genetic material originating from one source into the cells of another. So, for example, a gene found in fish which makes them resistant to frost could be engineered into the cells of an organism which normally has low frost resistance, such as tomatoes.
This ground-breaking technology has, not surprisingly, its supporters and opponents, and arouses high emotion as it opens up ethical questions and presents potentially lucrative possibilities for large and small producers alike.
GM crops are not a cheap option by any means. Trial crops must be tested over six growing seasons, then producers can expect to wait for up to two years to bulk up enough seed to sell once they get their commercial licences. Naturally, seed companies will charge a premium on GM seed to recoup their development costs. Currently the technology fee on GM maize seed is about 14% higher than on normal seeds. According to Muffy Koch and other supporters of the technology, farmers are recouping those costs in the decrease in the amount of insecticides used . "Farmers are prepared to pay for it because it's delivering," Koch says, "There are a lot of market checks and balances on this system."
But what are the benefits of this technology? Why go to all this trouble? Large food companies such as Monsanto say that biotechnology will solve the world's food problems, allowing farmers in the poorer parts of the world to get more return on their labour. Examples are given of small-scale projects with spectacular results, such as that of a field trial on the Makathini Flats in Kwazulu-Natal of bt (insect resistant) cotton, where farmers experienced increased yields ranging from 18% - 30% compared with their conventional crops, as well as decreased use of insecticides.
The pro-GM lobby claim that this new technology could alleviate world hunger. According to Professor Prakash from Tuskegee University in the USA," The development of local agriculture and increasing food production regionally… is the key to addressing economic inequity. Genetically reprogrammed seed is 'scale neutral' in that a poor rice farmer with one acre in Bangladesh can stand to benefit from it as much as a large farmer in California". Or, we assume, a maize farmer in Makathini flats.
"Until it's been thoroughly tested and proved I think a moratorium should be called for. There are too many unanswered questions for my liking, " he says. His view is not an unscientific one. Dr Mae-Wan Ho from the Open University in the UK says "there is no need for genetically modified crops. On the contrary, they will undermine food security and biodiversity." These concerns stem from the fear that large biotechnology companies will be able to take out patents on seed varieties in a form of restrictive practice which will have a damaging impact on small-scale producers.
Durran describes the claim that genetic modification will feed the world as "Propaganda. There's more food in the world than people can eat. It's not true that GM food could solve the world's hunger problems. GM food is lining the pockets of the multinationals."
As far as government legislation is concerned, Durran is sceptical. "When we can't even issue driver's licences in this country how can we possibly monitor GM crops? I think it's irresponsible to even consider that they can be monitored. How can you control the wind? How can you control insects?"
GM foods are reported to have already caused harmful health and environmental effects. A widely-reported trial of an American GM maize crop on a species of butterfly found the maize pollen to be toxic to the butterfly, which feeds on a plant which normally grows near maize crops. A soybean engineered with a gene from a brazil-nut was found to produce highly allergic reactions in a group of consumers. Durran points to these examples as reasons why further and more extensive testing needs to happen. He says that consumers run the risk of eating increasing amounts of potentially harmful material. " We sprayed maize previously with pesticides. This used to wash off within about four days. Now we genetically engineer the maize with pesticide which goes into every cell of the plant, so every single piece of maize you consume contains a (GM) gene."
American biotechnologist Dr John Fagan voices concerns over the potential dangers of GM technology: "genetic engineering can cut and splice very precisely in a test tube but the process of putting these genes into a living organism is extremely imprecise, inaccurate and uncontrolled."
GM crops also present a danger, accepted by scientists on both sides of the argument, of cross-pollinating with non-GM crops, with potentially dangerous consequences. Africa is being used, Durran claims, as a giant laboratory by the biotech companies who see the continent as a soft option. "Consumers are guinea pigs in this big experiment," he says.
Pick 'n Pay have stated that they are currently working alongside the Department of Health on interim labelling solutions, as well as encouraging suppliers to provide GM-free alternatives wherever possible and calling on Government to speed up labelling legislation.
Woolworths have stated that they will endeavour to make their food ranges GM-free wherever possible, and clearly label those items for which no GM-free alternatives can be found.
The Genetically Modified Organism Act (1997)
Enclosed is further information on the potential health risks of soya, GM and and powderized milk and more.
(The full document can be downloaded from: http://www.nexusmagazine.com )
Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 4, #3 (April-May 1997). PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia. email@example.com Telephone: +61 (0)7 5442 9280; Fax: +61 (0)7 5442 9381 From our web page at: www.nexusmagazine.com
Extracts originally published in Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients May 1996.
© by Joseph G. Hattersley
(From the forthcoming book Stopping Crib Death)
...co-written with Dr Lendon Smith and due for publication 1997-98.
Infant Formulas In 'hot Water'
Cows' Milk-based Formulas
Sudden infant death is not so sudden at all. As I argue in my book (co-written with Lendon Smith, MD), crib (or cot) death is neither random nor sudden, and the causes are known. Preventive techniques have been known and used with 100 per cent success for 40 years, and many studies have been published.
"The growth of vegetarianism among the more affluent classes has greatly accelerated the acceptability and use of these ersatz products. This helps American farmers to sell their enormous yearly output of soybeans. Unfortunately, as we have seen, they pose numerous dangers."1
The fatty acid profile of the soybean includes large amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids compared to other pulses; but these omega-3 fatty acids are particularly susceptible to rancidity when subjected to high pressures and temperatures. This is exactly what is required to remove oil from the bean, as soybean oil is particularly difficult to extract.
Hexane or other solvents are always used to extract oil from soybeans, and traces remain in the commercial product.1 Hexane is "any of the five colorless, volatile, liquid hydrocarbons C6H14 of the paraffin series". Do you really think that ingestion of hexane, even in tiny quantities, will benefit your baby?
What about cows' milk-based formulas? Studies have linked modern commercial milk products with serious afflictions such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, childhood anaemia and heart disease.
For example, Dr J. C. Annand made an epidemiological study of the effect of milk pasteurisation on cardiac and stroke mortality in the 1920s. He found there had been a significant sudden rise in mortality from heart attack and stroke within, at most, two years after the start of compulsory Holder pasteurisation. The milk was heated for 30 minutes to not less than 145¡F (62.8¡C).23
A clinical trial appeared to confirm Annand's hypothesis: "All patients suffering from AHD [atherosclerotic heart disease], who maintained a diet devoid of [extended-period] heated milk protein, either showed a sustained improvement in their condition or failed to deteriorate further. On the other hand, patients who for various reasons did not maintain this diet evinced a high incidence of thrombosis and/or cardiac irregularities together with congestive failure."23
Later, researchers at the Institut National Agronomique in Paris found that consuming plain commercial milk boosted the risk of cataracts among people, especially diabetics, who are able to digest lactose, a milk sugar. Such digestion releases galactose, a substance the researchers blamed for promoting cataracts.
But, natural milk products have a long history of conferring good health in many parts of the globe. For example, the three areas noted for great longevity of local populations&emdash;the Caucacus Mountains in the southern republics of the former Soviet Union, the village of Vilcabamba in Ecuador, and the land of the Hunza in northern India&emdash;all use whole unprocessed milk products.
And Weston Price, studying isolated population groups in the 1930s, found many supremely healthy populations using cows' milk as their principal food.23
Milk products form the backbone of the Hindu diet. J. E. Crewe at the Mayo Clinic, in 1929 cured patients of anaemia, hypertension, tuberculosis and many other diseases and conditions using large quantities of raw milk. In his work, pasteurised milk accomplished little against disease because, he wrote, "the heat of pasteurising destroys the enzymes in milk, needed for its complete utilisation and to enable it to do its healing wonders.
"Processing is the problem," according to Fallon and Enig. "The path that transforms healthy milk products into allergens and carcinogens begins with modern feeding methods that substitute high-protein, soy-based feeds for fresh green grass; and breeding methods to produce cows with abnormally large pituitary glands so that they produce three times more milk than the old-fashioned scrub cow.
These cows need antibiotics to keep them well. "Their milk is then pasteurised so that all valuable enzymes are destroyed: lactase for the assimilation of lactose; galactase for the assimilation of galactose; phosphatase for the assimilation of calcium. Literally dozens of precious enzymes are destroyed in the pasteurisation process; without them milk is very difficult to digest.
The human pancreas is not always able to produce these enzymes; overstress of the pancreas can lead to diabetes and other diseases. "The butterfat of commercial milk is homogenised, subjecting it to rancidity or, even worse, removed altogether. Skim milk is sold as a health food but the truth is that butterfat is in milk for a reason. Without it the body cannot absorb and utilise the vitamins and minerals in the water fraction of the milk. "Along with valuable trace minerals and short-chain fatty acids, butterfat is America's best source of preformed vitamin D.
Synthetic vitamin D, known to be toxic to the liver, is added to replace the natural vitamin D complex in butterfat. Butterfat also contains re-arranged acids which have strong anticarcinogenic properties."26
Further, non-fat dried milk is added to 1% and 2% milk. Unlike the cholesterol in fresh milk, which plays a variety of health-promoting roles, the cholesterol in nonfat dried milk is oxidised and it is this rancid cholesterol that promotes heart disease.27
The multi-source oxysterols injury theory brought together oxysterols from oxidised powdered milk, powdered egg yolk, etc.; those generated internally by homocysteine and from other sources; Matthias Rath's and cellular biologist Bruce H. Lipton's theories into a composite explanation of atherogenesis, the beginning of arterial damages.28-30
In Part 5 of my book, I describe how oxidised dried milk can contribute to causing a little- known kind of crib death. Fallon and Enig point out that "...like all spray-dried products, non-fat dried milk has a high nitrite content [as is well-known, nitrites are carcinogenic]. Non-fat dried milk and sweetened condensed milk are the principal dairy products in third world countries; use of ultra-high-temperature pasteurised milk is widespread in Europe.1 "Further, soy formulas lack cholesterol, which is absolutely essential for the development of the brain and nervous system; they also lack lactose and galactose, which play an equally important role in the development of the nervous system."
(The full document can be downloaded from: http://www.nexusmagazine.com )
By Athalie Russell, Johannesburg, South Africa
Recently I bought a cooking oil that's new to our supermarkets, Canola Oil. I tried it because the label assured me it was lowest in "bad" fats. However, when I had used half the bottle, I concluded that the label told me surprisingly little else and I started to wonder: where does canola oil come from?
Olive oil comes from olives, peanut oil from peanuts, sunflower oil from sunflowers; but what is a canola? There was nothing on the label to enlighten me, which I thought odd. So, I did some investigating on the Internet.
There are plenty of official Canola sites lauding this new "wonder" oil with all its low-fat health benefits. It takes a little longer to find sites that tell the less palatable details.
Here are just a few facts everyone should know before buying anything containing canola. Canola is not the name of a natural plant but a made-up word, from the words "Canada" and "oil". Canola is a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada from the rapeseed plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants.
According to AgriAlternatives, The Online Innovation and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are ... toxic to humans and other animals". (This, by the way, is one of the websites singing the praises of the new canola industry.)
Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and an excellent insect repellent. I have been using it (in very diluted form, as per instructions) to kill the aphids on my roses for the last two years. It works very well; it suffocates them. Ask for it at your nursery. Rape is an oil that is used as a lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base and as a illuminant for colour pages in magazines. It is an industrial oil. It is not a food. Rape oil, it seems, causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anaemia, constipation, irritability and blindness in animals and humans. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991, when it was thrown out.
Remember the "Mad Cow disease" scare, when millions of unfortunate cattle in the UK were slaughtered in case of infecting humans? Cattle were being fed on a mixture containing material from dead sheep, and sheep suffer from a disease called "scrapie". It was thought this was how "Mad Cow" began and started to infiltrate the human chain. What is interesting is that when rape oil was removed from animal feed, 'scrapie' disappeared. We also haven't seen any further reports of "Mad Cow" since rape oil was removed from the feed.
Perhaps not scientifically proven, but interesting all the same. US and Canadian farmers grow genetically engineered rapeseed and manufacturers use its oil (canola) in thousands of processed foods, with the blessings of Canadian and US government watchdog agencies. The canola supporting websites say that canola is safe to use. They admit it was developed from the rapeseed, but insist that through genetic engineering it is no longer rapeseed, but "canola" instead. Except canola means "Canadian oil"; and the plant is still a rape plant, albeit genetically modified.
The new name provides perfect cover for commercial interests wanting to make billions. Look at the ingredients list on labels. Apparently peanut oil is being replaced with rape oil. You'll find it in an alarming number of processed foods.
There's more, but to conclude: rape oil was the source of the chemical warfare agent mustard gas, which was banned after blistering the lungs and skins of hundred of thousands of soldiers and civilians during W.W.I.
Recent French reports indicate that it was again in use during the Gulf War. Check products for ingredients. If the label says, "may contain the following" and lists canola oil, you know it contains canola oil because it is the cheapest oil and the Canadian government subsidises it to industries involved in food processing.
I don't know what you'll be cooking with tonight, but I'll be using olive oil and old-fashioned butter, from a genetically unmodified cow.
Say No to Canola
Tel: (011) 704 2522 Fax: (011) 462 8263 Cell: 082 445 8195
Johannesburg, South Africa
Sent: 06 August 2000 07:29
Subject: "GE-free" companies
This is a good overview of companies around the world who have removed GMOs from their products - or who are currently in the process of doing so. It's worth keeping in mind though, that although actual GMOs may have been removed from the food, many products could still be affected by GM derivatives and GM enzymes. (Yet another reminder to ask companies to put in writing that their products are free from GM ingredients derivatives and enzymes).
Stop press- Novartis will not use its own GMO products and has announced that will make its food products GMO-free!
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