The best there is

I saw a cartoon today of an Aztec soldier leading a victim up the steps to be sacrificed. Naturally the victim looked a little unhappy, but the soldier said to him. “It may not be a perfect system, but it’s the best one there is”.

Beyond the laugh, it’s quite profound. Pointing out the flaws in the current system is not that helpful if no alternative is provided. The ceremonial executioner needs to find something new to give their energy to before they’ll happily drop their role.

In our society, so much time is spent criticising what is, without understanding how we mirror the very same patterns in our own lives, and without looking at what concretely we can do to change it.

New GMO maize
A new genetically-modified maize has been approved for importation to South Africa. There are many who reject all GMO crops without really understanding how the technology works, but my opposition comes from the fact that the intention is to extend corporate control of the food supply, and that each genetically-modified crop needs to be thoroughly tested, as they’re all different.

So, the new maize has been developed as a result of the failed properties of previous GMO maizes in the US. Most commercial GMO crops have been developed with a particular herbicide resistance, so allowing farmers to apply large quantities of herbicide on their farmlands without damaging their crops (never mind the farmworkers). Such chemical warfare has an obvious consequence, with farmers having to apply more and more herbicides as other plants develop immunity. Many of the first generation GMO maize plants are now worthless, and farmers have to pay increased prices for new varieties that have inbuilt resistance to stronger herbicides.

The latest maize has been modified to be resistant to Dow Chemical’s 2,4-D, famous as one of the two active ingredients in Agent Orange, the poison that the US military used to devastating effect in Vietnam, and linked with numerous severe health problems, including thyroid cancer.

So, the effects of the maize will be to grant Dow Chemicals control of the maize supply, as they supply seeds and the herbicide required for use with the crop. Heavier doses of herbicide as other plants develop immunity, more illness and death amongst marginalised farmworkers.

A flawed technology when one that is so much more effective, organic farming, is available without all these side-effects.

There’s a petition available to sign which will be delivered to parliament.

New delivery fees
After three years without an increase to our delivery fees, we’ve had to increase them, especially for the more outlying areas. Delivery fees have been increased by R10 for outlying areas and by R4 for central areas. Our countrywide delivery fees remain the same, as orders outside of Cape Town are delivered via the post office.

To order, head on over to www.ethical.org.za to place your order before Tuesday 2pm, and remember that you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter

Have a great week,
Ian and the Ethical team