GM vaccines and organic standards

Genetically-modified vaccines

Everywhere organic standards have been implemented, they’ve come under attack by those who feel their financial interests are threatened. There are many organic standards, and they all vary widely in quality, and may be strict in one area and lax in another.

The US government standards, for example, are seen as strict when it comes to body products, but more lax when it comes to food products.

Most organic standards permit limited use of vaccines in livestock. However, many vaccines these days contain genetically-modified ingredients. While officially illegal in the US, they’re hard to regulate, and they’re frequently used on supposedly organic livestock.

It’s not surprising that, instead of closing the loophole, the US organics authority is considering a proposal to permit unregulated use of genetically-modified vaccines. Let’s hope their standards hold.

At least they have standards. South Africa has none, which means every corner store can stick an “organic” label on any product they wish, and there’s no legal criteria to which they need to adhere. We often come up against suppliers who sincerely believe their produce is ‘organic’, but when questioned further, we find they have no understanding of organic standards at all, and could mean small-scale, or that they ‘limit’ the use of pesticides, or simply don’t use various chemical nasties.

Remember that you can click on all of our products to get more information on which organic standards, if any, they adhere to. Remember as well that we consciously choose to support small farmers who can not afford to pay for organic certification, but that we believe farm according to at least the same standards.

Climate Change

Today is blog action day on Climate Change, and the internet is full of animations of the disappearing Arctic Ice, the news of the first appearance of flies at Mt Everest Base Camp, and so on.

A story on the melting Alpine glaciers caught my eye amidst all the noise. I remember the first time I got to play in the snow. I rushed outside and took a handful in my mouth, savouring the pristine taste of melting snow. However, it was on a farm in northern England, and the locals enjoyed bursting my bubble telling me how far from pristine the snow was likely to be.

The image of a glacial Alpine pool though remains for me the picture of pristine. However, even that image could be shattered, as pollutants that have been trapped in the ice for decades are being released into the waters as older and older ice is melted. That Alpine lake is now more likely to contain chemicals such as DDT, banned in Europe for decades, but still present in the ice from all those decades ago.

Perhaps one day, our grandchildren’s grandchildren can take a mouthful of alpine ice and have nothing more to worry about than a bit of wolf dung!


I was at Rocking the Daisies this weekend, and the daisies, at least those that were left standing, were rocking. It was great to see the effort they made, well beyond the usual greenwash, of greening the festival. I happened to walk past the green tent while a video on hemp was playing. It highlighted the well-known beneficial effects of hemp in many spheres, how it’s a superb food crop, superior to wood for making paper, and so on, as well as the influence of the chemical fabric companies in ensuring the industry’s demise.

The video was dated, if I recall, 1994, and it’s sad to realise that not much has changed. Hemp is still a marginal crop worldwide, illegal to grow commercially in many countries. People still confuse it with marijuana. Sadly, South Africa’s agricultural legislation is amongst the worst in the world, and a crop which could have so many benefits for small farmers is banned. We have a range of body products available from Hemporium, the South African hemp company – like all hemp products available locally however, they’re imported.

Collection Point changes

We have a couple of new collection points this week. We welcome Soil for Life, next to the Constantia Waldorf School, and Eirene Health Shop in Durbanville. Further details on the site. Remember you can change your default collection point by clicking on “Change details” once you’re logged in.

To order, head on over to

Have a fantastic week,
the Ethical Co-op team

Comments ( 3 )

  1. Steve

    the rabbit hole is truely deep... Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming is a complete hoax, and the majority of REAL scientists agree with me... , 31 THOUSAND scientsts and 9000 with PhD's, who fundamentally disagree with Al Gore and the other one world government gurus.. dont trust the politicians global warming is to bring in a carbon tax I know this is hard to believe, so I urge all to watch 'the great global warming swindle' and 'global warming or global government' NO ONE can claim to have heard BOTH sides of the story, if you don't take the time to watch the following... but, a 0.01% increase in CO2 in the atmosphere, from 0.03% to 0.04%, is NOT going to kill us all..... please watch and then mail me your thoughts.. and I challenge anyone to an open debate on this, as a Scientst, I am against pollution, I am against deforestation, but Co2 is a pollutant? its what plants EAT, regards Steven steveninthematrix AT

  2. Ian Gilfillan

    Hi Steve As we discussed before, you also believe that the UN eugenicists are out to slaughter 6 billion people. I believe both claims are complete nonsense, though of course, I could be mistaken. Climate change denialism is being funded and flamed by the oil industry. No remaining scientific body of any standing believes what you're saying. The last to change its views, was, strangely, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Climatologists, who actually study the subject, are overwhelmingly in agreement. The most doubting category of scientists? Petroleum geologists, who are more likely to be employed by oil companies, or be exposed to their misinformation. Other readers can read a more complete response on my personal blog. Something like Climate Change controversies, a simple guide provides reasoned responses to the usual misinformation, as well as Wikipedia's Global Warming Controversy article for background information.

  3. Steve

    Ian, 31000 scientists agree with my side of the arguement, so, in the REAL scientific community, we are the majority (the scientists not funded by UN) Secondly, google 'georgia guidestones', where it is stated they want the world at 500 million, which would mean killing 6 billion, again, it isn't my opinion, it is in their own documents. Read Holdren's book 'ecoscience' He is Obama's science czar, and then read some parts of the book Oil companies fund the WWF and GreenPeace, why, the plan is to sell half the oil and double the price i.e. they'll make the same money but use less product there are times in earth's recent history with 3,4,5,6 times more CO2 in the atmosphere, and all the mammals survived no problem why are there 31000 scientists who disagree? have you read the Copenhagan treaty coming in December? it is being setup for world government and world enforcement on 'climate change', a completely Orwellian term, as they climate alway changes. Pollution, bad Deforestation, bad SO2, bad but Co2, the stuff plants eat? and makes them grow faster the more their is? no. I urge you to actually what the information provided in the links above and lets meet sometime to discuss, in person I can cover a lot more information and agendas behind the 'global warming hoax' MARS has 94% CO2 and almost no greenhouse effect, because it has no water vapour (95% of the greenhouse effect, the thing that stops the Earth freezing at night, is caused by water vapour) i.e. the greenhouse effect is a good thing, just as CO2 is take care and be safe Steven google 'georgia guidestones'