Your weekly green news round-up.
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Dear *|NAME|*

Welcome to our new friends - environmental students from across the world, whom we met at the international Student Environmental Network summit in Stellenbosch earlier this month. How wonderful to see the enthusiasm and dedication of the youth in whose capable hands we will be leaving the health of this planet. Thank you for your care. Some of our new students will also be writing for us and submitting stories of inspiring initiatives from where they are. We look forward to your news.

A gremlin hijacked last week’s transition from a weekly to a fortnightly sweep of our green news portal. Hence a list of important stories were not picked up.

When our natural medicines are under threat, that is simply not good enough. So for the sake of our natural health, here is a special issue to help you catch up with those stories that we missed. If we treasure our right to keep well naturally, we now need to join the Natural Health Alliance and also sign the petition to challenge the new laws, which are picking our supplements off the shelves.

And then our right to natural food. A new law submitted to the Russian parliament seeks to prosecute those who produce genetically modified organisms harmful to human or environmental health. Russian lawmakers have also asked the United Nations to create an agency to control the spread of GMOs world wide – and as a top priority to study the health effects of consuming GM foods over the long run. The speaker of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament is fighting for organic foods and they are against the uncontrollable spread of GM foods in Russia.

In SA, sadly, our country’s staple food, bread, contains GM content to various degrees. Plus local food companies have been hiding this behind the ‘may contain GMOs’ label. By the time a product is on the shelf ‘organisms’ are dead and therefore no longer able to be detected. Luckily this loophole is possibly going to be changed to GM ‘ingredients.’

This is crucial as some supermarkets are selling white bread with up to 91% GM soya flour. Our nation consumes 2.8 billion loaves of bread per year, so think of the impact on our health, productivity and the cost to the nation.

We have to be more verbal, more active, more ‘out there’ if we want this nation to heal. Read who has been hiding the truth. Take a stand and don’t support those who don’t care. Vote with your purse for a more enlightened world.

In the interest of nation building we are sharing some stories from the community side of the Lwandle evictions, as told by alternative dispute resolution lawyer, Sheena St Claire Jonker. In the spirit of Madiba we cannot look away and imagine this is OK. Read for yourself and let's learn from this incident.

Don’t miss out on cool green events to attend – check out or calendar here.
Enjoy, integrate, share and respond to this issue, with love

Elma and the team


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Fight for your right to natural health


Our rights to natural health are under threat in this country. This since the Department of Health, during November 2013, passed new regulations to control complementary medicines in the same way as pharmaceutical drugs.

Sort according to colours for better recycling business


How will recyclers weather current challenges on the ground, like a lack of access to markets and buyers of their materials?

7.3 million underage girls give birth every year


On World Population Day, Friday 11 July 2014, the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) reflected upon the links between human population growth and the impact that this has on our environment.

WTO to cut tariffs on environmental goods


Diplomats from the United States, China and the European Union have begun talks with 11 other countries toward a deal that would cut tariffs on almost $1 trillion of environmental goods.

Altered marine food webs threaten food security


A new scientific analysis shows that urgent action is needed to reverse the tide of ecological decline in the ocean that threatens economies, societies and nature, says the Global Ocean Commission.

Feeding the masses staple GM bread


Local food companies had been hiding high genetically modified organism (GMO) content behind the “may contain GMOs” label. This might soon come to an end with possible changes to labelling regulations, the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) said last week.

Russia requests international GMO watchdog


Russian lawmakers advocate the creation of an international UN agency to strictly control the turnover of GMO products worldwide, with a top priority mission to scrutinize how these foods affect our health.

New law seeks to punish GMO producers


A draft law submitted to the Russian parliament seeks to impose punishment up to criminal prosecution to producers of genetically-modified organisms harmful to health or the environment.

NASA launches carbon tracking satellite


The ability of scientists to make accurate predictions about future effects of CO2 will be boosted by vital data from a new US satellite sent to take a detailed inventory of the planet’s sinks and sources of carbon.

Deforestation in Indonesia 'highest in the world'


The rate of deforestation in Indonesia is now the highest in the world, alleges the journal Nature Climate Change. The study claims Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of forest in 2012 compared to 460,000 hectares in Brazil.

Proposed mine to severely affect flagship park


Deep concerns have been raised about a proposed coal mine to be built on the boundary of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HIP), with the potential for severe, irreversible impacts on the flagship nature reserve and nearby communities.

Getting to grips with the shale gas industry


SA’s energy policy is going through a rethink in the highest corridors of power with the government declaring a waning interest in coal, and reconsidering their Integrated Resource Plan's focus on nuclear energy.

Sustainability Week brings lively debate to green issues


Another stellar line-up of conferences, seminars and public lectures took place at this year’s Sustainability Week (17 to 19 June 2014) in Pretoria, a green event with a difference.

R80 000 fine for disregarding environmental standard


Recent developments in the enforcement of our country’s environmental laws are likely to see directors place greater emphasis on their company’s environmental management systems and result in improved ecological monitoring and compliance.

Zuma has 30 days to halt fracking process


TKAG and civil rights group Afriforum hand-delivered a letter to Zuma's offices at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Monday. In the letter the groups call for Zuma to investigate the fracking process and to speak to South Africans about the matter before issuing exploration licences.

Stories of Lwandle evictees not OK, says ADR lawyer


After 20 years of democracy, and celebrating the spirit of Madiba, the reality of the Lwandle evictions, as reported in the Supreme Court last week, triggered memories of the old style police treatment in the sad history of this country.
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