Update. October 2010

Leave a comment!


Apologies for a glitch that meant you couldn't leave User Comments on our website. It's all fixed now and if you'd like to comment on the two articles posted in the last update - Reflections on S11 or How we shop, you can now. We'd love to hear your thoughts, reflections and own experiences. (You can also give feedback on any of the Company and Issue pages).

Coles - Tell us what you think. If you do shop at Coles you can make use of their new campaign encouraging you to give feedback via an online form www.tellcoles.com.au. A good opportunity to make them aware of what you value. Maybe it's GM-free poultry products, or less packaging on their fruit & veg, or disclosure of the manufacturer on their homebrand products. Whatever it may be, let them know.

Take on a 7 day Challenge!

As part of our annual Household Action Challenge, we are taking on a 'No Impact November', and invite you and your household or community to be a part. It's a collaborative community experiment to explore alternatives ways of living with an emphasis on consuming less, sharing more and moving to a life with less oil dependency. It's a whole month of fun, but our specific challenge week will be from Thursday 11th to 18th November.
Interested in being a part? Come to our initial preparation meeting on Thursday October 14th as part of the ECG movie night. RSVP nick@ethical.org.au for details, or checkout the website No Impact November.

Meal & Movie nights

This month, two great movies, one focussing on the power of corporations, and the second on one American farmer's personal journey. >> Dinner 6.30 - 7.30pm - byo 'food and thoughts' to share >> movie 8pm - 10.30pm.

Thursday 14 October - The Corporation
Out West - Neesh & Shaun's place, Yarraville
Does a multi-national corporation have the same rights as an individual? The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is yes. So, what kind of person is it? >> RSVP to Nick nick@ethical.org.au or 0417 114 492


Friday 22nd October,
The Real Dirt on Farmer John
Out East - Wendy's place, Blackburn 
Maverick Midwestern farmer John, an outcast in his community, bravely stands amidst a failing economy, vicious rumors, and violence. A powerful story of transformation and renewal.
>> RSVP to Wendy - qblhome @ hotmail.com or ph: 9878 7897

>> Find out more about Meal & Movie nights.
Let us know if you'd like to host a regular night in your local area.

News ....

Unilever buys Alberto Culver
27th Sep 2010 — Unilever is buying hair and skin care products maker Alberto Culver for US$3.7 billion. Brands include TRESemme, VO5 and St Ives. more

Monsanto takes stake in InterGrain
26th Aug 2010 - Monsanto has acquired a 19.9 pecent share of Western Australia’s InterGrain, the company that produces seed for 40 percent of all wheat grown in Australia more. Some groups suggest that this deal risks Australian farmers’ food sovereignty, allowing Monsanto, which owns 25% of all commercial seed and 90% of the world’s traded genetically modified (GM) seeds, to insert their GM traits into the best varieties of Australian wheat. more

Campaigns ....

Checkout Fairtrade campaign
Fairtrade Australia is aiming to find Australia's most Fairtrade Friendly Supermarket and need your help to find it! Simply visit your local supermarket between 27 September–10 October 2010 and find all the Fairtrade Certified products you can. Fill out a postcard or go to www.checkoutfairtrade.org.au

Not that you need more incentive... but the entry with the best idea for making Aussies supermarkets more Fairtrade friendly will win a holiday package from Virgin Blue worth up to $2000!

oo launch their 'WIpe for Wildlife' campaign
Australians currently flush more than 6 million trees down the toilet each year. This doesn't make sense, especially when toilet paper can be made from waste products such as recycled paper. So what type of toilet paper is wildlife friendly? Look for 100% post-consumer waste, made within Australia, using non-toxic chemicals. Get your school workplace, neighbourhood involved! Find out more.

Act on GM labelling of infant formula....

Independent testing conducted by Greenpeace has found that some of Australia's major infant formula brands are contaminated with genetically modified (GM) products. Test results were published in the Sunday Telegraph and were reported by Channel 7's Sunday Night program (to see 6 minute clip, scroll down to 'featured videos', then select 'Baby Formula Test' ). This was followed by a series of supermarket sit-ins by angry mothers in an effort to effect a national recall of the Pfizer's S-26 baby formula. Reported in the Age on September 27.

Our food authority (FSANZ) will not act to recall or to require the labelling of Pfizer's product as the contamination is less than 1% of the product. The 1% threshold however is present as a loophole for accidental pollution NOT the routine contamination evident in this case. Every recent test of GM content in S-26 formula has been positive for GM contamination.

What can you do:

  • Fill in the Greenpeace form to tell Health Minister Nicola Roxon to fix our labelling laws, and require all foods made using GM techniques to be labelled.
  • Ask Pfizer/Wyeth to immediately recall GM contaminated infant formula S-26 Soy. Ring 1800 552 229 toll free.
  • Submit a review of S-26. (ie. "I won't be buying this product until I get a GM-free declaration from the manufacturer").
  • Get involved. You can see the Sydney action here . Learn more about Madge's action.

Events worth a mention....

Raising Healthy Children in a Toxic World (public seminar)
16th October, 12.30pm – 3pm, Hawthorn Town Hall, Vic. Find out more

S.O.L.E fair (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) & launch for Ecovenient, ethical concept store
30th October 30, 9am – 1pm, Murrumbeena, Vic. Find out more

Fair@Square (fairtrade & ethical festival)
11-12th December 2010, 11am-6pm, Federation Square, Melbourne, Vic. Find out more

Upcoming workshops ...

  • Saturday 30th October, 10.30am-1.00pm >> Flemington Library Supermarket tour
  • Thursday 28th October, 6pm >> Public workshop & Supermarket tour, Footscray
  • Tuesday 16th November, 6pm – 8.30pm >>'Greener Chirstmas' , Balwyn
  • Saturday 20th November, 10.30am - 1.00pm >> Altona Library Supermarket tour
  • Saturday 27 November >> Buy Nothing Day - stunts & fun!

Find out more or register online here .

Volunteers wanted ....

Still looking for people to help out with:

  • staffing stalls at upcoming events.
  • representing us in other states in doing presentations and workshops.
  • helping with research (including clothing, toys, electronics and celebrity brand endorsements)

Contact Nick to help. nick@ethical.org.au

Last but not least ...

One good idea that came about briefly during the recent federal election was Queensland independent Bob Katter's demand to "limit price mark-ups (that supermarkets can charge) to 100 per cent between the farm gate and the shelf".

As the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance point out, "only 35 years ago the market share of Coles and Woolworths was around 40% (now it's 80%) ... over this same period around 45,000 Australian farmers have left the land as a result of the ‘cost-price’ squeeze. The power of the supermarkets to depress farmgate prices has played a major role in this exodus." (more) (more)

I'm hoping Bob's idea has a long shelf life.


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