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www.greenpeace.org.cn VOL.

34

2006

==SUMMER ISSUE

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A2



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A3



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GE0606-NL


A4

2006 SUMMER ISSUE

In one Choi Sum sample collected from Wellcome, a dangerously high level of pesticide residue — 12 times over the Codex Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) was found. Meanwhile, in one tomato sample from ParknShop, 5 different pesticides, including a large amount of the illegal Lindane were identified. As the largest retailers of fresh vegetables, both supermarket chains should make sure their products meet the Hong Kong standard and are one-hundred percent safe for consumers. Neither banned pesticide nor excessive pesticide residue is acceptable in the vegetables we eat. Over 80% of the vegetables sold in the two supermarket chains are from the Mainland, where many banned pesticides are still manufactured and illegally used, especially in Guangdong Province. The health of

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Have you eaten your

HP finally committed to phase out toxic substances!

Green Pulse

Leung Pui Fung Fundraising & Marketing Director of Greenpeace China

Supporting sustainable development Batting environmental problems and poverty

greens today?

Hong Kong consumers is threatened by food safety loopholes which allow vegetables containing illegal pesticides and pesticide residue onto our supermarkets shelves. ParknShop has a vegetable surveillance system, including vegetable source controls and pesticide residue tests, and has made a public promise ensuring the safety of their vegetables. However, the scope of their system is not broad enough, and that’s why the problem of excessive pesticides cannot be eliminated. Wellcome, on the contrary, has no such system to test for and detect pesticides, resulting in the excessive amount of pesticide found in their vegetables. It is the responsibility of the two supermarket chains to monitor the sources of vegetables, in order to prohibit any use of illegal pesticides on the farms and to guarantee food safety to consumers.

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

Doctors and nutritionists advise us that vegetables are an important part of our daily diet. Containing an abundance of nutrients, including vitamins and cellulose, they are essential to our health. But, have you ever wondered what else you might be consuming in your daily dose of greens? Since November 2005, Greenpeace has been taking vegetable samples from Hong Kong’s two major supermarket chains, ParknShop and Wellcome, to test for illegal pesticide and excessive pesticide residue. We tested a total of fifty-five samples including, thirteen kinds of Chinese leafy vegetables, podded vegetables and fruit vegetables including Choisum, Pak-choi, green sprout, Kale, French beans, and tomatoes. The tests were conducted by The German institute of Eurofins Dr. Specht Laboratorien, the leading institution for detection of pesticides and organics in foods and agricultural products and the results were compared with the Codex Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) co-developed by WHO and FAO, as well as with the EU standard, it was shocking and alarming: ■ Over 70% contained pesticides residue; ■ 30% exceeded international standards; ■ 20 different kinds of pesticides were found, with most samples containing more than one kind of pesticide; ■ The most commonly found pesticides were Chlorpyrifos (-ethyl) and Cypermethrin; ■ Illegal pesticides found included Methamidophos, DDT, Lindan, Delta-HCH and Isocarbophos.

Illegal GE ingredient found in Heinz baby food.

○ ○ ○ ○

Chinese Rock Star protects the Paradise Forests.

Staff turned into Pinocchio at CLP AGM.

Green Post

Pesticide poisonings have been reported for decades. Intake of an excessive amount can lead to acute intoxication while long-term exposure can cause chronic poisoning that affects the reproductive and nervous systems. In addition, many pesticides have been identified as potential carcinogens. Some pesticides can be passed from mother to foetus during pregnancy, and to infants through breast feeding. Furthermore, different pesticides consumed together would cause the so-called “Cocktail effect”, boosting the adverse effect of one pesticide by up to a hundred times. In response to Greenpeace’s findings, ParknShop immediately conducted its own investigation. A report was presented to Greenpeace and a written promise submitted at our request. Wellcome took the initiative to terminate contracts with problematic suppliers, drafted a schedule to enhance its surveil-

lance system and all leafy chinese vegetables can now be traced back to the farm. We welcome the first step taken by both supermarkets, but there are still loopholes which need closing. Greenpeace urge ParknShop to expand its surveillance system to non-leafy vegetables such as tomatoes, and Wellcome to have a full-scale restructuring of its monitoring system and guarantee food safety. As consumers cannot detect pesticide residue in vegetables with the naked eye, the best they can do is to soak the vegetables in water and wash them thoroughly before cooking. However, these are no more than stopgap measures. Greenpeace emphasises that the responsibility for ensuring food safety lies with the supermarkets and retailers not consumers. Consumers should join hands and urge the two major supermarket chains to provide safe vegetables.

Does time heal everything? It has been twenty years since an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station devastated the lives of millions of people in western Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine Twenty years on, the people of Chernobyl and Belarus continue to suffer medically, economically, environmentally and socially from the effects of the disaster. Twenty years on, the nightmare continues. The Chernobyl catastrophe released one hundred times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The destitute region and its legacy of disease, displacement, and degradation are a poignant and heartbreaking expression of the real and present dangers of nuclear power everywhere. The effects of Chernobyl touched millions of people and thousands still endure very visible and painful effects. Independent scientists and economists know that nuclear

energy is the most expensive electricity source available, counting the cost of building, running and decommissioning the power stations. But an economic analysis alone cannot calculate the costs due to the damage done to our genes, the very foundation of life. There are many other costs to take into consideration – the insurance and the cost of potential accidents, the long-term disposal of waste when no reliable solution has yet been found. Nuclear power

Organic food is the solution. As no pesticides or synthetic fertilisers are used in organic planting, the crops are more natural and healthy, and free of any toxic residue. Our continuing reliance on industrialised agricultural production risks consumer and farmer’s health and destroys the environment and farmer’s livelihoods. Organic farming will give us safe food and a cleaner environment. Food safety is critical for consumer health and for consumer trust. Hong Kong has been besieged by food scares in recent years, it’s time to turn Hong Kong green again, improving the quality of food supply, protecting the environment and rejuvenating the farming industry. Greenpeace will closely monitor the next steps taken by the two supermarkets and ensure our greens are safe and pesticide free.

For thousands of years, human lives have depended on nature, we eat the rice that grows on the land, eat the fish from the river and mushrooms from the forest. We cannot separate our existence from nature. Hong Kong people, as city dwellers, may no longer feel the bond with the land, but for the 2.5 billion farmers around the world, their livelihood is highly related to the environment. Once they have sown their seeds, they pray, pray for the seeds to grow, pray for the harvest. However, the train of the industrial revolution driven by developed countries has caused serious environmental problems – droughts, floods, storms and diseases are more serious than ever. Life for farmers has become more difficult. To respond to these disasters, they usually open up more farmland; use more resources from forests, and nearby water in an unsustainable way; or begin to industrialise food production without any environmental protection measures, all of which could worsen the problem. As a result, harvests become more difficult due to soil erosion, groundwater level decrease, extreme weather events increase etc. Poverty and environmental problems form a vicious cycle. They have to be solved together, otherwise, sustainable development cannot be achieved. Having worked at Oxfam for 12 years, the relationship between poverty and environment is one thing I learnt by heart. The crops growing from our earth feed 6.2 billion people, The natural resources the earth contains provides all the necessities we need, how can we ignore its health? That’s also the reason why I joined Greenpeace. Since the industrial revolution, natural resources depleted rapidly as we enjoyed the fruits of economic growth. While the market conquers each and every single community, every 2 seconds a football pitch sized area of forest vanishes. When money drives everything, corners are cut. Isn’t it time to wake up and think? In the past 12 years, I was responsible for fundraising and communications for half of the time and the rest was on policy, advocacy and campaigning work. These valuable and diverse experiences were truly fruitful and I hope they will help me to assist the development of Greenpeace. China is the key to conquering environmental problems. The rapid growth of China’s economic development over the past 20 years has come at huge environmental cost. China’s population and geographic range are enormous, and if sustainable development could be achieved, our future would be bright! On the contrary, if it fails, the result could be devastating and, given the interdependency of Hong Kong and China, we are certainly the group that will suffer most. This is why the work of Greenpeace China is important. In order to speak out for the fragile Chinese environment, I will do my best to raise the funds that we need for our work. Different organisations have different priorities. I believe both Greenpeace and Oxfam can help China along the path of sustainable development and provide solutions to poverty and environmental problems. We all work for peace and justice. P.S.

As a new member of staff at Greenpeace, I am very impressed by the teams of young, enthusiastic, professional and dedicated staff who work on Greenpeace campaigns that make real changes to the rules and practices of governments and corporations, and contribute to a paradigm shift in the environmental debates in Hong Kong. This is possible only with your support. Thank you.

If your pictures are not good enough, you’re not close enough

GLOBALVIEW

No more Chernobyls

is not a solution for climate change. The massive subsidies needed to keep the nuclear industry alive are slowing and undermine the renewable energy revolution that is the real solution to climate change. Sign our petition online to call on United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and IAEA DirectorGeneral El Bharadei to stop the promotion of a dirty, dangerous industry and focus resources exclusively on its critical mission of disarmament and world peace. www.greenpeace.org/international/news/chernobylvictim 000358

Defending Our Oceans — The Amazing Azores Some of the most elusive life on earth has been documented by Greenpeace and a team of scientists working in the Azores. During a three-week survey of the rich marine life around the islands in the Atlantic, creatures living at depths as low as 700 metres were filmed and photographed. Equipped with state of the art imaging equipment, including a remote operating vehicle and a drop camera, Greenpeace and the University of the Azores were able to survey parts of the deep sea that have never been seen by the human eye. Corals, sponges, a variety of fish, sea slugs and salps and even deep water sharks where documented.

The Azores expedition of the Esperanza is part of a year round expedition to Defend our Oceans. The expedition is promoting Greenpeace's proposal to establish a global network of marine reser ves covering 40% of the world's oceans, in order to protect them for future generations. The expedition started last November with actions against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. Before arriving in the Azores, the Esperanza has been exposing pirate fishing west of Africa. Sign up to become one of a million Ocean Defenders www.oceans.greenpeace.org

The famous war photographer Robert Capa once said: “If your pictures are not good enough, you’re not close enough.” For more than 30 years, Greenpeace photographers have been standing in the frontline, bearing witness to environmental destruction around the world. 2005 was a notable year for Greenpeace photography, we won two awards at the prestigious World Press Photo Awards, for images depicting the drought in the Amazon last year and the lingering effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Meanwhile, the Amazon drought photo “Rain forest yesterday, Dune now” also won the golden prize of news profile in the China equivalent of the World Press “China World News Photograph Competition”. As incredible as it may seem, yet another prestigious photo award, ‘Picture of the Year’ – the US equivalent to World Press – awarded 2nd

prize, in the ‘Science and Natural History’ category, to Greenpeace photographer Nick Cobbing for twelve incredible pictures of the Greenland ice and glacier feature. Greenpeace China proudly invited these 3 prestigious award winning photographers to Beijing on May 28th, to share their photographs and their experiences of working with Greenpeace at “The Frontline Photographers Master Class”. For two and a half hours the 200 seat auditorium was packed full with VIPs, picture editors, photographers and journalists from China’s print media. The event was a huge success. As John Novis, Greenpeace International photo editor said, “the pictures are all the more powerful, not just because of their quality, but also because of the message they send. Our future might look like this, it needs solutions, it needs change!”

Nick Cobbing, UK: 2005 POYI (Picture of the year International) Nature Category award (2nd Prize) for his Greenland Ice Melt.

Daniel Beltra, Spain: 2005 World Press Photo award (3rd Prize in Nature category) and 2006 CHIPP (China International Press Photo Contest) Golden Prize for his coverage of the Amazon Drought.

For donation form, please refer to A3. Greenpeace exists because this fragile earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs action. To save our forests and planet, we try our best to cut down our paper consumption. Share this newsletter with your friends. For detailed newsletter information and updates, visit www.greenpeace.org.cn. Robert Knoth, Netherlands: 2005 World Press Photo award (Honorable Mention in Portrait category) for his Russian nuclear victim portraits.

We welcome your feedback on Green Post, do let us know what you think and email to greenpeace. china@hk.greenpeace.org.


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