Letter dated 08 August 2008

Issue date : 08 August 2008

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Kenya Chooses

Kenya will import millions of bags of maize from Zambia to avert a looming shortage in the second half of the year. It has apparently chosen Zambia over South Africa as a source so as to have GM-free maize, while in Europe during May, European Commissioners overturned the Food Safety Authority’s “safe to eat” verdict for three new GM crops – two kinds of GM maize and one variety of GM potato – meaning that those crops cannot be grown commercially by farmers. And, the demand for organic food and cotton is increasing by 30% to 40% per year globally. Organic farming can use up to 50% less carbon-emitting fossil fuel and soil prepared that way has better moisture retention compared to conventional farming, which makes organic farming the system of choice during times of climate change. Andrew Taynton, Linkhills

Hunting Cliches

I was horrified to read the article and see the photo of Tiaan Steyn – an 11-year-old child – posing with a firearm next to an animal he had killed, his third blesbok, couched in the euphemisms of preserving the habitat (18 July). I find it totally unacceptable to put firearms into the hands of a child and send him out to hunt, no matter how good a shot. A 10-year old boy in our area shot and killed the family domestic by being allowed to handle his father’s pistol and there are incidents reported daily in the papers about children getting hold of their parents’ firearms and accidentally killing innocent people.

This is one of the reasons the entire population is being compelled to hand in their firearms or go through the onerous process of getting their licences renewed. O n my uncle’s farm a visitor came to shoot springbok, which he allowed his 12-year-old to do. It meant my cousin had to run all over the farm finishing off wounded animals. I urge Tiaan’s parents to reconsider the implications of their permissiveness. I wonder if the child is even fully aware of the fact that he has ended the life of a living, breathing animal. Margaret Matzener, Piketberg

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