Saturday, April 28, 2007


The cotton industry may be forcing us all into oblivion. If not by using up all the water on the planet to feed this weed, or by spraying millions of tons of pesticides every year on them to kill the pesticides it attracts, then perhaps it will get to us by upsetting the balance of nature as GM cotton plants are cultivated. These are already suspect in cattle diseases, as lots of GM cotton seed has been fed to cattle which has become sick. Now it turns out the bees are sick, sick and tired of mankind trying to fool Mother Nature, and they may well buzz off. Could this be in part due to GM cotton flowers? Pesticides are a main suspect, and of course, when you turn lush farmland into desert, you're not helping the planet.

So where are the journalists in the midst of all this? They seem to have buzzed off faster than a fleeing queen from an infected hive. This week we protested the use of cotton in the Anya Hindmarch bag, and not a word of it got into the mainstream press. Then the Evening Standard carries the story about the AH bags being made in China in a sweatshop, and the next day every paper in the UK has a story about how terrible the Anya Hindmarch bag is. Some manage to mention the fact that it is made of cotton, and that this is bad for the environment. But none mention a solution, not a word about hemp, or jute, or even flax. Ah, but that would take work. Lots of queens in the press, but not a lot of workers, maybe they all quit the hive.

Those left behind are happy, however, to promote cotton, with the Independent featuring lots of pictures of white cotton shirts, cheap at £430, or the Times including a catalogue from a company called "Cotton Traders".

So, I urge all readers of this post to call these papers and put them to work on hemp.

The Independent: 020 7005 2000 (ask for Michael McCarthy/David Randall)

The Guardian: 020 7278 2332 (ask for John Vidal)

Daily Mirror: 020 7293 3000

The Sun: 020 7782 4000

Daily Express: 0871 434 1010

Daily Mail/Evening Standard: 020 7938 6000

Daily Telegraph: 020 7931 2000

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