Thursday, April 12, 2012

Organic Chocolate Sugar Candy Bar in Guatemala,Where ?

 In a google search for organic sugar in Guatemala I certainly didn't find any which is sort of what I expected.
Where companies that claim to get organic sugar such as Vitasoy SOY MILK and I presume SOME chocolate bar makers in the U.S. get it from is not very obvious.I do believe I heard about some in Bolivia but even then the environmental damage of clearing a diverse tropical ecosystems to cultivate even 'organic' sugar cane seems tragic.I guess that just as the last phase of Maya civilization before its ultimate collapse is called by archeologists,Late Classic Maya,so are we 'Late Classic Industrial 'civilization'.
We do have at least one store here that claims to sell 'organic' chocolate bars and truffles,etc., but it seems rather fraudulant to me in light of the fact that organic sugar is no where to be found and if sugar is AT LEAST 30% of the ingredients it seems a little silly to emphasize that the cacao is 'organic',doesn't it ? Yet another reason for our cacao-honey bars........
On the other hand it appears to me that the collapse of Late Classic Industrial 'Civilization' will be much more profound than past collapses probably due to over population combined with soil depletion and collapse...It is obvious that while the Maya of the tropical forset of Meso America collpsed and evidence exists that corresponds incresed Maya population with increased sedimentation of soil minerals,particulary phosphates,
the collapse was localized to the extent that the genetically diverse ecosystems they were inhabiting and exploiting still housed enough or most of the life forms their civilzation and population was exploiting.In other words jaguars survived.Howler and spider money survived.Precious trees unique and indigenous to what is now called the Guatemala Peten where Maya civilization flourished survived to reinhabit the pyramidfs and other human made structures that the corn and bean and perhaps manioc civilization of the Maya had built
on land that was formerly pristine.
I'm not so sure this is occuring today and in many cases unlike after the Maya collapse of over a thousand years ago,the present population of humans in the Peten is indeed leading to mammalian and plant extinctions that the Maya civilization before its collapse didn't occur.And this same situation can be seen at present around the world where in Asia the Orangutan is being driven to extinction as one example and in Africa our closet non-human ape relative in Africa, the Bonobo or pygmy  chimpanzee, and probably all chimpanzees are  expected to be extinct soon do to their  closet ape relative - us !

Images for orangutan

 - Report images

  1. Orangutans May Be Closest Human Relatives, Not Chimps
    23 Jun 2009 – Gene studies linking humans to modern African apes are flawed, says a new study that argues we have more physical traits in common with the ...
  2. How humans are 97% the same as orangutans: New research ...
    27 Jan 2011 – Although it makes orangutans less closely related to us than chimps - who have 99 per cent of DNA in common - a small portion of orangutan ...
  3. Hominidae : chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and humans
    Hominidae. chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, humans. Until recently, most classifications included only humans in this family; other apes were put in the family .

    100 orangutans estimated lost in Indonesian fires

    Atlanta Journal Constitution - 28 Mar 2012
    AP JAKARTA, Indonesia — Fires raging in an Indonesian swamp forest may have killed a third of the rare Sumatran orangutans living there and all of them may ...
    Orangutans may be wiped out - warningHerald Sun
    Orangutans in Indonesia's Aceh forest may die out in weeksEconomic Times
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    Orangutans in danger

    The Japan Times - 5 days ago
    The word "orangutan" comes from the Malay and Indonesian words meaning "person of the forest." Unfortunately, soon there may be no forest and no "person," ...

    Indonesia court refuses to stop forest development ...

    Washington Post - 3 Apr 2012
    The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program has said that orangutans could disappear from Tripa by the year's end if palm oil companies keep setting ...

    Hundreds of orangutans killed in north Indonesian forest fires ...

    Daily Mail - 29 Mar 2012
    By Richard Shears Hundreds of orangutans are believed to have died in fires deliberately lit by palm oil companies. Conservationists say the rare Sumatran ...
    Orangutans in Indonesia's Aceh forest may die out in weeksReuters
    100 orangutans estimated lost in Indonesian firesThe Associated Press
    Fires threaten Sumatran

Bonobo Chimps: Girls Rule! - YouTube Nov 2007 - 1 min - Uploaded by NationalGeographic
In bonobo society, it's the females that rule the world. See New Bonobo Baby ...

Guatemala: sugarcane’s bitter consequences
In our country, one of the crops that has caused the most negative impacts from its start to the present day is sugarcane. The sugarcane plantations are located in the Pacific Plains, a rich area with fertile soils of volcanic origin and abundant water from rainfall and the rivers born in the volcanic chain. These conditions were perfect for the development of this crop and the expansion of sugar mills. Today Guatemala is the fifth largest exporter of sugar in the world and second in production in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Presently, 14 sugar mills are in operation and in 2007 sugarcane plantations covered 216,000 hectares, approximately the same size as the Department of Guatemala (225,300 hectares) an appreciable area considering the size of our country (108,889 km2).
One of the most serious problems of monoculture sugarcane plantations is the total destruction of the ecosystems where they are located. In Guatemala this has led to the disappearance of vast areas of forest.
Added to the above is the exaggerated use of water which affects the human communities and causes direct and indirect negative impacts on terrestrial and coastal marine ecosystems. Burning sugarcane contaminates the environment, affects the health of neighbouring communities and releases CO2, one of the greenhouse gases. The burning of these plantations, year after year contributes to increasing global warming. During the harvest, the sugar mills change the course of rivers towards their plantations, leaving the communities without water; while at the same time also dumping their contaminated waste in them.
The canals and ditches, opened up for irrigation in the plantations, carry the water inland and cause flooding during the rainy season, placing many villages at risk. To this is added the contamination caused by the excessive use of agrochemicals, pesticides and chemical ripeners that are transported by the rivers towards coastal marine ecosystems such as mangroves.
One of the problems encountered by the sugar industry is the amount of land available to expand its plantations. According to statements made in 2007 by Armando Boesche, manager of the Guatemalan Sugar Growers Association (Asazgua - Asociación de Azucareros de Guatemala) “Now there is no land available because we have reached the limit.” This situation has become a threat to ecosystems and local inhabitants and is sensitive in a country where land disputes have led to wars, disappearances and death.
A clear example of the lack of land was the transfer in 2006 of the Guadalupe sugar mill to the Polochic River valley in Izabal near the wildlife refuge and Ramsar Site of Bocas del Polochic. This situation directly and indirectly threatens the wetlands and wildlife due to the changing of river courses and the use of agrochemicals that are transported to this body of water by rain and runoff, risking stepping up the growth of Hydrilla verticillata, an invasive plant that has been established in this location for several years now.
However, in the South the sugarcane plantations do not seem to have reached “the limit,” as they continue to expand, with the felling of the last trees and riparian forests that protected the river courses. They have had negative impacts on endangered species such as the Yellow-necked Parrot, in serious danger of extinction. The sugarcane frontier has reached the mangrove shores and localities such as Iztapa and Hawai, two areas that still conserve this endangered ecosystem. The plantations reach their borders, causing isolation and pressure.
No assessment has yet been made in Guatemala of the accumulative negative impacts of these monoculture plantations that affect both the neighbouring communities and local ecosystems. In the meanwhile, the people continue to sweeten drinks and food, oblivious of the bitter impacts of this monoculture on nature and on people.
By Carlos Salvatierra. SAVIA –Escuela de Pensamiento Ecologista-Guatemala

Source: WRM's bulletin Nº 143, June 2009

World Rainforest Movement

Maldonado 1858 - 11200 Montevideo - Uruguay
tel:  598 2 413 2989 / fax: 598 2 410 098


Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and Pesticides

POPs are a set of toxic chemicals that are persistent in the environment and able to last for several years before breaking down (UNEP/GPA 2006a). POPs circulate globally and chemicals released in one part of the world can be deposited at far distances from their original source through a repeated process of evaporation and deposition. This makes it very hard to trace the original source of the chemical ( POPs are lipophilic, which means that they accumulate in the fatty tissue of living animals and human beings ( In fatty tissue, the concentrations can become magnified by up to 70 000 times higher than the background levels ( As you move up the food chain, concentrations of POPs tend to increase so that animals at the top of the food chain such as fish, predatory birds, mammals, and humans tend to have the greatest concentrations of these chemicals, and therefore are also at the highest risk from acute and chronic toxic effects.

 One of the newer persistent substances in the Wider Caribbean region is tributyl tin.  Antifouling paints used on vessel hulls is the primary source of tributyl tin (UNEP 2002). In boatyards in Trinidad and Tobago and in the US Virgin Islands, tributyl tin levels recorded are considered to be unsafe for invertebrate organisms (UNEP 2002). Panama, Cuba and Guatemala have also reported the use of organic tin compounds in agriculture (UNEP 2002).

For Central America and Mexico it was reported that: Central America is the largest user of pesticides per capita in Latin America and, as a result of the current economic model, its use will increase further (CATHALAC 1999); in Honduras, pesticides and organic waste, mainly from coffee productions, are the most common sources of water pollution; in Nicaragua pesticide pollution mainly from cotton crops have been found in aquifers; DDT has been found to be used in sugar cane production within the region;  In Chetumal Bay mass fish mortalities have been recorded due to contamination by agrochemicals and pesticides transported there by Río Hondo.


The Use of biological specimens for the assessment of human ... - Google Books Result Berlin, Arthur Harold Wolff, Y. Hasegawa - 1979 - Medical - 368 pages
SPECIFIC WORKING PAPER ON PESTICIDES BR Ordonez Secretariat of Public ... Summary Pesticides, both chlorinated and phosphated organic compounds have ... are those of human maternal milk done in Guatemala, a survey of approximately ... rice, wheat, sorghum, sugar cane, fruits, and, to a lesser extent, on corn.

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