About three years ago, I was one of the first newsletter writers to tell you about bee colony collapse. I noticed it in my yard. I had to bring outside bees because the ones that normally pollinate my plants weren't around. Then I found out that American bees were disappearing at a catastrophic rate.
Three years later, the collapse is still a growing problem. It is impacting our food production, availability, and prices. Without bees, we could lose a colossal amount of fruit, nuts, and everything Nature provides us through pollination. Before long, an apple might fetch the price of a gallon of gasoline! Well, now there's news that a big corporation could be behind the collapse.
A small news outlet has reported on a suppressed finding as to a possible cause – a class of pesticides made by chemical giant Bayer called neonicotinoid insecticides. These are relatively new chemicals that mimic the toxic effects of nicotine on the nervous systems of insects. Imidacloprid was Bayer's top-selling insecticide in 2009, earning the company £510m (that's British pounds). An experiment in a USDA government bee research lab found that amounts of the pesticide imidacloprid so small that it was not measurable, made bees far more susceptible to pathogens, including fungus.
The EPA has approved this pesticide. Yet a leaked document revealed the EPA is concerned about the chemical's effects on bees. Consider that these pesticides are not just found on the leaves after spraying. The roots take them up and spread them throughout the plant — including the pollen! Bees eat the pollen!
Now note, these pesticides are top sellers for Bayer. Then consider that the findings of the bee lab's top researcher haven't been published in the nearly five years since found, nor made the mass media. We don't know why. Consider that it was leaked documents that revealed the EPA's concerns. They won't admit it publicly.
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I don't want to jump to conclusions here, but why might these findings be repressed? Why hasn't the EPA swooped down and banned these particular chemicals from American soil? I believe Bayer has bought the EPA's silence — or at least significantly influenced it.
This is far more than a bee problem. The research found that bees exposed to the poison, yet with residual amounts so small that the chemical could not be detected, were vulnerable. Shouldn't this tell us that what we are doing to the environment is part and parcel of the horrific rise in chronic degenerative diseases like cancer in humans? We don't have to be able to detect chemicals for them to have devastating effects. And we can detect measurable amounts of hundreds of chemicals in nearly every American alive, and in newborns, exposed only through their mother's blood.
The economy is not the only calamity this nation faces. It faces also a reign of terror of profiteering corporations generating horrific chemicals and Frankenfoods protected by a government these soulless corporations have bought. Tell your elected officials how you feel about this before it's too late.
McCarthy, Michael. "Exclusive: Bees facing a poisoned spring: New kind of pesticide, widely used in UK, may be helping to kill off the world's honeybees," The Independent online, January 20, 2011.
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