MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Did you know that the United Sates bee population maybe on the verge of collapse, and this could be an environmental and food supply disaster?
What would cause the deaths of so many bees?
According to Beeologics, a firm that is attempting to restore a healthy and growing bee population, it is due to a syndrome called Colony Collapse Disorder:
Collapse Disorder (CCD) of honey bees is threatening to annihilate US and world agriculture. Indeed, in the recent outbreak of CCD in the US in the winter of 2006-2007, an estimated 25%, or more than 2.4 million, honey bee hives were lost because of CCD. An estimated 23% of beekeeping operations in the US suffered from CCD over the winter of 2006-2007, affecting an average of 45% of beekeepers' operations.
According to the Beeologics website, a couple of possible sources include "large scale monoculture [that] has resulted in a lack of natural weeds, and all too often pesticide-laden crop forage."
These were similar possible causes cited in a recent informative documentary on the problem called "The Vanishing of the Bees." In fact, on the film's website there is an appeal: "Help secure funds for a systematic review of the impact of pesticides on our most important pollinators."
Who might be the world's biggest producer of GMO mono crops and pesticides that reduce organic crop forage? Why, Monsanto, of course.
But rather than risk restrictions on GMO crops and mega-toxic pesticides such as Monsanto's Roundup, Monsanto purchased the company looking into saving bee colonies. Yes, Monsanto purchased Beeologic without much fanfare late last year. In short, a company that was independently looking at the collapse of bee colonies and believing that pesticides and GMO development may be a contributory factor is now owned by the primary multi-national company that creates those products likely contributing to the bee die-off.
Maybe, the beekeepers in Poland have the correct reaction to this cynical move to protect the threat Monsanto poses to bees, agriculture and life itself:
On March 15, over 1,500 beekeepers and anti-GMO protesters marched through the streets of Warsaw, depositing thousands of dead bees on the steps of the Ministry of Agriculture in protest of genetically modified foods and their pesticides which are together largely responsible for the killing off of bees, butterflies, moths and other beneficial pollinators in great numbers.
Later that day the Minister of Agriculture, Marek Sawicki, announced plans to ban MON810, which has already produced millions of hectares of pesticide resistant "superweeds" in the US.
The Polish Beekeepers Association organized the protest, joining forces with International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside (ICPPC) and the Coalition for a GMO Free Poland. Targeting Monsanto's MON810 GM corn in particular, they also called for a complete ban on all genetically engineered crops as well as the pesticides found to be most damaging to the environment (and particularly to bees).
Too bad, the White House appointed the former Monsanto vice president for publc policy, Michael Taylor, as second in charge at the Food and Drug Admimistration.
Bad for the bees; bad for us.