"Many people would be surprised to know that 90% of the feral (wild) bee population in the United States has died out. Recent studies in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have shown that bee diversity is down 80 percent in the sites researched, and that “bee species are declining or have become extinct in Britain.” The studies also revealed that the numbers of wildflowers that depend on pollination have dropped by 70 percent. Which came first, the decline in wildflowers (Can you say Round up?) or the decline in pollinators, has yet to be determined. If bees continue to die off so would the crops they support and with that would ensue major economic disruption and possibly famine.
In the US, bee keepers are experiencing unprecedented die offs of bees some losing as much as 80% of their colonies. Commercial beekeepers in 22 states have reported deaths of tens of thousands of honeybee colonies. So far the cause remains unexplained and somewhat mysterious. It is being called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and is causing agricultural honeybees nationwide to abandon their hives and disappear and raising worries about crops that need bees for pollination. It’s a kind of mass suicide in the bee world. “There have been cases where there have been these die-offs of bees before, but we have never seen it to this level,” said Maryann Frazier, a Pennsylvania State University entomologist. “One operation after another is collapsing.”
While a few crops, such as corn and wheat, are pollinated by the wind, bees help pollinate more than 90 commercially grown field crops, citrus and other fruit crops, vegetables and nut crops. Without these insects, crop yields would fall dramatically and some tangerines and pecans would cease to exist. Agronomists estimate Americans owe one in three bites of food to bees.”
All of the following are dependant on bees, apples, pears, tangerines, peaches, soybeans, pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, carrots, broccoli and avocados. And do we realise bees pollinate almonds? California has the biggest almond groves in the world, supplying 80 percent of the nuts on the market; they currently have to import millions of bees to pollinate the groves."
There are no bee bodies; they simply all disappear, all adult bees are simply gone, sometimes leaving a queen and a few young hatched workers. This is unheard of, since normally a bee colony will do almost anything to protect its queen.
The hive is left intact, with capped cells of honey and bee bread.
Another unusual factor is that bees sensing a dying colony nearby aren’t going in right away and killing the other bees and robbing the hive of honey, like they usually do for example when the bees have died of parasites or disease.
- Researchers have also noted few signs of damage from wax moths and small hive beetles taking advantage of dead colonies.
According to David Tarpy, a bee specialist at NC State, “Bees die all the time, although this year seems to be worse than normal.” The difference now is that none of the “usual suspects” are to blame, Tarpy said. “That’s what makes it problematic.” Also, unlike when bees are killed by some other causes (disease, mites), there are no dead bees littering the bottom of a hive. The bees are simply gone, he said, or perhaps a queen and a few younger bees remain, but the adults have disappeared."
And now we have this:
"Soon to be whistle blower who worked for Monsanto will be releasing documents detailing how Monsanto planned to kill off bee colonies in order to introduce a “new and improved” species of bee that will only pollinate Monsanto crops"
If you are big business, this actually makes a lot of sense. Introduce a marker into your genetically modified crop of choice.Genetically engineer a bee that will only pollinate plants with that marker. Sit back and collect huge profit.(Note to small bee farm operators-This would be a good time to isolate some of your colonies and keep them safe, for the time being)
Here is some additional information on Monsanto's shenanigans:
"Monsanto Co. said Wednesday it bought a smaller biotech research company that is developing a technology to kill crop pests while protecting the health of bees."
"Five more cables related to GM crops were published on the Wikileaks website last night.
Probably the most chilling recommendation came from the Paris embassy in 2007 following France’s persistent rejection of Monsanto’s GM corn:
“Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits.” [07PARIS4723]
In cables GM looks more like a US strategic interest than science and a way to feed the world. A cable written a few weeks earlier on key policy issues with France covered:
Iraq, Iran, NATO, Afghanistan, Climate Change, Democracy/Burma, Russia Georgia, Kosovo, Missile Defence, Conventional Armed Forces of Europe, Lebanon, Middle East, France/EU, Colombia, GMO Moratorium, and Darfur [07PARIS4357].
There is one cable from the Vatican Embassy with a frightening statement showing tradeoffs between support for GM and criticism of the Iraq war:
“A Martino deputy told us recently that the cardinal had cooperated with Embassy Vatican on biotech over the past two years in part to compensate for his vocal disapproval of the Iraq war and its aftermath — to keep relations with the USG” [05VATICAN514]
The cables also demonstrate direct corporate lobbying at the highest government levels:
In a cable briefing for US President Obama’s visit to French President Sarkozy the issue of the French ban on Monsanto’s MON810 corn was raised [08PARIS957].
A cable briefing for the US Deputy Secretary visit to Spain read “we are seeking to obtain approval for Monsanto’s NK 603 variety…” [05MADRID1141]"
Monsanto's Harvest of Fear:
As Rinehart would recall, the man began verbally attacking him, saying he had proof that Rinehart had planted Monsanto’s genetically modified (G.M.) soybeans in violation of the company’s patent. Better come clean and settle with Monsanto, Rinehart says the man told him—or face the consequences.
Rinehart was incredulous, listening to the words as puzzled customers and employees looked on. Like many others in rural America, Rinehart knew of Monsanto’s fierce reputation for enforcing its patents and suing anyone who allegedly violated them. But Rinehart wasn’t a farmer. He wasn’t a seed dealer. He hadn’t planted any seeds or sold any seeds. He owned a small—a really small—country store in a town of 350 people. He was angry that somebody could just barge into the store and embarrass him in front of everyone. “It made me and my business look bad,” he says. Rinehart says he told the intruder, “You got the wrong guy.”
When the stranger persisted, Rinehart showed him the door. On the way out the man kept making threats. Rinehart says he can’t remember the exact words, but they were to the effect of: “Monsanto is big. You can’t win. We will get you. You will pay.”
Scenes like this are playing out in many parts of rural America these days as Monsanto goes after farmers, farmers’ co-ops, seed dealers—anyone it suspects may have infringed its patents of genetically modified seeds. As interviews and reams of court documents reveal, Monsanto relies on a shadowy army of private investigators and agents in the American heartland to strike fear into farm country. They fan out into fields and farm towns, where they secretly videotape and photograph farmers, store owners, and co-ops; infiltrate community meetings; and gather information from informants about farming activities. Farmers say that some Monsanto agents pretend to be surveyors. Others confront farmers on their land and try to pressure them to sign papers giving Monsanto access to their private records. Farmers call them the “seed police” and use words such as “Gestapo” and “Mafia” to describe their tactics.
When asked about these practices, Monsanto declined to comment specifically, other than to say that the company is simply protecting its patents. “Monsanto spends more than $2 million a day in research to identify, test, develop and bring to market innovative new seeds and technologies that benefit farmers,” Monsanto spokesman Darren Wallis wrote in an e-mailed letter to Vanity Fair. “One tool in protecting this investment is patenting our discoveries and, if necessary, legally defending those patents against those who might choose to infringe upon them.” Wallis said that, while the vast majority of farmers and seed dealers follow the licensing agreements, “a tiny fraction” do not, and that Monsanto is obligated to those who do abide by its rules to enforce its patent rights on those who “reap the benefits of the technology without paying for its use.” He said only a small number of cases ever go to trial.
Some compare Monsanto’s hard-line approach to Microsoft’s zealous efforts to protect its software from pirates. At least with Microsoft the buyer of a program can use it over and over again. But farmers who buy Monsanto’s seeds can’t even do that.
The Control of NatureFor centuries—millennia—farmers have saved seeds from season to season: they planted in the spring, harvested in the fall, then reclaimed and cleaned the seeds over the winter for re-planting the next spring. Monsanto has turned this ancient practice on its head.
Monsanto developed G.M. seeds that would resist its own herbicide, Roundup, offering farmers a convenient way to spray fields with weed killer without affecting crops. Monsanto then patented the seeds. For nearly all of its history the United States Patent and Trademark Office had refused to grant patents on seeds, viewing them as life-forms with too many variables to be patented. “It’s not like describing a widget,” says Joseph Mendelson III, the legal director of the Center for Food Safety, which has tracked Monsanto’s activities in rural America for years.
Indeed not. But in 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court, in a five-to-four decision, turned seeds into widgets, laying the groundwork for a handful of corporations to begin taking control of the world’s food supply. In its decision, the court extended patent law to cover “a live human-made microorganism.” In this case, the organism wasn’t even a seed. Rather, it was a Pseudomonas bacterium developed by a General Electric scientist to clean up oil spills. But the precedent was set, and Monsanto took advantage of it. Since the 1980s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds and has won 674 biotechnology patents, more than any other company, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
Farmers who buy Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready seeds are required to sign an agreement promising not to save the seed produced after each harvest for re-planting, or to sell the seed to other farmers. This means that farmers must buy new seed every year. Those increased sales, coupled with ballooning sales of its Roundup weed killer, have been a bonanza for Monsanto.
This radical departure from age-old practice has created turmoil in farm country. Some farmers don’t fully understand that they aren’t supposed to save Monsanto’s seeds for next year’s planting. Others do, but ignore the stipulation rather than throw away a perfectly usable product. Still others say that they don’t use Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds, but seeds have been blown into their fields by wind or deposited by birds. It’s certainly easy for G.M. seeds to get mixed in with traditional varieties when seeds are cleaned by commercial dealers for re-planting. The seeds look identical; only a laboratory analysis can show the difference. Even if a farmer doesn’t buy G.M. seeds and doesn’t want them on his land, it’s a safe bet he’ll get a visit from Monsanto’s seed police if crops grown from G.M. seeds are discovered in his fields.
Most Americans know Monsanto because of what it sells to put on our lawns— the ubiquitous weed killer Roundup. What they may not know is that the company now profoundly influences—and one day may virtually control—what we put on our tables. For most of its history Monsanto was a chemical giant, producing some of the most toxic substances ever created, residues from which have left us with some of the most polluted sites on earth. Yet in a little more than a decade, the company has sought to shed its polluted past and morph into something much different and more far-reaching—an “agricultural company” dedicated to making the world “a better place for future generations.” Still, more than one Web log claims to see similarities between Monsanto and the fictional company “U-North” in the movie Michael Clayton, an agribusiness giant accused in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit of selling an herbicide that causes cancer."
Monsanto in India:
Farmers in India are finding that the "biotechnology revolution" is having a devastating effect on their crop lands and personal debt levels. "In 1998, the World Bank's structural adjustment policies forced India to open up its seed sector to global corporations like Cargill, Monsanto, and Syngenta.
The global corporations changed the input economy overnight. Farm saved seeds were replaced by corporate seeds which needed fertilizers and pesticides and could not be saved" Says Vandana Shiva, leader of the movement to oust Monsanto from India in her 2004 article The Suicide Economy Of Corporate Globalisation. "As seed saving is prevented by patents as well as by the engineering of seeds with non-renewable traits, seed has to be bought for every planting season by poor peasants. A free resource available on farms became a commodity which farmers were forced to buy every year. This increases poverty and leads to indebtedness. As debts increase and become unpayable, farmers are compelled to sell kidneys or even commit suicide.
More than 25,000 peasants in India have taken their lives since 1997 when the practice of seed saving was transformed under globalisation pressures and multinational seed corporations started to take control of the seed supply. Seed saving gives farmers life. Seed monopolies rob farmers of life"
Monsanto and Milk: FOX kills story and fires reporters.
FOX NEWS Reporters (Reporters Steve Wilson & Jane Akre) uncover that most of the Milk in the USA and across some parts of the world is unfit to drink due to Monsanto Corporation's POSILAC®, which has been proven to be a cancer-causing growth hormone.(known in short as "BGH" "BST" or "rBGH" ), but they were fired for trying to tell people the truth. (Important note: After a long court battle, the Court dismissed the whistle blowers protection for the reporters because the Court stated that there was no law to force that the NEWS state the truth! Fact! Going on to say the NEWS was no different than other TV shows/reality shows!!) But the FDA has turned a blind eye once again! If you consumed or fed regular milk to your family today (8/21/08), there is more than a 90% chance that it was from a cow injected with BGH (Bovine somatotropin developed by using recombinant DNA technology). You could be killing or harming your child every time you pour them a glass of milk, the same as pouring them a glass of slow acting poison. Please take action to ensure our children's safety, for they can not protect themselves. What first alarmed farmers was the massive amount of PUS in the milk but Monsanto and the FDA still had no concerns by stating that the PUS was not harmful to be ingested by consumers! If you have little children, at least feed them certified BGH free Milk, Organic Milk or Organic/BGM free milk equivalent like Organic soy milk."
That pretty much sums it up.