Sunday, March 24, 2013

'Noid Rage & Angry Birds: EPA Sued over Declining Bees, Called on to Stop Bird Deaths

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

As stated before in the news about the EU's heated debate over the use of neonicotinoids - a nicotine-like pesticide, the world's most widely used - there's hope for the bees because the issue is not going away. The buzz is growing in North America as well, but not from the bees who are disappearing due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) - and neonicotinoids are just one smoking gun.

A coalition of interest groups, activists and beekeepers took the issue into their own hands on Thursday to slash the use of bee-killing pesticides in an effort to protect them and the future of food. Pesticide Action Network (PAN), Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides and four beekeepers are among the team who want bees safe from the chemicals that include clothianidin and thiamethoxam. Even if it takes suing the government. How are they able to bring a case against the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) for this problem?

The claim is that the EPA is responsible for dropping the ball when they let the manufacturers Bayer Crop Science and Syngenta enter into conditional registration for their use and acted illegally to allow it. Those chemicals are no longer considered safe for pollinators - they are supposed to only kill pests.

Paul Towers of PAN told TakePart:
We are taking the EPA to court for its failure to protect bees from pesticides. Despite our best efforts to warn the agency about the problems posed by neonicotinoids, the EPA continued to ignore the clear warning signs of an ag system in trouble.

He blames pesticides for this year's California bee shortage and subsequent almond crop threat. He finds this to be reason alone to pay attention, but there are many more (below).

He echoes the concerns in the EU - these aren't just periodic sprays that can be washed off (not that that would help) -- they're systemic chemicals applied on the seeds and throughout the plant's life. They are integrated into the plant and end up in the pollen and nectar. And, they end up in the corn that is used to make high fructose corn syrup - often fed to bees.

This is what kills them - multiple studies have proven these very pesticides are involved in their decline. One even recreated CCD with extremely low amounts, and it only took weeks before the researchers saw the telltale signs: bees mysteriously gone except for a few dead ones nearby, and food stores with some young ones left in the hive. Towers says this class of pesticides remains in the soil and in the next planting.

More from TakePart:
This isn’t just a California problem. The finger pointing has been active across the country, including Ohio, where bees are needed to pollinate more than 70 crops, including apples, pumpkins and berries. Bee die offs there were rampant last spring. (Bayer, by the way, sponsored seminars for beekeepers in Ohio—a move that stung critics. Doh!) And the story is repeated from Illinois to the Carolinas. The Europeans are alarmed at bee population crashes as well, and tried to limit a trio of pesticides, but failed.
What's worse, and something that is still under the radar - Silent Spring is back with a vengeance. The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) noticed bee, bird and aquatic death during independent review. They called on the EPA for a ban on Tuesday. Cynthia Palmer is their Pesticide Program Manager. She said:
It is clear that these chemicals have the potential to affect entire food chains. The environmental persistence of the neonicotinoids, their propensity for runoff and for groundwater infiltration, and their cumulative and largely irreversible mode of action in invertebrates raise significant environmental concerns.
She made a single corn kernel coated with the pesticide sound like a bird's version of cyanide pills - because that's all it takes to kill one. Even tiny wheat and canola grains can do that. And 1/10th of that amount during egg laying season can affect the entire reproductive cycle. They are asking people to be careful about birdseed too.

For all those who say there's not enough evidence - definitely check out ABC's report indicating 200 studies pointing to neonicotinoids in animal death. Ignoring the threat makes the EPA sound complicit in mass ecological death.

We're often told by companies like Monsanto that these pesticides or genetically modified plants are only designed to destroy the stomachs of insects - not comforting. When we consider that the treadmill of pesticide use is now killing birds from a single kernel, we have to wonder about the effects of chowing down hundreds of pounds of it each year in processed, boxed, fast foods and chemical produce. Also, neonicotinoids synergize with some fungicides heavily introduced in the mid-2000s when we saw a sharp bee drop-off. That makes fungicides more toxic to them and kills the immune response needed to withstand gut pathogens. This PAN writer explains the train wreck very well.

For all the accolades Rachel Carson's Silent Spring received in the '60s, I think what she wanted was for it to affect change. The EPA, whom we pay to protect the environment, is not doing its job when they cater to big corporate interest despite the severe weakening of important ecological chain links.

And most researchers agree that ecology is complicated; even just one aspect like bees and their hives. They don't like to point the finger at only one cause, but reflect that a variety of factors are at play. For instance, things that weaken the bees, leave them vulnerable to mites and disease, so it poses problems finding cause and effect. One has recently said that even with great change, it would be some years before we see the good 'ol days of thriving bees.

Do you want a more direct way to help? It's not just a hobby - anyone can do it! Interestingly enough - especially if you live in the city. Check out this encouraging short vid about it by TakePart:


American Bird Conservancy's Report:
The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds

Also see what's up in the EU:
EU Bee-Killing Pesticide Ban Crumbles Under Corporate Interests

Note: it looks like there's consternation over whether Albert Einstein said the quote in the pic. Just pretend his name isn't on it - it doesn't take an "einstein" to see the truth in it. Hopefully the pic which seemed suitable for this article doesn't detract from the information.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.

Read other articles by Heather Callaghan


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Anonymous said...

Congress just helped Monsanto in the CS they passed, look it up, the people are nuts & pure evil, we will all be like the bees if congress keeps protecting big corps!

Anonymous said...

Ask congress why they have let Monsanto off the hook for their GM Crap seeds from being took to court! It was in the CR bill that passed, what the heck is wrong with these fools in DC?

Anonymous said...

I'm in califonia. Home of the worst enviro whack jobs the planet has ever seen. For the past 5 years the number of bees where I am have been steadily increasing to the point that they have become sonewhat of a nuisanse, including setting up a nest nearby. I am not agains the bees however just the enviro whack jobs. thank you

brad said...

Every planetary system which supports, enhances, or maintains life is dying or in a state of accelerated decline.

EVERY toxic problem IS CAUSED BY RICH PEOPLE IN CORPORATIONS pretending to be respectable. They believe that they have the RIGHT to poison us and deny that we have the right to have water that is not toxic and fracked. Air that is not laden with roundup. Food that is nourishing, unlike anything grown with roundup - which prevents the uptake of dozens of ionic minerals which your body needs to survive.

These people make decisions to increase their profits and become even more wealthy. This wealth is used to further infiltrate govt agencies to develop policies which further their agenda and industry control as we the people are inevitably damaged, dismissed, and ignored.

To make a decision which will undeniably have negative effects upon the general population and think that you are above this level and need share no concern about these poor people is literally psychopathic. "My money is more important to me than other people's lives or the lives of their families" must be their thought process.

As psychopaths, they deserve absolutely NO respect. They may have power, but they are unintelligent, unwise, morally moronic, and literally deserve to die for crimes against humanity. Psychopaths WILL NOT CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR UNTIL THEY ARE CONVINCED THAT IT HAS BECOME IN THEIR BEST INTEREST TO DO SO. That means that these rich people WILL continue to kill and damage the planet and all life, because they do not see any downside at all. They think they can shit all over the house and nobody will know it is their mess, their stench, their pathogens, and their fault. Unintelligent.

They do not realize that they DO, even now, reek of their stench. Stupid. Until they feel literally threatened with personal danger, they will not consider changing behaviors that kill others. Moral Morons.

I feel horrible KNOWING these people have to die so the majority don't have to, but am a conscientious objector and this realization alone hurts - coming to this conclusion. In point of fact, i am so convinced of it, that if i had the funds, equipment, and training, there would be less Goldman Sachs, Monsanto, Rothschild, and other rich people in this world AND the world would hear about karma to the rich parasites. Fortunately, i am not in a position to do anything of this nature.

But if someone else did? They might become a true hero to me and the world.

Mark McCandlish said...

A number of years ago (I'm thinking around 2005)- a German scientist found that GMO crops played a key role in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
He explained it so:
When a company like Syngenta or Monsanto strips out a genetic trait from one organism to insert it into the DNA of another, certain enzymes are used to perform this action without dismantling the desired trait embodied in the DNA segment itself. The bonds that link these inserted segments of DNA are never as strong or robust as the original structure.
When a bee comes along and consumes pollen from the modified plant, the pollen is digested in the bee's gut with the help of specific kinds of bacteria. And these bacteria employ enzymes to break the food down during digestion very similar to those used by the geneticists in the laboratory where the modification took place. The result is, that the modified genetic trait can be segregated out and combined into the bacteria's own DNA through a well-known process called "homologation" and suddenly the bacteria in the bee's gut can produce the same trait found in the modified crop. If that trait happened to be the production of neonicotenoid toxins to ward off pests, the bacteria will be producing this same toxin in the bee's gut. Bees are communal feeders; that is to say, that like birds, they can feed one-another by regurgitating their food to share from a collected food source from outside the colony. Birds do this also. So all it takes is one individual, with one strain of bacteria that has performed this homolation process to kill off the whole colony. This is why GMO's are so dangerous. It could happen with the bacteria in our digestive systems too.

Anonymous said...

Big Corp. now has a way to get rid of pesky citizens,who insist on having rights,& pay justice,reducing their profits! When we are well & truly on the way out, They will produce our clones to replace us in every job & NOT protest at being a slave,as they will be "adjusted" to that place in their "lives"!

JCII said...

I suspect the "enviro whack jobs" are either useful idiots or deliberately involved in agenda 21 depopulation schemes.

Anonymous said...

As a beekeeper I think that the fungus and mold from weather modification along with the electro pollution from cell phone systems, wireless routers and smart meters play a lot bigger part in the extinction of birds, bees and unaware humans than we are led to believe

Anonymous said...

We can fight the powers that be if we become beekeepers.

Let's try folks. Make it a project for the kids.

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