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Schiffman writes: "Why would one of the largest purveyors of genetically engineered seeds and agrochemicals want to buy a company which has been seeking solutions to the escalating threats to the world bee population?"

Honeybees are responsible for the pollination of more than 100 crops, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and provide 80 percent of the country's pollination services. (photo: Ron Hemberger)
Honeybees are responsible for the pollination of more than 100 crops, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and provide 80 percent of the country's pollination services. (photo: Ron Hemberger)

The Fox (Monsanto) Buys the Chicken Coop (Beeologics)

By Richard Schiffman, OpEd News

05 May 12


hy would one of the largest purveyors of genetically engineered seeds and agrochemicals want to buy a company which has been seeking solutions to the escalating threats to the world bee population?

Monsanto spokeswomen Kelly Powers says it is to give the fledgling company a helping hand. Beeologics has developed a product called Remembee, an anti-viral agent which its boosters claim will help stem the tide of Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious plague which has led to the disappearance of the bees in up to a third of the commercial colonies located in the U.S. during the last decade.

The root of the problem, however, may not be the parasitic virus targeted by Remembee, a chemical agent which utilizes RNA interference to block gene expression, but the herbicides and insecticides that multinationals like Monsanto, Dow and Bayer have themselves been hawking to farmers around the world.

This is the conclusion of three recent studies which implicate a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, or "neonics" for short, which coat a massive 142 million acres of corn, wheat, soy and cotton seeds in the U.S. alone. Neonics are also a common ingredient in a wide variety of home gardening products. As I detail in an article which was published by Reuters last month, these pesticides are absorbed by the plants' vascular system and contaminate the pollen and nectar that bees encounter on their rounds. Neonics are a nerve poison that disorient their insect victims and appear to damage the homing ability of bees, which may help to account for their mysterious failure to make it back to the hive.

This was the conclusion of research which came out in the prestigious Journal Science during March. In another study conducted by entomologists at Purdue University the scientists found that neonic-containing dust released into the air at planting time had "lethal effects compatible with colony losses phenomena observed by beekeepers." A third study by the Harvard School of Public Health actually re-created colony collapse disorder in several honeybee hives simply by administering small doses of a popular neonic, imidacloprid.

While this research strongly suggests that herbicides are a major culprit, scientists caution that colony collapse disorder is a complex phenomenon with multiple causes, ranging from the loss of wild bee habitats to the weakening of bee immune systems as a result of poor diet (commercial bees are frequently fed pesticide-laced corn syrup instead of their own honey) and also the techniques of modern beekeeping, which include the artificial insemination of queens, and the resulting loss of genetic diversity in the bee population.

Some have also pointed the finger at the pollen from genetically modified Roundup Ready corn which bees ingest, and which contains a powerful insecticide within its genetic structure. Roundup seeds are manufactured by Monsanto, and are currently planted across wide swaths of the American Midwest and elsewhere.

So with Monsanto products themselves amongst the key suspects in the spread of Colony Collapse Disorder, one might ask: Why has the multinational bought a company which has been a key player in researching it?

"We're absolutely committed to Beeologics' existing work," said Monsanto spokesperson Kelly Powers. Yet one has to wonder if owning a firm dedicated to shedding light on the trouble with bees might not serve Monsanto's interest in allowing it to further cover up their own corporate complicity in the problem.

"Monsanto is committed to sustainable agriculture. It makes good business sense to support sustainable agriculture and that's why they want to use their time, talents and resources to contribute positively to honey bee health," reads a glowing statement by Jerry Hayes, of Beeologics.

Sustainable agriculture, Mr Hayes? Given its corporate track record one might expect Monsanto to offer the world its first genetically modified bee, one specially designed to withstand huge doses of its own chemical poisons.

The fact is that our endangered pollinators will only be saved by working with nature rather than against it. If Monsanto is serious about helping bees, it will have to renounce its own toxic form of agriculture first. your social media marketing partner


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+42 # Peacedragon 2012-05-05 22:26
"If Monsanto is serious about helping bees" Who believes anything a big company says?
+24 # redjelly39 2012-05-05 23:04
Watch the free online movie "Thrive" - Google it...It explains everything concerning our Energy, Food, Rights, Health and the Banks/Mega-Corp s that control it all...
+18 # doneasley 2012-05-06 10:04
Thanks redjelly. I watched the entire movie. The most interesting part to me was the discussion on energy and how we're chained to fossil fuels when there are alternatives. But that would knock the big energy companies out of business wouldn't it?
+9 # redjelly39 2012-05-06 19:09
Yes it would BUT it would cut costs for energy so dramatically for all of us. We pay hundreds of dollars a month for energy - electric/gas. So many of the people that have invented new energy models have either been bought out or even killed to shut them up. Nassim Haramein who is in the movie is a friend and an amazing scientist. The most fascinating part of the movie to me is the fact that just a very few people control so much of the world when it comes to Banks, Energy, Food, Health and Governments (who control the people)... Its the most important movie I have seen in many years. Please share it with others as we need to spread the truth about current world affairs.
0 # noitall 2012-05-07 19:06
"Thrive", I like the idea, the dream, the fantasy, but it is very lite on detail and is faith-based, assuming that the dogs of industry will suddenly cooperate with the huge amount of research and development that would be required to just build a launch pad; from there the rocket would have to be R&D'd. There is a lot of good information there but...Where's the beef?
0 # brux 2012-05-07 20:24
if you look at this dorkumentary in the first minutes it gets most of the physics it talks about wrong.

it fills the screen with positive images and talk apparently that people fall for, but past that it is lies, half-truths and out and out nonsense.

there is no toroidal magnetic field around the human body.

there is no toroidal magnetic field around distant galaxies,and all galazies do not even have the same shape - that is just a lie.

I stopped watching after a few minutes, this foster gamble guy has more money than he does brains, but he can hire people to agree with him and make him cute little computer animations that lie to you.

as many realists are saying this documentary is just hot air with pretty pictures.
+22 # sameasiteverwas 2012-05-06 00:19
Sustainable agriculture? When they develop and market plants that don't propagate themselves so that farmers have to purchase new seed every year? What the heck is "sustainable" about that?
+3 # noitall 2012-05-07 19:07
NOTHING, its all about CONTROL (and money)
+19 # Gogojoe 2012-05-06 05:44
Perfect opportunity to , once again, find and watch the film, "Food Inc." Draw your own conclusions, but Monsanto and their Round up Ready corn and seed are a major issue in what's wrong with the American food chain.
+5 # redjelly39 2012-05-06 23:41
Yes GoGoJoe,
This is s good movie. The oil based & patented Monsanto seeds were promoted by the oil companies and some of their corn in the midwest has been linked to male sterilization. Food Inc tells part of the story but it is tied in with the much larger picture in the film "Thrive".
+1 # Gogojoe 2012-05-08 10:30
Quoting redjelly39:
Yes GoGoJoe,
Food Inc tells part of the story but it is tied in with the much larger picture in the film "Thrive".

Thanks RJ, I will check it out.
+13 # brux 2012-05-06 06:53
Every time I hear or read anything about Monsanto it just gets worse. Terminator genes, Frankenfood, contaminating the fields and crop genomes of other farmers and then suing them for it … why doesn't this corporation ever have to face up to what it has done ?
+12 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-05-06 08:34
This is Ayn Randism at its worst: If we do it then it is good by definition for whatever unleashed capitalism does can only be for the best.
Questions beggars welcome.
+6 # reiverpacific 2012-05-06 08:38
Didn't we just discuss this re' a previous, very similar article?
I hate to repeat myself so that's it from me,
I done already spit out my bile at Monsanto -and hope it stuck not only to them but their Lobbyist burrowers and their back-door, open-for-hand-o uts congress critters.
+16 # The Saint 2012-05-06 08:43
Monsanto cares about bees? It is committed to "Sustainable agriculture?" Sure and Exxon cares about the polar bear and is committed to renewable energy. Rather, genetically modify the bee to survive in the nightmarish agri-world created by Monsanto.
+8 # tm7devils 2012-05-06 11:22
Hey, everyone, look at the bright side...if there are no bees to do the pollenization then a huge - and I mean HUGE - job market will open up for people to do the work of the bees.
Looks like we may have to open up the borders again to get someone to do the grunge work, but, that would be a win - win situation. The workers could support their families and our food supply would continue. There is just one glitch - only the immoral, self-centered, greedy heads of the corporations, like Monsanto and their ilk, could afford the products. But, hey, that's what we're all here for...the 1%...right?
-14 # getthetruth4achange 2012-05-06 13:06
so many scientists are working on finding the cause of colony collapse but there is no suggestion it is caused by Gm crops. The way we know that is it is happening where there are no Gm crops being grown. Does everyone get this fact? is there any further doubt? If you are more effective at getting rid of weeds either by cutting them (not a practical solution or with any herbicide then you reduce weed flowers that yes might use. Bees used for crop pollination are usually reared and imported into the fields by professional bee producers. They get plenty of pollen from the crop they are supposed to pollinate so the weed issue is not an issue> the problem is highly related to the commercial bee colonies maintained by the professional bee keepers. they don't keep a diverse enough set of populations and once a disease takes hold its difficult to stop spread> colonies are even spread around the world. You may hate monsanto for irrational reasons but it has nothing to do with them.
-13 # Timaloha 2012-05-06 14:00
I'm no fan of Monsanto, but since Colony Collapse Disorder is documented as far back as the late 1800s, and neonicitinoids didn't come into general usage until the mid 1990s, it is impossible that modern pesticides are the sole cause of CCD. They may exacerbate the problem, but they are not the cause.
-17 # getthetruth4achange 2012-05-06 15:15
So its quite possible as Timaloha said that some insecticides contribute to the problem but it is not a proven fact. This is another out of date conspiracy story (the public love conspiracy stories that isn't true. The closer we get to reality the better and we need to stop chasing information and scandals that are not a big issue. People complain about Monsanto but they are not causing massive death, disease or anything like it. More people die every day of basic food poisoning. Pesticides that are known toxins to people should be more a problem that those that have not since we need pesticides to produce food. and when i mean food here I mean the bulk of grains etc that feed the world's 7 billion people.Not your garden that you are rich enough to own or use.
+3 # noitall 2012-05-07 20:15
Your faith in Monsanto is based upon NOTHING. They have been excused by their partners, the polititian shills, from science that would prove or dis-prove their long-term safety. They buy the Beeologics to control the discussion, simple as that. I admire people like you who can make these broad statements about safety based upon nothing but faith (or personal interest). To live blissfully in this scary world of treachery and collusion, one must work hard to be blissfully ignorant. Most of us find this "peace" to be impossible. Ask the
+8 # fixerguy G 2012-05-06 20:05
In sports it's called hiding the football. It's a strategy used successfully by the Auto companies for decades....Buy the company that threatens to expose your fraud (in the case of auto companies the developer of the 60 MPG engine) then shut the company down and bury it. It would be restraint of trade except that they now OWN the company. It is FRAUD on the Citizens of the USA. Similar to the fraud committed by Faux (fox) news in refusing to report on the Occupy Movement except to disparage them.
+4 # Kell 2012-05-07 08:44
Timaloha and getthetruth4ach ange both make the same logical error. obesity existed before our diets changed. people who do not eat the typical american diet can be obese. this in no way counters the fact tht our diet has led to extreme levels of obesity.
It is a question of scale.
-4 # Timaloha 2012-05-07 14:22
I made no logical error. Colony Collapse Disorder existed and was documented nearly 100 years BEFORE the pesticide being blamed for it was even developed. It is, therefore, IMPOSSIBLE for that pesticide to be the cause of the disorder. Like I said, it may exacerbate it, but it is physically, scientifically and logically impossible that a compound that DID NOT EXIST could be the sole cause of a disease that pre-dates it. Taking any other stance is like blaming obesity on potato ships alone even though obesity existed long before the potato chip was invented.
+5 # Buddha 2012-05-07 11:55
The clearest sign that the cause of CCD is either GMO crops or pesticides or a combination of the two are that studies have shown that wild bee colonies in cities and suburban communities are doing just fine. I have an organic veggie garden in my backyard in my bedroom community and "bee-lieve" me, our little friends here are doing just fine, buzzing around my tree and my veggies, doing their voodoo. I'm just not spraying pestacides and poisons on my plants, and use natural heirloom plant varieties, just like most of us "home gardeners".
-4 # Timaloha 2012-05-07 18:42
Imidacloprid, the neonicitinoid pesticide that's being blamed in this article, is used as a grub control on every suburban lawn that uses a lawn care company. It's also in 4-step homeowner-appli ed lawn treatments. By volume, more imidacloprid is spread on homeowner lawns than on agricultural acreage. That fact negates your hypothesis.
-2 # Evolouie 2012-05-08 16:47
That thrive, so called documentary, nothing more than new age woo.
Total bullshit, and I never watched past the statement of " Einsteins packets of wholeness "
That is just new age BS

Read a book people.
+2 # lilpat126 2012-05-08 17:30
Evolouie, I just hope you are prepared to lose a few, quite a few when the food production tanks. You cannot fool with Mother Nature and not suffer the consequence.
+1 # bcole 2012-05-11 20:58
The Monsanto executive level employees should be eliminated from the DNA pool on a regular and ongoing basis

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