Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pesticide suspect in Bee Deaths

     Excessive bee loss in southern Ontario in May has initiated an investigation by Health Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.  In initial testing 28 of 37 samples taken from various locations contained the insecticide Clothianidin (Pesticides and Bees).  The use of this pesticide has been suspended in Germany because of the health risk to bees.  The findings are in no way conclusive but reveal the need for better initial screening of agrochemicals.  All pre market testing is now carried out by the corporation that stands to profit from the sales of the product.  An obvious conflict of interest. 
     Below is an article from which illustrates the danger to bees from Clothianidin.

Bayer and Monsanto Killing Off Bee Populations With Patented Chemicals

For over a year, the media has been reporting about the dramatic loss of bees in Europe and North America. As many as 50 percent to 90 percent of the bee populations have simply vanished, leaving their hives empty and forcing farmers to demand investigations to determine the cause.
The most popular theory, aside from the varroa mite and cell phone RF radiation, has been the belief that a virus—similar to AIDS—has infected the bees. .
But it now appears that a much more basic culprit has killed the bees—Bayer Corporation. CCD is poisoning with a known insect neurotoxin called Clothianidin, a PESTICIDE manufactured by Bayer, which has been clearly linked to MASSIVE bee die offs in Germany and France.
One of the most important food crops is corn. Corn is also used to make ethanol for fuel. But modern varieties of corn are vulnerable to diabrotica vergifera vergifera. Commonly known as the "root worm," the bug burrows into the newly forming roots of the corn plant and causes the plant to wither and eventually die. By 2003, Bayer Pharmaceutical had developed "Clothianidin" to address the rootworm problem. BAYER'S OWN STUDIES showed that its pesticide was HIGHLY TOXIC to BEES but CLAIMED that, because it would be applied to corn seed and would be buried in the soil, it would be harmless to other creatures.
Farmers were instructed to buy special machines to apply clothianidin to their seeds with a special adhesive seed coating manufactured by MONSANTO. The POISON is supposed to stick to the seed coat and to be toxic to the rootworm. These poison-coated seeds are NOW growing ALL OVER the GLOBE.
In July, 2007, the German corn crop was infested with the rootworm. The German government ordered that every possible method should be used to eradicate this pest, including the use of clothianidin. Shortly after the seeds were planted, in May of 2008, some 330-million bees abruptly died.
According to the German Research Center for Cultivated Plants, 29 out of 30 dead bees had been killed by direct contact with clothianidin.
Philipp Mimkes, spokesman for the German-based Coalition Against Bayer Dangers, said: "We have been pointing out the risks of neonicotinoids for almost 10 years now. This proves without a doubt that the chemicals can come into contact with bees and kill them. These pesticides shouldn’t be on the market."

     Let's improve our initial pre market testing of agrochemicals and reduce our dependency on them.  Support your local organic farmer and beekeeper. 

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