Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Make BC GE Free

     Once a year British Columbia municipalities get together to chew the fat and this year Metchosin, which is  "GE Free", is presenting a proposal that would ban Genetically engineered food products (crops and animals) from B.C. municipalities.

     This is the resolution:
“that UBCM ask the British Columbia government to legislate the prohibition of importing, exporting and growing plants and seeds containing genetically engineered DNA, and raising GE animals within BC, and to declare, through legislation, that BC is a GE Free area in respect to all plant and animal species."

     Some of the risks associated with GE food products are the creation of "superweeds" or "superpests" immune to herbicides or pesticides; the spread of ge crops compromising the natural genetic makeup of non ge crops; the patented ownership of ge crops and monopolization of our food production by the agrochemical corporations (i.e. Monsanto); lack of regulation and testing and subsequent health risks to consumers; environmental pollution of ge bacteria strains; most GE seeds contain systemic, neonicotinoid pesticides which have both lethal and sublethal effects on all pollinators ...  In this video Thierry Vrain, a soil biologist does a better job than I at describing the issues associated with genetically engineered crops and animals. 

     Much of our food in British Columbia is imported from the United States whose dependence on genetically modified seeds is growing dramatically.

America’s Growing GMO Seed Dependence
404 million: Approximate number of acres of U.S. cropland.

172 million: Number of acres of GMO crops in the U.S., nearly double its nearest competitor (Brazil at 90 million).

94: Percentage of U.S. soy crops that currently contain GMOs.

54: Percentage of U.S. soybeans in 2000 that contained GMOs, up from 42% in 1998 and only 7% in 1996

90: Percentage of U.S. cotton crops that contain GMOs.

61: Percentage of U.S. cotton crops that contained GMOs in 2000, up from 42% in 1998, and 15% in 1996.

88:  Percentage of U.S. corn crops that contain GMOs.

25: Percentage of U.S. corn containing GMOs in 2000, about the same as 1998 (26%), but up from 1.5% in 1996.

90: Percentage of U.S. canola crops that contain GMOs.

95: Percentage of U.S. sugar beet crops that contain GMOs.

57: Percentage of American sugar production that comes from sugar beets.

GMOs: Fueling our Factory Farms and Automobiles
98: Percentage of U.S. GMO soy used for animal feed and fuel production (~70% to feed and ~25% to biofuels).

71: Percentage of U.S. GMO corn that is used for animal feed (40%) and fuel production (31%).

Approximately 67: Percentage of world’s GMO canola seed oil used in animal feed.

12.2 million: Number of hectares of GMO crops (nearly 10 percent of the global total) used in the U.S. for biofuels in 2008.

The Winners: Biotech, Agrochemical and Pesticide Industries
$13.5 billion: Monsanto’s net sales in 2012 (largest biotech seed company in the world), up from $5.5 billion in 2004.

$34.8 billion: Dupont’s net sales in 2012, up from $8 billion.

$56.8 billion: Dow Chemical’s net sales in 2012, up from $40.1 billion.

$14.2 billion: Syngenta’s net sales in 2012, up from $7.3 billion in 2004.

Compiled by Zack Kaldveer, assistant media director for the Organic Consumers Association.

     The producers of GMO's have cited a few extraordinary benefits of genetic modification like reduced agrochemical use (pesticides, fungicides and herbicides) and substantially increased harvest to better feed our growing population.  These marketing myths have been found to be completely untrue.

     Actively participating in determining the source and quality of your food is not being a "radical" but rather a responsible member of society.  What is more important than the food that we and our children consume? Please write your mayor and council (letter to municipal representatives) and sign this petition letting them know of your support for a GE Free B.C.
     For more information on genetically modified crops and animals go to Earth Open SourceOrganic Consumers Association and Society for a GE Free B.C or listen to the expert below.

P.S.  Grand Forks has recently become the 62nd GE Free Zone in B.C.  Congratulations! (GE Free Zones in B.C.).

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Skunks and Bees

pollinators in action

OSU logo
The Buzz@OSU

Honey Bee and Native Pollinator Education

Skunk Behavior in the Bee Yard

Join us on Wednesday, August 21st at 9AM (Eastern) for our next webinar: 

Skunk Behavior in the Bee Yard with Dr. Mark Headings
Your bee losses may be due to more than you think. Have you ever observed an abrupt decline in the bee population in a given hive without seeing a lot of dead bees inside? The bees that remain may seem especially aggressive. Or, maybe you've seen the grass matted down or disturbed in front of the hive?

If you've seen scratch marks around the entrance of the hive, especially on the bottom board, or you've actually seen a skunk in your bee yard eating your bees, you could be dealing with a skunk problem. Join Mark for our August webinar to learn more about skunks as well as the options to resolve this predator problem.

To Join this free webinar, follow the link and LOG IN AS A GUEST at about 8:55:

To access via iPad or iPhone, download the Adobe Connect app.

This and each monthly webinar will be recorded and archived on the  OSU Bee Lab website the day of the session. Hope you can join us for the August webinar!



Denise Ellsworth
OSU Extension, Department of Entomology
     This webinar will be recorded and available for viewing at the Ohio State website above or in the Webinar section of our Beekeepers' Library.
      We have skunks in our bee yard that live under our tool shed but they don't appear to be a problem.  Although mostly nocturnal I have spotted the mother occasionally with her very cute troupe of babies following behind her.  We do however have problems with a two legged variety of skunk that visits our garden at night.  Our garden and bee yard are in a 4 acre community garden near the downtown eastside of Vancouver which is open to the public.  Recently someone vandalized the hives on 4 occasions (knocking the hives over, throwing large rocks on the bees and pouring buckets of water on the bees).  I built a security fence a week ago and since then the two legged skunk has found other ways to amuse his or her self.  Perhaps it was in cutting down our banana tree last weekend which was set to produce our first bananas.  

     Better meditate some more. 

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