THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: RECENT HARVARD STUDY ON WHY HONEY BEES ARE ...May 18, 2014
Mr. S.D. and some others who are regulars here noticed this story, and my thanks to them for sending it along, for it addresses an important issue: about ten years ago, longer really if one goes back to the first reports, there were reports that bee colonies and hives were dying mysteriously, for no readily apparent reason. Indeed, as a matter of personal observation, I recall as a young boy growing up there were always bees buzzing in my mom's flower garden. Now... not so much. In fact, seeing or hearing a bee is for me such a rarity, even around flowers, that I stop to look. I do not know if others have shared this observation, but I record it here. There are fewer bees, and this is a huge problem, because of course bees make the pollination of plants possible.
It was not merely an idle observation, for the phenomenon was given a name: CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder. The question is, why were beehives collapsing?
The answer, according to a recent Harvard study, is something called "neonicotinoids", which is "a form of insecticide that works by damaging the insects' brain functions and shutting down their nervous systems." A kind of "nerve gas" or "neurotoxin" (see We May Have Solved the Mystery of the Dying Bees)
The problem here is, as one might expect, that some neonicotinoids are apparently used in GMOs, and, predictably, there is debate within science as to what the causal mechanism is, with agribusiness giants pushing the hypothesis that the Colony Collapse Disorder phenomenon is due, not to neonicotinoids, but to a mite:
This is one where the jury is still genuinely out, but my bet it still on the neonicotinoids, perhaps acting as a catalyst along with other factors in play. But this is one where the stakes are too high, and everyone stands to lose if an answer cannot be found. But it also seems clear that there is some relationship, and because of this, it seems clear that in order to prevent further possible environmental damage, we need that GMO Test Ban Treaty now more than ever.
See you on the flip side.