What others are doing that the USA SHOULD BE DOING BUT IS NOT
As of 5/26/08
Germany has banned a family of pesticides that are blamed for the
deaths of millions of honeybees. The German Federal Office of
Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has suspended the
registration for eight pesticide seed treatment products used in
rapeseed oil and sweetcorn.
The move follows reports from German beekeepers in the
Baden-Württemberg region that two thirds of their bees died earlier
this month following the application of a pesticide called
"It's a real bee emergency," said Manfred Hederer, president of the
German Professional Beekeepers' Association. "50-60% of the bees have
died on average and some beekeepers have lost all their hives."
Tests on dead bees showed that 99% of those examined had a build-up
of clothianidin. The chemical, produced by Bayer CropScience, a
subsidiary of the German chemical giant Bayer, is sold in Europe
under the trade name Poncho. It was applied to the seeds of sweetcorn
planted along the Rhine this spring. The seeds are treated in advance
of being planted or are sprayed while in the field.
The company says an application error by the seed company which
failed to use the glue-like substance that sticks the pesticide to
the seed, led to the chemical getting into the air.
Bayer spokesman Dr Julian Little told the BBC's Farming Today that
misapplication is highly unusual. "It is an extremely rare event and
has not been seen anywhere else in Europe," he said.
Clothianidin, like the other neonicotinoid pesticides that have been
temporarily suspended in Germany, is a systemic chemical that works
its way through a plant and attacks the nervous system of any insect
it comes into contact with. According to the US Environmental
Protection Agency it is "highly toxic" to honeybees.
This is not the first time that Bayer, one of the world's leading
pesticide manufacturers with sales of €5.8bn (4.6bn) in 2007, has
been blamed for killing honeybees.
In the United States, a group of beekeepers from North Dakota is
taking the company to court after losing thousands of honeybee
colonies in 1995, during a period when oilseed rape in the area was
treated with imidacloprid. A third of honeybees were killed by what
has since been dubbed colony collapse disorder.
Bayer's best selling pesticide, imidacloprid, sold under the name
Gaucho in France, has been banned as a seed dressing for sunflowers
in that country since 1999, after a third of French honeybees died
following its widespread use. Five years later it was also banned as
a sweetcorn treatment in France. A few months ago, the company's
application for clothianidin was rejected by French authorities.
Bayer has always maintained that imidacloprid is safe for bees if
correctly applied. "Extensive internal and international scientific
studies have confirmed that Gaucho does not present a hazard to
bees," said Utz Klages, a spokesman for Bayer CropScience.
Last year, Germany's Green MEP, Hiltrud Breyer, tabled an emergency
motion calling for this family of pesticides to be banned across
Europe while their role in killing honeybees were thoroughly
investigated. Her action follows calls for a ban from beekeeping
associations and environmental organisations across Europe.
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."
Recently, I sent you a post about Germany's emergency measures to
protect bees by banning certain chemicals. These are mostly chemicals
used in connection with genetically modified crops, which probably
include all the plants grown to produce biodiesel fuel. The
discussion can be found here:
Switzerland has gone one step further and extended its ban on GMO
crops until the year 2012 because it is believed that it will take
years to determine the safety or lack thereof and, as we know, the
Swiss tend to err on the side of caution.
It might be time to ask who is served by fast tracking approval of
untested new technologies.
My recent posts on mold have prompted many people to send me links to
a video in which the Mushroom King of Planet Earth discusses fungi
from the perspective of a mushroom expert:
I have known Paul Stamets for some time and written a few posts
before in which his work in addressing toxic waste was the focus.
There is a tremendous amount to be learned and understood that is not
always maintained in the clearest possible focus.
What Paul has demonstrated in terms of environmental remediation is
nothing short of wondrous and for this, he belongs on the cover of
magazines and perhaps even in Oslo to receive a Nobel prize. But what
does it mean that fungi can decompose practically anything? What he
says in the brief time allotted on ted.com is that fungi are
basically perfectly equipped to survive on this Planet.
I have stated similar thoughts in different ways: from the vantage
point of fungi, the idea that people are the top of the food chain is
totally preposterous. They must think people are delusional. However,
I might argue that our lives or the ability to stay alive depends a
great deal on how we manage our relationships with other kingdoms of
Nature, including fungi.
In the mold remediation course I took, they emphasized that the
changes that have occurred in the building industry have resulted in
mutations in fungi in the direction of higher toxicity. Let's take a
concrete "for instance" and look at the natural wood preservative
features of redwood or cedar. However, we are building with fir or
pine that is dipped in chemicals that extend the life of these
timbers by only a sukoshi in geologic time. If these same pieces of
lumber had been used to build Viking boats, there would be no boats
in Scandinavian museums.
More importantly, since our building methods are so lacking in common
sense and environmental integrity, it is very difficult to imagine
that many houses built in the last decades will still be around in
the year 2050. If we want to know what will happen to them, we need
only look at New Orleans. They will be decomposed by a gruesome array
of relatively benign as well as highly toxic fungi, everything from
Poria incrassata to Stachybotrys. If these fungi were not as
efficient as they are, we would be beyond shoulders deep in the
rubbish we generate as denizens of this Planet.
So, on a certain level, Paul Stamets is on terra firma with his
appreciation of fungi and the roles they play in maintaining the
various life forms here -- and, as he suggests, no doubt elsewhere in
This is as close as Paul and I get because, as you can imagine,
conversations hit a reef when my allergies make further communication
difficult. On the scale of things, he's a near neighbor but we are not
exactly of like mind on highly specific details. However, we might
actually agree on the broader picture which is that if man
self-destructs, fungi will likely as not still be here . . . and they
probably will not miss us. In fact, it's hard to think of anyone
besides dogs who would miss humans.
This perspective is not, however, useful in terms of day-to-day
management of existence and health and here is where I believe my
insights and understanding take another term. I concede that fungi
may ultimately prove that spirit and matter never were separate, at
least not in the manifest world, and that matter is as immortal as
spirit, something only a few are gifted to appreciate, but I think
this is probably true. What is not true is that the specific forms we
recognize are apt to be immortal, not our dwellings or physical
The reason is that mold spores are intrinsic to everything that "is"
so, as the mold remediators are wont to say, all you need to do is
add water and wait 24 hours. What I want to emphasize is that from
what we know, even the ABCs of mold remediation are not very
intelligently taught. By this, I mean, it is not 100% true that
either cold or heat destroy mold. It definitely is not true that
remediation prevents mold from returning. It makes much more sense to
talk about inhibition than destruction.
When I first understood the gravity of my situation, one method of
remediation that was proposed was use of ozone
. I discuss this on moldmisery.com
. The idea was that the ozone would tear up the mold spores and
thereby render them nonviable. I tried it and there are some reasons
to look at this and some to recast the discussion, but what is most
irritating about the literature is a failure to understand the
differences between yeast, mold, bacteria, viruses, mites, and
countless other pathogens that may be lurking in our personal spaces.
One of the techniques I use in microscopy is to watch how samples
deteriorate. There are a number of factors to observe: precise manner
of "corruption" as well as pace and resistance. For instance, there
may be something degenerative in our blood, but there may be
something holding that risk factor in check. It's important to watch
all the actors before drawing any conclusions, but in most cases, the
sample is trashed within 3-4 days, sometimes in 10-20 minutes and
sometimes in 4-5 weeks, but eventually, the components lose viability
and it's always interesting to see what the last component to bite the
dust is. I might contend that if the last to die was a red blood cell,
we are fitter than 99.9999% of our race, but if all you see is yeast
or mold, you are on a fast track to reunite with your maker. Of
course, there are those who will laugh at such statements, but I am
daring to make them because I have observed the correlations with
medical conditions that are, in fact, corrupting life.
So, while I might pass along the suggestion to listen to what Paul
has to say because there is a very hopeful message about how to clean
up the mess we have created, I personally think fungi are, on the
whole, more dangerous than bacteria and viruses so if I had to pick
my poison, it would not be cordyceps.
As of 3/24/08
Well, Spring is upon us and the Bee "Film" is on YouTube.
The Bee Die Off Catastrophe is in dire need of being addressed now!
UPDATE Just in as of 5/19/07
We are relieved that cell phone usage is not the issue. Some thought we were being alarmists. I do not, and will never regret going without a cell phone for a month. This was a wonderful lesson in letting go of technology and making our planet and wellbeing more important. I could sleep at night until we knew for sure that the cell phones themselves were not the issue. If it had been the problem, then we were well on the way to doing our part.
Now that Geneticly Altered crops are the issue we can resume this technology and not have the guilt. When I spoke with the Bee Association making this observation about altered crops being the issue, they dodged it. Probably because they had no explanation and could not comment one way or another.
The recent scare with the wheat glutin from China is another example of how we are precariously positioned. We need to still use this as a lesson and spring board immediately into new action and retain the lesson without going back to sleep and doing business as usual. We are a long way from where we should be in overcoming the perilous track we are taking.
The US has set these presidences by being the most consuming nation on the planet and other countries out of envy are now vying for the lifestyle we have that is really unsustainable. Continue to do your part individually and we will get there....a life worth living, a world saved from destruction.
ARTICLE: Geneticly Altered Crops are showing their effects. Frankenstein farming has
now presented us with a monumental problem.
Realizing that the issue of Geneticly Modified crops infuriates both opponents and proponents, I am forwarding the following email based on a story in The Guardian entitled "GM Genes 'Jump Species Barrier' " and
reprinted on information liberation.com.
I am a subscriber to ISIS and am therefore familiar with the work of Dr Mae-Wan Ho, one of the voices of reason where new and potentially dangerous technologies are concerned. Personally, I feel the crops are a risk to the survival of all life on this Planet. How many more times must we repeat the mantra that sustainable agriculture will always be based on organic methods for crop production.
Here's the article:
Monday May 14th, 2007
A leading zoologist has found evidence that genes used to modify crops can jump the species barrier and cause bacteria to mutate, prompting fears that GM technology could pose serious health risks.
A four-year study by Professor Hans-Hinrich Kaatz, a respected German zoologist, found that the alien gene used to modify oilseed rape had transferred to bacteria living inside the guts of honey bees.
The research - which has yet to be published and has not been reviewed by fellow scientists - is highly significant because it
suggests that all types of bacteria could become contaminated by genes used in genetically modified technology, including those that live inside the human digestive system.
If this happened, it could have an impact on the bacteria's vital role in helping the human body fight disease, aid digestion and facilitate blood clotting.
Agriculture Minister Nick Brown, who was yesterday advising farmers who have accidentally grown contaminated GM oilseed rape in Britain to rip up their crops, confirmed the potential significance of Kaatz's research. He said: 'If this is true, then it would be veryserious.'
The 47-year-old Kaatz has been reluctant to talk about his research until it has been published in a scientific journal, because he fears a backlash from the scientific community similar to that faced by Dr Arpad Pustzai, who claimed that genetically modified potatoes damaged the stomach lining of rats. Pustzai was sacked and had his work discredited.
But in his first newspaper interview, Kaatz told The Observer: 'It is true, I have found the herbicide-resistant genes in the rapeseed transferred across to the bacteria and yeast inside the intestines of young bees. This happened rarely, but it did happen.'
Although Kaatz realised the potential 'significance' of his findings, he said he 'was not surprised' at the results. Asked if this had implications for the bacteria inside the human gut, he said: 'Maybe, but I am not an expert on this.'
Dr Mae-Wan Ho, geneticist at Open University and a critic of GM technology, has no doubts about the dangers. She said: 'These findings are very worrying and provide the first real evidence of what many have feared. Everybody is keen to exploit GM technology, but nobody is looking at the risk of horizontal gene transfer.
'We are playing about with genetic structures that existed for millions of years and the experiment is running out of control.'
One of the biggest concerns is if the anti-biotic resistant gene used in some GM crops crossed over to bacteria. 'If this happened it would leave us unable to treat major illnesses like meningitis and E coli
Kaatz, who works at the respected Institute for Bee Research at the University of Jena in Germany, built nets in a field planted with genetically modified rapeseed produced by AgrEvo. He let the bees fly freely within the net. At the beehives, he installed pollen traps in order to sample the pollen from the bees' hindlegs when entering the hive.
This pollen was fed to young honey bees in the laboratory. Pollen is the natural diet of young bees, which need a high protein diet. Kaatz then extracted the intestine of the young bees and discovered that the gene from the GM rape-seed had been transferred in the bee gut to the microbes.
Professor Robert Pickard, director-general of the Institute of the British Nutrition Foundation, is a bee expert as well as being a biologist and has visited the institute where Kaatz works. He said: 'There is no doubt that, if Kaatz's research is substantiated, then it poses very interesting questions and will need to be looked at very closely.
'But it must be remembered that the human body has been coping perfectly well with strange DNA for millions of years. And we also know many people have been eating GM products for years without showing any signs of ill health.'
We cannot afford to lose our lives and our children and children's children as well. This is not an over reaction. I come from farming families. I know the devastation this will cause. I have it from reliable sources that if this continues and with the collapse of the bee colonies we have four years before our food supply is so drastically effected we will be in chaos. They are 70% decimated right now. Then what? Can we create more bee's? No.
This is a problem that the companies that produce these geneticly altered crops will not address on their own. We can only do something by demanding organicly grown and unaltered foods.
We use pesticides to get rid of a few mosquito's and these kill off the friendly insects. We get rid of bats out of fears and they eat millions, far more effectively and we exterminate them as pests. West Nile? I had West Nile while I had cancer. I should have died and did not. What did I use to cure myself? Olive Leaf by Gaia. No not all Olive leaf is produced as well as this product. I took it by the hand full every half hour and survived. Fever as high as 104 etc. If I can do it anyone can. The notion that all this stuff is going to kill us off is ludicrous.
We will do great if we get rid of our quick fix mentalities. If we get over having to have nature bend to us. If we work in harmony with the world God gave us to be good stewards over. It is not up to the "other guy"...we are the other guy. It is not going to get handled by the power's that be, they will wait for another study that might justify them keeping things the way they are. Autism is 1 in 166, never seen before our vaccination craze. Vaccinations, pesticides, genetically altered corn, hormone shot up animals raised in appalling conditions. Cancer up 1000 fold.
When do we collectively grab it by the horns and say enough is enough. Global warming! I grew up without air conditioning, we were fine. I grew up in the most gentle of era's where kids were not assassinating one another...we are seeing an epidemic in every sector and I know that I can only reach my small audience. But if one does it, then another, then those take care of their back yards, it can be handled literally over night.
Discipline, caring for the "others" rather than self is what it will take. We will go down in history as the gluttons who destroyed the world or the noble people who decided enough is enough. Though it does not appear that way to us on our own little levels. Put this to the scale world wide and we have a problem of proportions that can only be called Biblical.
Anne Frank said it so aptly for a child of her years:
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment, before starting to improve the world.
In the end we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends"
Thank you!! Our family thanks you, your children and their children thank you!!
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