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  1. #1
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    Default Yet another Theory on CCD

    From Humans To Crops: Could Genetic Modification Be Killing The Bees?
    Added: Mar 11th, 2007 11:56 AM

    Could genetically modified crops be killing bees?
    John McDonald, Special to The Chronicle

    With reports coming in about a scourge affecting honeybees, researchers are launching a drive to find the cause of the destruction. The reasons for rapid colony collapse are not clear. Old diseases, parasites and new diseases are being looked at.

    Over the past 100 or so years, beekeepers have experienced colony losses from bacterial agents (foulbrood), mites (varroa and tracheal) and other parasites and pathogens. Beekeepers have dealt with these problems by using antibiotics, miticides or integrated pest management.

    While losses, particularly in overwintering, are a chronic condition, most beekeepers have learned to limit their losses by staying on top of new advice from entomologists. Unlike the more common problems, this new die-off has been virtually instantaneous throughout the country, not spreading at the slower pace of conventional classical disease.

    As an interested beekeeper with some background in biology, I think it might be fruitful to investigate the role of genetically modified or transgenic farm crops. Although we are assured by nearly every bit of research that these manipulations of the crop genome are safe for both human consumption and the environment, looking more closely at what is involved here might raise questions about those assumptions.

    The most commonly transplanted segment of transgenic DNA involves genes from a well-known bacterium, bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which has been used for decades by farmers and gardeners to control butterflies that damage cole crops such as cabbage and broccoli. Instead of the bacterial solution being sprayed on the plant, where it is eaten by the target insect, the genes that contain the insecticidal traits are incorporated into the genome of the farm crop. As the transformed plant grows, these Bt genes are replicated along with the plant genes so that each cell contains its own poison pill that kills the target insect.

    In the case of field corn, these insects are stem- and root-borers, lepidopterans (butterflies) that, in their larval stage, dine on some region of the corn plant, ingesting the bacterial gene, which eventually causes a crystallization effect in the guts of the borer larvae, thus killing them.

    What is not generally known to the public is that Bt variants are available that also target coleopterans (beetles) and dipterids (flies and mosquitoes). We are assured that the bee family, hymenopterans, is not affected.

    That there is Bt in beehives is not a question. Beekeepers spray Bt under hive lids sometimes to control the wax moth, an insect whose larval forms produce messy webs on honey. Canadian beekeepers have detected the disappearance of the wax moth in untreated hives, apparently a result of worker bees foraging in fields of transgenic canola plants.

    Bees forage heavily on corn flowers to obtain pollen for the rearing of young broods, and these pollen grains also contain the Bt gene of the parent plant, because they are present in the cells from which pollen forms.

    Is it not possible that while there is no lethal effect directly to the new bees, there might be some sublethal effect, such as immune suppression, acting as a slow killer?

    The planting of transgenic corn and soybean has increased exponentially, according to statistics from farm states. Tens of millions of acres of transgenic crops are allowing Bt genes to move off crop fields.

    A quick and easy way to get an approximate answer would be to make a comparison of colony losses of bees from regions where no genetically modified crops are grown, and to put test hives in areas where modern farming practices are so distant from the hives that the foraging worker bees would have no exposure to them.

    Given that nearly every bite of food that we eat has a pollinator, the seriousness of this emerging problem could dwarf all previous food disruptions.

    This article appeared on page F - 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle

  2. #2
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    Yuleluder:

    Thanks for posting the article. Genetic manipulation may be the culprit.

    As Isaac Newton postulated in his Laws of Motion --" For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction". Well, what are the opposite forces attendant with genetic manipulation of crops? None? Does Bt just kill "bad bugs" like targets? I doubt it. We have been told, even by the Organic Certification Board that Bt is "organic" and safe to use on our food supply.

    Further, how do you test longterm effects on every pesticide, or scientific practice? It seems we are always in situation of fixing a problem that is way again larger and more destructive than the original problem itself. How do we prevent companies from introducing this crap into our agricultural system.

    Ever been through the Nestle exhibit at Epcot in Florida? Watermelons and pumpkins larger than a small car, tomatoe plants bearing millions of tomatoes, all growing in sand or no media whatsoever and resistant to every known insect.

    Maybe Nestle, Bayer, Seminis and other agro-business WANT our bees dead and our crops mutated to the point that we are dependent on them to "solve" the problems they themselves have created and will create.

    Talk about an economic moat around your company. Exxon profits would be less than a drop in the bucket compared to the company(ies) who would control our food supply!

    We can survive without oil (painfully). We cannot survive without food.

    Ramblings of an Old Man, with my

    Regards,
    Miles

  3. #3
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    This topic has been hashed and rehashed on this forum in the past.

    Based again on timing, I doubt that GM plants are the cause of CCD. Why wouldn't CCD have shown up long before this? The toxins produced by Bt plants, for example, are unlikely to accumulate in the environment -- the same toxins have been present far longer from natural bacterial production of those toxins.

    And those toxins ARE very host specific. For example the Bt toxin that kills European corn borer (a moth) will not kill cutworms (moths in a different family). Bees are in an entirely different order.

    Is it not possible that while there is no lethal effect directly to the new bees, there might be some sublethal effect, such as immune suppression, acting as a slow killer? -SF Chronicle editorial
    Bees don't live that long to begin with, so "slow" would have to be very relative. Seemingly in contradiction, in cases of CCD the queen is one of the very last survivors, if not THE last survivor in each hive. Why would the longest-lived of the colony by the last to survive something that kills slowly?

  4. #4
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    "And those toxins ARE very host specific."

    They appear to be. You, Bayer, and the seed producers are correct.

    IMH(and unscientific)O longterm genetic effects on the modified plants and the bees that work them are not fully known.

    Miles

  5. #5
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    Well, as far as any producers or researchers have found, the toxins produced by Bt are very host specific. If you have doubts, try growing a few for yourself, introducing pests that feed on them, and observing the results.

    By the way, why single out Bayer in this?

    Longterm genetic effects are unknown, fair enough. However, long-term effects of most substances are unknown.

    Here, try this to see what I'm talking about: go down to your local home improvement store or plumbing supply and buy a "stick" (a length of pipe) of copper. Read the sticker that you'll find on it: it will say something like, "[Materials in this product are known to the state of California to cause cancer in rats.]" So, what's the long-term effects of copper on organisms? Does that mean we shouldn't use copper?

    Besides, how do you get around the fact that the longest-lived bees (the queens) are the ones surviving longest in cases of CCD? If it's a "long-term" effect, the queens should be the first to be noticeably affected.

    Also, GM plants are responsible for CCD, the areas with the most GM plants should be the most heavily affected. South Dakota leads the country in number of acres planted with GM crops, yet CCD seems to be no more common here than anywhere else.

    If you dislike direct manipulation of genes, fine. Blaming problems in GM organisms, though, should have some evidence behind it.

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    It would fit that the USA is getting hit by CCD whereas the UK appears not to be - we don't yet have fields of the stuff here.

    Of course Monsanto et al want bees out of the way if they can get away with it quietly. They tried to 'fix' a big BBKA conference in 2002, but were exposed for the liars and criminals they really are and eventually packed their bags after running into much more opposition that they bargained for. Our government did their best to pull the GM wool over our eyes and probably will still succeed in allowing open planting, having raised the stakes by re-classifying protestors as 'terrorists'.

    It is not our job to produce 'evidence' - we are beekeepers - it is our job to ask questions and have the scientists do the analysis - that is their job.

    And the big problem with any 'little difficulties' that may arise from GM is that there is a HUGE vested interest in the USA in NOT finding the GM industry guilty. After all, half of them worked for the FDA at one time or another.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

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    It is not our job to produce 'evidence'. . . . -buckbee
    But it IS your job to produce "evidence" when making accusations. Without that evidence, the accusations could be construed as libel or slander.

    So, again, I have to ask (boy, I get tired of asking basically the same question! -- you'd think it would be one of the first things in the minds of those bringing up these theories by now!): "WHY NOW?" What's changed? GM crops have been widely planted in the U.S. for years now. Why didn't we see signs of CCD last year? Why not the year before? Why not five years ago? Even if it isn't as widespread, shouldn't it have appeared somewhere, in smaller numbers, in the past?

    As far as throwing out these theories, we could just keep going. We could speculate about sun spots, or population fluctuations of snowshow hares, or the classification of Pluto as a planet or not. Keep in mind that all this CCD stuff apparently started after Pluto was demoted from its planetary status.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    Keep in mind that all this CCD stuff apparently started after Pluto was demoted from its planetary status.
    Maybe we should re-rename it Pluto's Revenge?

    As far as a possible GMO link to CCD, one hypothesis is that it dumbs the bees down rather than kills them outright. Foragers fly out of the hive and can't remember how to get back and the hive dwindles. If that were the case, you would not see long-term effects manifest themselves in the queen simply because she lives longer, since she does not leave the hive (swarming situation excepted). If GMO crops are conclusively linked to CCD, perhaps it may explain why queens are being superceded at a faster rate than just a few years ago.

    GMO has many advocates, mostly for financial reasons. So did lead paint.
    I've found it easier to keep bees than keep relationships. At least when I'm stung by bees I know why.

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    I thought the "dumbed down" hypothesis was suggested as an explanation for imidacloprid or other neonicotinoid poisoning? How do GM crops make bees lose their orientation abilities?

  10. #10
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    Look what it has done to our little girls, destroying them and give them womens bodies to be attacked by boys that think they are men or grown boys thinking they are men

  11. #11
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    Isn't it nice to know that we can go have a nice meal at the local restaurant and not kill over as we walk out the door. But then again, won't it be nice to have the convenience of having only one eye. Say, when our great grand children are born? Hey glasses will cost half as much!

    Remind me again why it is we do this!! Oh, I remember, so we can shut down farms and be more productive and reduce costs. You know, help fewer farmers make a lot more money!? Any farmers in here? All of I know are filthy rich. Hmmm that can't be right?

    But how come my cost of living keeps skyrocketing every year? The farmer isn't getting it? My pocket isn't getting any bigger?

    Duh!!!!!

    Genetics, poison sprays put on crops, put on lawns.....where else???????

    Oh yeah, this is beesource. We are beekeepers? So why are WE putting the same poisons in and around OUR OWN hives? Is honey not a food source?? Is it ok if our bees don't kill over dead when we spray or gas them with all this garbage! Heck, can't be all bad I recon?

    Blame Bayer?? Why?? Look in the mirror for a few minutes!! We buy, they do!! All of them!

    Wow, sorry folks!! American business, it just gets to me toooo bad!!

    CCD is the question here? There's one thing for sure here with CCD. The bees DID NOT just wake up one morning and decide to go for a Sunday drive. Some way, some how, they were (poisoned)(influenced)....... BY MAN.

  12. #12
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    Kieck,

    Let me say again -- I am not a scientist, nor can I prove or disprove anything stated by any scientist. Nor, do I know the way forward with a solution to CCD. I have some ideas, but they would be ridiculed by most of you on this board.

    I do believe that good people with good intentions may create problems when they tinker with the natural order of things.

    If it is the desire of scientists and plant breeders to eliminate all openly pollinated varieties of vegetables and fruits and the insects that pollinate them in the name of profit for their companies, then I believe it is time to ask them for proof that what they are doing is for the well being of Earth's future or the immediate gain of themselves and their employer.

    It is a proven, that stronger chemicals produce stronger and more resistant insects that require stronger chemicals to control them.

    Our bees and mankind's future are hung in the balance.

    Regards,
    Miles

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    >>As far as throwing out these theories, we could just keep going. We could speculate about sun spots, or population fluctuations

    I agree Kieck!

    I am glad to hear a voice of reason in this forum.

    There is alot of blame going on around this forum, without anything to back the claims. But I suppose thats what these environmentalist type thrive on, spinning a confusing unknown situation into their preachings.

    We are talking about CCD here, lets keep it to the straight facts. There are people in this forum who have a good handle on whats going on, or what we know currently anyway.

    Listen in to their conversation a bit, and you might learn something about science.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #14
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    > I do believe that good people with good intentions may create
    > problems when they tinker with the natural order of things.

    Like, ummm... maybe bringing honey bees across the ocean to
    North America in the first place?

    I mean, really - even the so-called "old growth forests" are
    not really "natural", and recent work has revealed that the
    only reason that the prairies of the west existed at all was
    because of a regular program of "controlled burning" implemented
    by the plains indians, so can we name anything that has not been
    touched by the hand of man? Even the rainforest (the one that
    everyone wants to keep "natural") turns out to be an artificial
    creation of the early civilizations, complete with massive systems
    of "raised beds".

    > have some ideas, but they would be ridiculed by most of
    > you on this board.

    Don't hold out on us here, ideas are the stock in trade of any
    discussion group, and I promise you that while ideas are
    banged against other ideas to see which one breaks first,
    that's not "ridicule" at all. Really loopy stuff would be mostly
    ignored, the ultimate form of ridicule.

  15. #15
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    But then again, won't it be nice to have the convenience of having only one eye. Say, when our great grand children are born? -Bizzybee
    I take it this is a comment against GM? Even if humans were to evolve in this manner, could it necessarily be pinned on GMOs? How would you go about doing that? How could isolate the effects from genetic manipulations from the effects caused by industrial pollutants, or household chemicals, or radiation, or just natural chance?

    Any farmers in here? All of I know are filthy rich. -Bizzybee
    I'm not a "farmer." The bees that I keep do put me into the "agricultural" classification for some things, though. I have family who are farmers. My neighbors are all farmers. I work with farmers regularly. As a rule, none of them are wealthy. Overall, they work hard, they put in long hours, and they hope to keep their "heads above water" financially. Some years they make money, some years they break even, some years they lose money.

    Part of the reason you're seeing a disappearance of the small farms isn't that they're becoming wealthy and expanding. Really, those small farms are going out of business because they can't make enough profit to support the owners.

    C'mon, guys! Give these producers a break! Put yourself in their shoes. Look at beekeeping as an example:

    For the hobbyist, or small-time beekeeper, losses like many of us are experiencing are frustrating, discouraging, even financially difficult. But, if you don't rely on the income to survive, you can get by. You can afford to use no chemicals in your hives, you can afford to let the bees largely manage themselves, and, if you lose all your bees to weather or some disease and can't keep bees for a year or two, you survive. Your family eats, you have a place to live, you can pay the bills.

    But if you rely on the income from beekeeping to survive, losses take on a whole new perspective. If you notice mite populations increasing in your hives, what do you do? Avoid using chemicals simply because you don't like the idea of using chemicals? Treat with anything -- or everything -- available in the hopes of perserving your income? What if all your bees die? What if half of your bees die? Will you lose your home? Will you be able to pay your bills? Will you be able to keep your home?

    Same goes for most other producers (farmers). GM poses some problems. Heavy use of chemicals poses some problems. Mechanized agriculture poses some problems. Not being able to support your family or yourself poses a problem. You weigh the risks, and try to get by.

    And listen, I'm sure, to the people around you who seem to know so much better how you should be making decisions.

    If it is the desire of scientists and plant breeders to eliminate all openly pollinated varieties of vegetables and fruits and the insects that pollinate them in the name of profit for their companies. . . . -MGBee
    I read about these "threats" on message boards like this. The plant breeders with whom I work are not working on such things, except in cases where they do not want certain genes to get into the general population of the plants (such as GM traits being spread into non-GM plants of the same species). Plant breeders have their work cut out for them with other things. And all of the crops that are grasses (wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, rye, etc.) are not insect-pollinated now; they're wind pollinated.

    Honestly, if markets didn't exist for GM plants, growers wouldn't grow GM crops. If people weren't using crops from GM plants, markets wouldn't exist. So, are the businesses that produce and market GM plants "creating" the demand, or are they simply responding to the demand?

    Just as an example that most people don't think about (because they're not eating it), look at the clothing you're wearing. Is some of it made from cotton? Have you purchased it in the last couple of years? Likely, it came from a GM crop. Almost all cotton grown in the U.S. is transgenic (or "GM").

  16. #16
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    Default Gm Fraud And Lies From Monsanto

    >>Honestly, if markets didn't exist for GM plants, growers wouldn't grow GM crops. If people weren't using crops from GM plants, markets wouldn't exist. So, are the businesses that produce and market GM plants "creating" the demand, or are they simply responding to the demand?

    Utter bilge. Nobody woke up one day and said, "I really need a GM plant!" Their 'benefits' had to be spun by the likes of Monsanto before some gullible farmers bought the seed.

    Oh yes - the GM cotton you are so proud of? Here's the real story:

    India’s Bt Cotton Fraud

    Monsanto rides roughshod over Indian cotton farmers leaving a wake of false claims and doctored information, despite being fined for bribery in Indonesia Rhea Gala

    The sources for this article are posted on ISIS members’ website. Details here

    As the battle for control over cotton farming in India intensifies, Monsanto’s tactics to extend approval for its Bollgard Bt cotton call to mind those for which it was recently fined US$1.5m for bribery and corruption in Indonesia.

    In advance of a deadline for a decision on licence renewal in March 2005, Greenpeace and the Sarvodaya Youth Organization released two versions of a report on Bt cotton prepared by the Joint Director of Agriculture of Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh (AP). The data in the original report, commissioned under a memorandum of understanding between the AP government and Monsanto-Mahyco, revealed a comprehensive failure of Bt cotton in AP. The second visibly tampered-with version exaggerated the yields, thereby substantially reducing Monsanto’s compensation to farmers. State agricultural committees have consistently demanded compensation to be paid to farmers for losses at a rate of Rs.20 000 (US$458.5) per acre, but Monsanto has refused to pay up so far.

    Greenpeace campaigner Divya Raghunandan said, "We are disappointed by the government’s decision to expand the region under Bt cotton, while the need was to stop where it was already grown…The fact that data has been so clearly manipulated in this case, raises serious doubts about the authenticity of any data that the Genetic Engineering Advisory Committee (GEAC) would use to review Bt cotton."
    Market research: wishful thinking, or science?

    Monsanto commissioned a study using a market research agency for the 2004 season, which claimed that Bt cotton yield was up by 58% on a country wide basis, resulting in a 60% increase in farmers’ incomes; and that in Andhra Pradesh, a 46% yield increase and a 65% reduction in pesticide costs gave a 42% increase in income to farmers.

    A notorious piece of research by Martin Qaim (University of Bonn) and David Zilberman (University of California, Berkeley) was published in Science, claiming outstanding (80%!) yield increases from Monsanto’s GM cotton; and projected the results as relevant to farmers throughout the developing world. The paper drew a storm of protest, as it derived all its data from Monsanto and its findings were completely at odds with the reports coming from Indian farmers. Dr Devinder Sharma, a food policy expert, called Qaim and Zilberman’s paper a "scientific fairytale".

    Agricultural scientists Dr Abdul Qayum and Kiran Sakkhari conducted an independent study on Bt cotton on a season-long basis for three years in 87 villages of the major cotton growing districts of AP - Warangal, Nalgonda, Adilabad and Kurnool - and found against Bt cotton on all counts:

    * Bollgard failed miserably for small farmers in terms of yields; non-Bt cotton surpassed Bt in yield by nearly 30% with 10% less expense
    * Bollgard did not significantly reduce pesticide use; over the three years, Bt farmers spent Rs. 2571 on pesticides on average, while the non-Bt farmers spent Rs.2766
    * Bollgard did not bring profit to farmers; over the three years, the non-Bt farmers earned on average 60% more than Bt farmers
    * Bollgard did not reduce the cost of cultivation; on an average, the Bt farmers had incurred 12% more costs than non-Bt farmers
    * Bollgard did not result in a healthier environment; researchers found a special kind of root rot spread by Bollgard cotton, infecting the soil so that other crops would not grow.

    Another report entitled, The story of Bt cotton in Andhra Pradesh: Erratic processes and results, published by the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture (CSA), documents the dubious events of three years of commercial Bt cotton cultivation in AP.

    It researched the economics as well as the incidence of pests and diseases, and beneficial organisms in Bt cotton and non-pesticidal management (NPM) cotton fields. It established that the cost of pest management of Bt cotton was 690% higher than in NPM farming systems. Moreover seed cost of Bt cotton was 355% higher than conventional varieties.

    These findings are documented by the women of the Deccan Development Society’s Community Media Trust, who have made a film called "Bt Cotton in Warangal: A three year fraud" Their previous film "Why are Warangal Farmers Angry with Bt Cotton" made in 2003, has been translated into French, Spanish, Thai and German and English; and is making waves around the world in national and international film festivals.

    BBC’s recently broadcast Bitter Harvest series looks at the plight of farmers in India through issues such as seed-saving, patents, farmer suicides, depopulation of rural areas, subsidies, free trade and the debt trap. http://www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/fe...vaisakhi.shtml

    The corporate take-over of farming, the green revolution and biotechnology are constant points of reference, with detail on how the public system in the Punjab is used to promote Monsanto’s seeds, and how Monsanto makes use of religion in its advertising to farmers in order to project its seeds as miraculous.
    Never mind the facts

    The GEAC approved six new varieties of Monsanto-derived Bt cotton seed for commercial use in the fertile northern states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana, and eight new varieties have approval for large-scale trials in these states. This greatly extends the area given to GM cotton - which had previously been restricted to six central and southern states - in spite of the overwhelming evidence of harm caused to farmers’ livelihoods by the GM varieties.

    Dr Vandana Shiva of Navdanya and Dr Krishan Bir Choudhary of Bharat Krishak Samaj, together with representatives of other NGOs, met the Prime Minister to demand the withdrawal of Bt cotton. Dr Devinder Sharma, called it "a scientific fraud" to impose Bt cotton on farmers.

    The CSA and Gene Campaign complained to the GEAC about its pretence of inviting consultation with civil society. NGOs were invited, with one days notice, to voice their concerns; but their promised 10-minute slot was cut to 5 minutes and there was no discussion. A GEAC member refused to reveal her name on the grounds that it was confidential.

    In a joint letter to GEAC chairman Suresh Chandra, CSA executive director Dr GV Ramanjaneyulu and Gene Campaign director Dr Suman Sahai alleged that the evidence of Bt cotton failure which they provided were not included in the minutes of the meeting. The minutes contained responses of seed companies on some questions raised by the GEAC.

    The decision to extend the period of approval for Monsanto’s failed Bt cotton hybrids, Mech-12 Bt, Mech-162 Bt and Mech-184 Bt, which expires this season, was deferred again by the GEAC in April until the next meeting on May 11. One Bt variety was approved for commercial cultivation in the 2005 season in central India, and three more transgenic cotton varieties, including a VIP cotton from Syngenta, were approved for large-scale field trials in northern India.

    These approvals, in the face of both grass-roots and scientific evidence of huge losses to farmers using Monsanto’s Bt seeds, are reminiscent of those in Indonesia, which came to an end with a change in government. Monsanto was exposed and fined $1.5m for bribery and corruption in the United States ("Corruption, half-truths and lies", SiS 25). The case of the tampered-with report on GM cotton remains unanswered here.

    The AP Coalition demanded that the AP government immediately take steps to prevent the sale of Bollgard seeds for the present season, which is already going on. It also demanded that the government order a judicial enquiry into the official agencies’ suppression or manipulation of the evidence to favour the Mahyco-Monsanto corporation.

    Farmers, scientists and researchers from around the world meeting in Hyderabad as part of the Global Week of Action, narrated first-hand encounters with Bt cotton and GM crops. A statement from the Deccan Development Society (DDS) said: "Having shared our encounters with genetic engineering from our countries, we are stronger in our conviction that the use of transgenic crops has unleashed new hazards onto our farms and into our lives. The profit-driven ‘life’ science industry is more life destroying than life giving."
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  17. #17
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    Default Demand for GM crops

    I find it significant that when the EU requires labelling of any GM crop it is considered "protectionisim" and they are accused of closing their markets. Apparntly the EU consumer doesn't want them.

    I look for products in the US labelled GM, and I find the reverse - premium prices for "non GM" It seems to me that GM crops may seem good for the farmer but the consumer does not really want them, so "don't ask, don't tell" ithe rule of the day.

    Similar to Irradiation as a preservative - very effective but most would rather not know about it

    I'll put my soap box away now
    Last edited by snarky; 03-15-2007 at 07:02 PM. Reason: typo
    JG

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    Sorry Keick. My comment about the farmers was in sarcasm. I realize it isn't the farmers that reap the rewards from the harvests.

    But everyone (business) between us and them do!

    Getting anyone to present proof that any mutation in humans or otherwise is unlikely at best! Our society revolves around money. There may be many things that we wish to be true. Morality, integrity, self respect, family.......need I go on. Bottom line is, they are sold to the highest bidder everyday!!!

    And no! I will not sit back and leave it to the so called experts that have gotten us where we are today! With our own complacency urging them on!

    All my life I have watched study after study report completely and totally different results. So who is the EXPERT to judge the EXPERTS?

    I'm sorry folks!! I really DON'T know if I will trust any findings that we are finally given, if any? A lot will depend on where it comes from. I truly hope it is revealed by someone without any interest in WHO or WHAT may be the cause. Someone that still believes in the values we wish to hang on to so hard!!

    What I do know is that something out there has had a devastating effect on the bees! And it's sitting on dinner tables all across our country tonight. Does it effect we humans as the bees. I don't know, I doubt it???? But how does it??? Because we (experts) don't know. Then we just gets dismissed??? And WHO has the right to include me and everyone here in their twisted egotistical, hypothetical theories of what is good for me or not!!!!

    It's spring! All of my bees have wintered well and are happily on their way to making big colonies and honey. I love to hear good stories from all my beek friends that has had the same fortunes. And share the sadness with those that haven't.

    I can say, I hope that few of you here have lost bees to this plague! And wish you all the best of luck as we move forward and away from this thing!!!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
    Posts
    2,790

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    Utter bilge. Nobody woke up one day and said, "I really need a GM plant!" Their 'benefits' had to be spun by the likes of Monsanto before some gullible farmers bought the seed. -buckbee
    Perhaps not. But I know quite a few farmers around here who woke up and said, "I really need to make enough money to feed my family." GM crops often (not always) give them extra profit, and that profit is the income for those families.

    You really believe that companies can create demand just because they say so, buckbee? Your economy works quite a bit differently there, if that's true, than ours does here.

    Oh yes - the GM cotton you are so proud of? Here's the real story:
    . . . . -buckbee
    "Proud of?" No, not "proud of." I didn't create any of the GM cottons, and I don't grow cotton, much less GM cotton. I don't produce fabric from cotton, and I don't produce clothing from cotton fabric. Much of the clothing I wear IS made from cotton, and I have little doubt that much of that cotton was grown on GM plants.

    Also note that I said, in my post about cotton, "GM cotton," not "Bt cotton." RoundUp Ready genes are also GM, but they are not Bt.

    Along those same lines, roughly 52% of corn grown in South Dakota is some form of Bt corn, but more than 83% of corn grown in South Dakota is transgenic ("GM"). The difference is made up of corn that's RoundUp Ready or LibertyLink, but not Bt.

    A fairly high percentage of wheat grown around the world today is also GM, but doesn't get mentioned. The genes put into the wheat came from rye -- and that doesn't take into account that wheat is a hybrid of at least three species in the first place.

    Probably my fault, Bizzybee. I missed the sarcasm in your post.

    Here's my advice to all of you so vehemently opposed to GM crops:

    Avoid GM strictly.

    Don't wear cotton. Don't use cotton products.

    Don't burn gasoline. Most of the gasoline sold in the U.S., anyway, contains ethanol, and GM corn is used heavily in producing ethanol.

    Don't burn biodiesel. GM soybeans are used to produce biodiesel. GM canola is used to produce vegetable oil.

    Don't consume products containing HFCS. GM corn, even if not Bt corn, is used in part to produce HFCS.

    Avoid wheat products.

    Avoid most meat, especially beef. Beef cattle are fed corn and alfalfa that may be transgenic.

    Don't use insulin.

    Check all other medications before using.

    Check wood and paper, especially in the next few years. Timber companies are rapidly developing GM trees for timber and pulp production.

    Check everything you use carefully. GM crops are being used in many, many ways.

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