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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Michael Bush did not provide evidence that high fructose corn syrup "has Bt toxin in it" and "has neonics in it."

    The Bt toxin has been spliced into the genetic code of the corn and is in every cell of the plant. I know of no process that will remove it entirely. It is harmless to bees and they have a short life anyway, so who knows what "long term" effects there are. My concern is with humans who will live 80 years or more. No one knows the long term effects of that.
    It may well be that the Bt gene is in every cell in the plant, but that is several biological processes short of the *toxin* being in every cell of the plant. Since the toxin is a protein, you've got to get through transcription and translation before it's even present. I don't know what expression system is controlling expression of that gene, so it may well be broadly expressed, or it may be a tissue specific expression. Then, even if the toxin is expressed in every cell of the plant, there are really good (scientifically based) reasons to think that it is not a problem for humans - short term or long term. For the toxin to be effective, it must first become soluble in the gut, which has been repeatedly demonstrated to require an alkaline gut pH (why it works on insects and not humans), then it has to go through a pH driven conformational change (again requiring alkaline pH), then it has to interact with and be modified by host-specific proteases to convert the "raw" form to the active form, then it has to interact with host specific receptors to form complexes which are inserted into the gut wall causing the eventual physiological response. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1857359/) Bt toxins are not even broad based in their effects on insects. Due to the host-specific nature of a couple of the steps, Bt toxins only affect certain classes of insects, depending on the Bt species from which the toxin was isolated.

    On top of all that, to produce HFCS, the corn kernels are subjected to high heat and strong acid in order to convert the starches into simple sugars. Both of those things are VERY hard on proteins, and tend to destroy them quite quickly. So, the chances of much protein even making it into the final HFCS product is pretty small.

    As far as long term effects go, sure, anything is possible. But, the most likely effect would be the same as is in insect guts, and that is a VERY short term effect, which would be noticed quite quickly.

    I deeply respect a lot of the writing you do and your experience as a beekeeper, but I think that in this case, the implication you make about Bt being present in HFCS and being able to do *anything* in a human digestive tract needs some evidence to back it up. Otherwise, it's pure hand-waving speculation.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    [url]
    Alison Van Eenennaam, PhD Cooperative Extension Specialist, Animal Genomics and Biotechnology University of California, Davis:

    "The National Academy of Sciences and other leading research institutions agree that GE foods present no unique risks, or greater risks, than non-GE foods. In fact, because GE foods are intensively tested for safety while most other foods are not, GE foods are probably safer than most foods on the market today."
    Well, okay, but if the stuff is so wonderful, why have the producers lobbied so hard to prevent the FDA from requiring GMO food to be labeled as such?

    Could be I'm a Luddite, but why isn't it my right to know what I'm buying and eating?

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    >It may well be that the Bt gene is in every cell in the plant, but that is several biological processes short of the *toxin* being in every cell of the plant. Since the toxin is a protein, you've got to get through transcription and translation before it's even present. I don't know what expression system is controlling expression of that gene, so it may well be broadly expressed, or it may be a tissue specific expression.

    It would not be very effective as an insecticide if it's not at least in the tissue of the plant that the larvae are eating. I usually see the larvae on the ears, which happens to be the part we eat. It's in the pollen, hence the research on it's effect on Monarchs.

    > Then, even if the toxin is expressed in every cell of the plant, there are really good (scientifically based) reasons to think that it is not a problem for humans - short term or long term. For the toxin to be effective, it must first become soluble in the gut, which has been repeatedly demonstrated to require an alkaline gut pH (why it works on insects and not humans)

    Like infants have...

    > then it has to go through a pH driven conformational change (again requiring alkaline pH), then it has to interact with and be modified by host-specific proteases to convert the "raw" form to the active form, then it has to interact with host specific receptors to form complexes which are inserted into the gut wall causing the eventual physiological response. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1857359/)

    This is in order to act in the same way it does on the insect larvae, but what is the effect long term of eating this protein, even if it is not doing direct damage? Allergic responses to our food? Other issues? I know it does not affect humans in the same way as insects, but we still don't know the long term effects of exposure to this toxin.

    > Bt toxins are not even broad based in their effects on insects. Due to the host-specific nature of a couple of the steps, Bt toxins only affect certain classes of insects, depending on the Bt species from which the toxin was isolated.

    Insects have very short lives. If the toxin is not directly effective in their digestive track, they don't have time to develop other reactions to it. We live long enough for that to happen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    I'm in the camp that thinks it very unlikely that any bt protein or any systemic pesticide can be found in the end product of producing HFCS.

    I think it's a disservice to everyone to claim these substances are found in HFCS.

    deknow
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Well, okay, but if the stuff is so wonderful, why have the producers lobbied so hard to prevent the FDA from requiring GMO food to be labeled as such?
    why isn't it my right to know what I'm buying and eating?
    Five reasons: http://www.noprop37.com/facts/ Here's the 5th reason: "forces farmers and food companies to implement costly new labeling, packaging, distribution, recordkeeping and other bureaucratic operations that will cost billions of dollars to implement. Or, companies will be forced to switch to higher-priced, non-GE ingredients, like organics, in order to sell food in California. Economic studies show this would increase food costs for the average family by hundreds of dollars per year a hidden food tax that would especially hurt seniors and low-income families who can least afford it."

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >

    It would not be very effective as an insecticide if it's not at least in the tissue of the plant that the larvae are eating. I usually see the larvae on the ears, which happens to be the part we eat. It's in the pollen, hence the research on it's effect on Monarchs.
    I'll grant you that it's *likely* that it's in the kernels. Pollen is probably not relevant to HFCS. By the time the corn is grown to term, harvested, stored, removed from the cob, etc.... how much pollen it left around? Heck, we all know that pollen production if pretty seasonal. How much is even left by the time the corn is harvested?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    > Then, even if the toxin is expressed in every cell of the plant, there are really good (scientifically based) reasons to think that it is not a problem for humans - short term or long term. For the toxin to be effective, it must first become soluble in the gut, which has been repeatedly demonstrated to require an alkaline gut pH (why it works on insects and not humans)

    Like infants have...
    For the first 24 hours of their life. (http://tinyurl.com/btrxzus) Is HFCS really a food source for a significant amount of infants in the first 24 hours?


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >This is in order to act in the same way it does on the insect larvae, but what is the effect long term of eating this protein, even if it is not doing direct damage? Allergic responses to our food? Other issues? I know it does not affect humans in the same way as insects, but we still don't know the long term effects of exposure to this toxin.
    That's kind of the gist of the issue. You're basically saying that you have no data, no model, and no theory of any kind that suggests that there might be another mode of action, but you're willing to cast skeptical daggers in the direction of Bt. I guess that doesn't sit too well with my scientific training.

    I'll not argue further, as I like the amicable environment of this forum and don't want to ruin it. We'll have to agree to disagree on this one, I think.

    Peace,

    Will

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    >That's kind of the gist of the issue. You're basically saying that you have no data, no model, and no theory of any kind that suggests that there might be another mode of action, but you're willing to cast skeptical daggers in the direction of Bt. I guess that doesn't sit too well with my scientific training.

    Adding a toxin not previously used in any significant amounts, to our food supply without any data to show it's safe in the long term sits well with your scientific training? My observation is that these kinds of things do not become obvious until 20 to 40 years later. The Romans didn't notice any effects to using lead for their water pipes... and probably never figured it out...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Pretty sure the Romans weren't doing any testi g let alone testing down to single digit ppb's then assuming that the problem is actually with undetectable levels. Why not make decisions based on data and not assumptions?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    The Bt toxin is Cry1Ab toxin. In the above study:

    "Cry1Ab toxin was detected in 93% and 80% of maternal and fetal blood samples, respectively and in 69% of tested blood samples from nonpregnant women."

    It is in your blood. What are the long term effects of that?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    Five reasons: http://www.noprop37.com/facts/ Here's the 5th reason: "forces farmers and food companies to implement costly new labeling, packaging, distribution, recordkeeping and other bureaucratic operations that will cost billions of dollars to implement. Or, companies will be forced to switch to higher-priced, non-GE ingredients, like organics, in order to sell food in California. Economic studies show this would increase food costs for the average family by hundreds of dollars per year – a hidden food tax that would especially hurt seniors and low-income families who can least afford it."
    Hey. Dueling websites:

    http://www.carighttoknow.org/


    The No on 37 campaign’s recent economic analysis of Proposition 37, conducted by Northbridge Environmental Management Consultants, is based on so many flawed premises that it is an entirely useless analysis of the California ballot initiative for labeling genetically engineered foods. Northbridge has no economic expertise; they are a consulting firm best known for opposing recycling laws for the soda pop industry.

    In contrast, a real economic study on Proposition 37 conducted by Joanna Shepherd Bailey, Ph.D., a tenured professor at Emory University School of Law, found that: “Consumers will likely see no increases in prices as a result of the relabeling required.” Among the report’s findings –- backed by empirical literature and historical precedents – is that companies’ fear of losing customers due to increasing grocery prices is a significant deterrent to passing on the “trivial” labeling costs to consumers.
    Check out the list on that page I posted above: those who support labeling, and those who oppose it.

    The reason that Monsanto and ConAgra and Bayer oppose the measure, to the tune of millions of dollars, is that they know that some consumers, if informed, will be reluctant to buy their products. Period. It has nothing to do with their concern for low income families.

    Bottom line is this: I have a right to know what I'm spending my hard-earned money on. In almost every other first world country in the world, I have that right.

    Not here

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Possible bad long term for Romans, but at the time a average live span was 30 years, so it was still a huge plus to have plumbing..... If I remeber my history correctly Lead pipes didn't kill off the Romans...

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The Bt toxin is Cry1Ab toxin. In the above study:

    "Cry1Ab toxin was detected in 93% and 80% of maternal and fetal blood samples, respectively and in 69% of tested blood samples from nonpregnant women."

    It is in your blood. What are the long term effects of that?
    The authors drew the conclusion that it is in your blood, but that paper has been widely critcized for the methods it used to draw that conclusion. (And, those doing the criticism are not linked to the big agribusiness companies.) The ELISA assay they use to establish the presence of the Cry1Ab toxin has several MAJOR drawbacks in that application.

    1) It is quite capable of detecting *fragments* of the original protein which may or may not represent anything even close to a biologically relevant fraction of it, but rather the products of digestion, imported as small peptides. No control was done for that. It may well even react with portions of proteins that have nothing to do with Cry1Ab (see below).

    2) It has been widely reported that this type of ELISA assay is unreliable in serum samples due to non-specific cross reactivity with the plethora of serum proteins present. The level of cross reactivity depends a great deal on the source/type of serum use. The authors do note that they did positive/negative controls in 1/2 strength serum, but do not note what serum they used. This kit was designed and validated for use in bovine serum, but that is a whole different beast than human serum.

    3) In the papers establishing the detection thresholds and linear response ranges of this ELISA kit, the standard curves show that at concentrations below 1 ng/mL, the response becomes markedly non-linear, and the papers that show their standard calibration curves generally show limits of quantitative detection bottoming out around 0.5 - 1 ng/mL. The paper you shared reports their high end result for a single sample as being 2.28 ng/mL in nonpregnat women, ~1 ng/mL in preganant women and 0.14 ng/mL in fetal cord blood. They report their averages as being between 0.04 - 0.19 ng/mL, well below the established limits of the assay to measure. So, they are reporting values that are generally regarded as being unable to be reliably measured by the technique they are using and then basing their conclusions on that.

    Please don't get me wrong. I'm not an industry shill, and I do have significant concerns about many of the things being done with/to our food supply. However, we do the cause no favors by arguing based on weak evidence, poor science and innuendo.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    The reason that Monsanto and ConAgra and Bayer oppose the measure, to the tune of millions of dollars, is that they know that some consumers, if informed, will be reluctant to buy their products. Period. It has nothing to do with their concern for low income families.
    The entire food industry in California was against California Proposition 37 that would have required labelling for GMO ingredients. Even the almond processors: http://ahpa.net/advocacy/prop-37/

    The only food industry people who favored the labelling were, of course, the organic processors who would have enjoyed greatly increased sales and profits if the measure had passed. The employees and managers of the organic processors make more money than comparably sized conventional processors because organic products are extra profitable. And the reason they are extra profitable is because the target market for their products (affluent city born and raised folks) are willing and able to pay an extra high price.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    Or, companies will be forced to switch to higher-priced, non-GE ingredients, like organics, in order to sell food in California. Economic studies show this would increase food costs for the average family by hundreds of dollars per year – a hidden food tax that would especially hurt seniors and low-income families who can least afford it."
    I'm not against most of the "stuff" they are doing, but this being america, I do want the option of picking what is in my food, meaning labeling it. I grow as much as I can with untreated seeds, but would like to limit what I have to buy. I should have the option, not have the option taken away due to politics.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    I'm not against most of the "stuff" they are doing, but this being america, I do want the option of picking what is in my food, meaning labeling it. I grow as much as I can with untreated seeds, but would like to limit what I have to buy. I should have the option, not have the option taken away due to politics.
    Apparently, the problem is that this is America. In just about any other developed nation in the world, you'd be able to look on a food label and see if there were any GMO ingredients.

    Not here.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Cigarettes were once thought to be a healthy stress reliever. Glad they had to beee labeled so people could make a choice. Not so with GMO
    Im really not that serious

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    This thread started as a discussion about, what I think is fair to say, is a widely criticized study about how high a level of neonicitinoid it takes before bees begin to be measurably impaired. Now it appears it has become a general food safety discussion where we are comparing known carcinogens to chemicals that are somewhere between non existent and below LOD.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    I stopped using corn syrup over four years ago. I quit moving my hives into locations that were near corn fields. It seemed to help some hives when we made the switch, but we are still dealing with high winter hive loss. The genetically modified corn may be a small piece of the CCD puzzle but I believe there are other stresses on the bees that are much more serious.

  20. #40
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    Wink Re: Researchers recreate bee collapse with pesticide-laced corn syrup

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    Five reasons: http://www.noprop37.com/facts/ Here's the 5th reason: "forces farmers and food companies to implement costly new labeling, packaging, distribution, recordkeeping and other bureaucratic operations that will cost billions of dollars to implement. Or, companies will be forced to switch to higher-priced, non-GE ingredients, like organics, in order to sell food in California. Economic studies show this would increase food costs for the average family by hundreds of dollars per year a hidden food tax that would especially hurt seniors and low-income families who can least afford it."
    That's not true adding a line of text to a label takes minutes costs pennies stop making up stuff
    Im really not that serious

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