Looking at the science, it's hard not to wonder if Monsanto isn't killing bees intentionally. Especially when the company buys out a bee research firm and proposes use genetic engineering to address Colony Collapse Disorder.
It's bad enough that Monsanto produces genetically engineered crops that screw with honeybees' gastrointestinal health, making them more susceptible to disease. But here's the kicker: Monsanto also treats its genetically engineered seeds with a class of systemic insecticides that's straight-up toxic to bees.
Insecticides known as neonicotinoids, or "neonics" for short, are the smoking gun of Colony Collapse Disorder. Bee colonies began disappearing in the U.S. one year after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allowed these new insecticides on the market in 2004-2005.
A pile of studies implicate neonics in bee die-offs. Neonics are nerve poisons that disorient bees so they can't make it back to the hive. They also trigger immune system failure, causing the bees to fall prey to opportunistic infections. Last year, the EU imposed a two-year ban on all neonics.
Monsanto routinely treats its seeds with neonics. Unlike insecticide sprays, neonic seed treatments cause the insecticide to spread through every cell of the plant as it grows. The insecticide is present and active in the plant's pollen and nectar.
Take something that's toxic to bees, get it to grow in plants' pollen and nectar, and you've got a bee-killing machine.
Monsanto has a partner in this crime. It's Bayer, the main manufacturer of neonic insecticides, as well as Syngenta, who together with Bayer controls the neonic market. They're partners in Pollinator.org, part of their massive public relations disinformation campaign to distract the public and policymakers from thinking that pesticides might have something to do with bee death and destruction.
We can't let these companies control what the American public knows about Colony Collapse Disorder. Celebrate National Pollinator Week by exposing their crime and the cover-up. Share this article and make plans to join the Global Swarm to Save the Bees on Aug. 16.
Alexis Baden-Mayer is political director of the Organic Consumers Association. Ronnie Cummins is national director of the Organic Consumers Association.
Reprinted from ecowatch.com