Bees, Bandicoots, and Bayer

Bees are being decimated, Bandicoots are on the rise, and Bayer is in denial.

Thinking about bees, the first thing that comes into my head is honey. It’s fair to say that I’m a bit of a honey junkie, and so I get really pissed off about how many bees are being killed through the use of chemicals. The short-sightedness of the people who use, and allow the use of, neonicotinoids, is absolutely staggering. If you’re not familiar with neonicotinoids, think back to the days of DDT, then times it by 6000. That’s right, this latest generation of insecticides are 6000 times as toxic as DDT.  Bees are the single largest pollinator of food crops, so killing bees is like poisoning farm workers.  Fifty years ago the pesticide DDT dominated, until the book Silent Spring showed it could cause cancer. A decade later it was banned.  It’s a powerful reminder that we can’t afford to let the scientists be silenced.

The World Health Organisation just announced that RoundUp, Monsanto’s most popular pesticide, could cause cancer in humans. It’s news that could take the pervasive poison off our shelves. However, the scientists could be silenced before regulators weigh in – unless Monsanto are prevented from tampering with the truth.

RoundUp is the chemical cornerstone of Monsanto’s enormous Genetically Modified empire – and right now the EU & US are reviewing evidence to decide if its safe. This new report is so important regulators could decide to ban the poison as a precautionary measure — which is why Monsanto has launched an all-out campaign to get the report retracted. It would be fair for the scientists to be scared — Monsanto’s bastardry, has intimidated researchers before — and that’s what they’ll do again.


Bee collecting pollen

And of course it goes further than bees. These toxins leach into the earth and waterways, posing a very significant threat to other animals. And who makes and profits from this … another B – Bayer. The word Bastardry seems needed in here as well.

Widespread impacts of neonicotinoids ‘impossible to deny’   –  By Matt McGrath – Environment correspondent, BBC News

Bandicoots – there’s another B word and another example of people messing with nature’s Balance. Bandicoots are like Bloody big rats, harmless themselves, but they are host to ticks, and a single bandicoot can host up to a thousand ticks!  There are two main types of ticks where I lived around South-East Queensland: the Paralysis TickIxodes holocyclus, and the mites known as scrub ticks or pepper ticks (chiggers). Both of these ticks pose serious health threat to humans and often prove fatal to household animals. The reason that it has become such a problem is that the Bandicoot’s natural predators, the fox and the dingo, have had their numbers drastically reduced by people too silly to see that killing things is not the answer.

Bees - Tick before and after feeding

Tick – before and after feeding

Natural Biodiversity needs to be left largely alone, short of another plague of rats in London, then I’m all for killing a few rats. But human intervention based on greed and increased profit, or superstition and fear is not okay.

When companies such as Bayer ignore and spuriously refute overwhelming evidence that their products are causing widespread harm to an essential component of the food production process, while making a fat profit for their shareholders, I’m absolutely against it.

 What are your thought?

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