Sunday, September 01, 2013

Monsanto and the Bees

It has been a story recently, that there was a beekeeper doing research into breeding honey bees capable of resisting Monsanto’s pesticide Roundup. It is believed by many that Roundup is a contributing factor to the honey bee deaths that have been plaguing the United States, so of course there would be people interested in researching this matter.

The biggest obstacle to those seeking to research the negative effects of Monsanto products has been Monsanto itself and the ties of that company to the United States government. The tests required by the United States government, after sufficient input from Monsanto lobbyists, reveal nothing about the long term effects of Monsanto pesticides or of the GMO crops designed to resist them.

Some smaller independent research has been done. The case of the Illinois bee keeper is just such an example where by selective breeding of bees he was able to breed a honey bee that is resistant to the detrimental effects of Monsanto products in the long term.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture then seized the bees, and even promptly lost them according to most reports, while others have reported that the queens have been destroyed.

Of course this would be the case that a government in the United States would do that, given that the official position of the United States government is that Monsanto products are completely harmless. Said products have been deemed so completely harmless that aspersions are cast upon those who might doubt their safety.

The alleged reason was a disease called “foulbrood” but the owner of the bees, Terrence Ingram, insists that his bees did not have foulbrood.

The most obvious explanation is that the State of Illinois was acting at the behest of Monsanto to eliminate research that would embarrass Monsanto. A more sinister explanation is that the executives of Monsanto do not actually want there to be any Monsanto pesticide resistant bees.

The most sinister explanation of them all is that Monsanto does indeed want there to be bees resistant to Monsanto pesticides, bees that are patented by Monsanto and therefore any bee keeper that has bees with patented genes owes a royalty to Monsanto. And perhaps the bees weren’t actually destroyed the way the article reports, but were taken into Monsanto custody and reported destroyed as a step towards this goal.

Although it is only speculation, it is indeed possible given Monsanto’s record on all other GMO related matters.