Poland Bans GE Corn, Monsanto Buys Bee Research Firm
Beekeepers in Poland have reason to celebrate. Active protests in the country have led to a ban on Monsanto’s Mon810 corn. Monsanto’s corn has been genetically engineered to produce a mutant version of the insecticide Bt. Beekeepers saw the link between the corn and the deaths of honeybees.
Poland is the first country to acknowledge the link between the genetically engineered corn and honeybees. It is believed that Monsanto’s corn is directly related to causing Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the issue that has been plaguing bees around the world.
Bee colonies have been dwindling all over the world. In the U.S. bee colonies began disappearing after the EPA allowed new insecticides on the market in 2004-2005. A German study found that when bees were released in a genetically engineered canola field and fed the canola pollen to younger bees, the younger bees took on the traits of the canola’s modified genes– proving that GMO DNA can be transferred to bees through their digestive systems.
Beekeepers turned to using high-fructose corn syrup to feed their bees. But high-fructose corn syrup is made from Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn. Monsanto’s corn has been modified with Bayer’s neonicotinoid insecticide. Neonicotinoid insecticides “are among the most widely used in the world, popular because they kill insects by paralysing nerves but have a lower toxicity for other animals,” according to a study released in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science and Technology journal.
ABC news reported the link between the deaths of honeybees and corn insecticides in March 2012 after the studies had been released. The news agency reported how critical honeybees are for pollinating food crops and how devastating the disruption of pollination could be to entire ecosystems. Scientists and researchers wrote in the study, “In view of the currently increasing crop production, and also of corn as a renewable energy source, the correct use of these insecticides within sustainable agriculture is a cause of concern.”
Monsanto, a massive biotechnology company, has been blamed for contributing to the dwindling bee population because of its genetically engineered corn. So what did Monsanto do? It bought a leading bee collapse research organization, Beeologics, to study the collapse disorder that is thought to be a result—at least in part– of Monsanto’s own creation. What makes the move worse is that the USDA is on good terms with Monsanto (as can be seen with special speedy approvals of GM seeds) and views Beeologics as a legitimate research organization.
Anthony Gucciardi of Natural Society put the situation into perspective, “It appears that when Monsanto cannot answer for their environmental devastation, they buy up a company that may potentially be their ‘experts’ in denying any such link between their crops and the bee decline.”
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