Russia Warns Obama: Global War Over “Bee Apocalypse” | EUTimes.net

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

The shocking minutes relating to President Putin’s meeting this past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders “extreme outrage” over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing “bee apocalypse” that the Kremlin warns “will most certainly” lead to world war.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>At the center of this dispute between Russia and the US, this MNRE report says, is the “undisputed evidence” that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planets bee population, and which if left unchecked could destroy our world’s ability to grow enough food to feed its population.

So grave has this situation become, the MNRE reports, the full European Commission (EC) this past week instituted a two-year precautionary ban (set to begin on 1 December 2013) on these “bee killing” pesticides following the lead of Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, all of whom had previously banned these most dangerous of genetically altered organisms from being used on the continent.

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Also to note about Syngenta, this report continues, is that in 2012 it was criminally charged in Germany for concealing the fact that its genetically modified corn killed cattle, and settled a class-action lawsuit in the US for $105 million after it was discovered they had contaminated the drinking supply of some 52 million Americans in more than 2,000 water districts with its “gender-bending” herbicide Atrazine.

To how staggeringly frightful this situation is, the MNRE says, can be seen in the report issued this past March by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) wherein they warned our whole planet is in danger, and as we can, in part, read:  “As part of a study on impacts from the world’s most widely used class of insecticides, nicotine-like chemicals called neonicotinoids, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has called for a ban on their use as seed treatments and for the suspension of all applications pending an independent review of the products’ effects on birds, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife.<

See on www.eutimes.net

Honey bees under threat: a political pollinator crisis

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Daniel Lee Kleinman and Sainath Suryanarayanan: Recent controversies over honey bees remind us of their environmental and economic importance, but should also prompt us to reflect upon the structures of expertise we rely upon…

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Despite the conclusion of beekeepers across the globe, based on their field research, that neonicotinoid insecticides were likely contributing to increased bee mortality, some chemical company representatives, scientists and government regulators dismissed or disparaged their findings. Our view is that commercial beekeepers have real-time observational knowledge of the crisis facing honey bee pollinators and that we should take their research seriously (see our Social Studies of Science paper for more). Our point is not to say that commercial beekeepers always know best. Rather, it is to argue for more genuinely participatory research that brings beekeepers’ knowledge and scientists’ knowledge into a creative and egalitarian dialogue toward a fuller understanding of why honey bees are dying.

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The US government has opposed taking neonicotinoid pesticides off the market in the absence of conclusive evidence of their adverse effects on honey bees. The UK has taken broadly the same position. This is a classic dilemma in science. But it is not simply a matter of data. The US and UK governments share a value-based preference for false negatives over false positives. A false negative amounts to incorrectly concluding that neonicotinoid pesticides are safe when they might not be. Advocates of the precautionary principle share a preference for the reverse. They have supported taking the neonicotinoid pesticides off the market in the face of suggestive evidence based on scientific laboratory and field studies, and beekeepers’ observations. Given what is at stake here, we are on the side of those who prefer to err on the side of caution. And as policymakers and citizens increasingly confront complex challenges fraught with tremendous risk, we may want to make a precautionary orientation our default position.

We all eat and so we should all be concerned about the alarming uptick of honey bee deaths, but the current crisis can also be an opportunity to consider how to do things differently.<

See on www.guardian.co.uk