GMOs and the Dwindling Bee Population: The Deadly Connection
The nightmarish consequences of tampering with nature through GMOs continue to unfold, as one of the worst fears associated with them are being seen – honeybees are dying off at an alarming rate around the globe. While some adverse effects of GMOs manifest quickly, the reduction in the bee population is one of the more insidious ones, manifesting somewhat more slowly. This problem is particularly disturbing because it puts a significant part of the world’s food supply in jeopardy.
Entire colonies of bees are disappearing, and farmers suspect the deaths stem from exposure to pollen from GMOs, which contain pesticides that weaken their immune system. This occurrence is called Colony Collapse Disorder and is responsible for the deaths of one-third of the U.S. bee population.
Dwindling numbers of bees are also seen in Europe, with several nations within the continent banning NON810, a brand of Monsanto maize. Their concern is also that the pollen of this crop is harming the insects.
India’s Crops Show Harmful Effects of Decline in Bee Population
India is another spot in the world suffering the effects of a reduced bee populace. The success of cotton crops here tells only part of the story because it is mainly self-pollinating and does not depend on pollination from bees. Other crops in the country portray the rest of the story.
The onion crop is showing the destructive effects of the sharp drop in bee numbers. A recent onion shortage is related to the shortage of onion plant seeds, the formation of which is dependent on bee pollination. It should be noted that the recurring shortage of onions began in the late 1990s after India started using GM seeds.
An apple crop shortage is also apparent, evidenced by poor harvests in some parts of Jannu, Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Unfortunately, the cause has mistakenly been attributed to other factors. Although cold weather has been blamed for the scanty yield in Kashmir and Jammu, the low temperatures are not new in these regions. In recent years, the bee population has plummeted in Himachal Pradesh, a phenomenon blamed on mites from Nepal. However, the magnitude of the bee decline indicates the likely cause is that a weakened immune system has made the bees vulnerable to mites. Although cold weather, mites and disease have been considered the culprits, the real problem may lie in India’s embrace of GM crops.
The Deadly Connection
Dr. Michael Wald, author of the soon-to-be-released Frankenfoods – Controversy, Lies and Health Risks, tells Live in the Now that the connection between Colony Collapse Disorder and GMO foods cannot be ignored. “I believe that there is a link between the declining population of honeybees and the introduction into the environment of GM foods, particularly with Bt-corn. Because of its genetic modification, this corn produces a pesticide that can be toxic to many varieties of insects, including honeybees,” he explains.
Will Honeybees Become Extinct?
It is entirely possible, Wald believes. “The impact on the planet would be quite devastating given the essential role that bees play in the ecosystem. Their impact upon other wildlife and the interrelated planetary impact could create global environmental, food and economic issues,” he says
What Would the World Be Like Without Honeybees?
Neil Carman Ph.D., scientific advisor to Sierra Club, says that because of the important role honeybees play in crop pollination, the demise of these insects puts crops that comprise one-third of the American diet in jeopardy. This includes nearly 100 fruits and vegetables.
In addition, bees give us honey, a food revered by many for its healthful properties. Honeybees are also responsible for adorning the landscape with gorgeous wildflowers.
Evaggelos Vallianatos, a professor with 25 years of experience with the Environmental Protection Agency, reports on the global decline in the honeybee population for Huffington Post. He summarizes the problem by declaring a world without bees would involve less food and would be more toxic for all life, including humans.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.