Bees’ Brains, Pesticides, Big Agra & Big Pharma

| March 28, 2013

bee_flowerBees are Dying, the Planet is Polluted, and People are Sick!

Honeybees are among our most important pollinators, and are vital to the production of much of our world’s food supply.

Studies on bees and bee behavior have shown that not only are these incredible insects able to navigate miles away from their hives to locate flowers from which to gather pollen and nectar for food, but that they also have the ability to remember where they’ve traveled so as to return to those sites themselves, and to convey that information to other bees in their hive.

Upon their return to the hive, a bee communicates the location of nectar and pollen sources to her fellow bees by performing an intricate dance, through which the other bees can learn how and where to fly so they too can partake of the bounty.

No doubt both the navigation of flight to locate sources of food, which can be miles from the hive, as well as the capacity to impart this information to hive-mates, takes brain power on the part of bees.

Neonicotinoid Pesticides Adversely Affect Bees’ Brains

According to a study conducted by Newcastle University in the UK, exposure to neonicotinoid pesticides, which are routinely used on a variety of conventionally grown crops, damage the brains of bees, rendering them unable to learn.

This is not terribly surprising, considering that such pesticides are neurotoxic to insects, and are specifically designed to detrimentally affect and disrupt the functioning of their central nervous systems to the point of death.

If bees’ brains are damaged by pesticides, this surely compromises both their ability to navigate properly in order to locate food sources, as well as to convey information about where to find that food to their sister bees in the hive.

Beekeepers and Others File Lawsuit Against EPA

On Thursday, March 21, 2013, a coalition of 4 beekeepers along with several other organizations, including Sierra Club, Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Environmental Health, and the Pesticide Action Network North America, filed a lawsuit against the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

The lawsuit alleges that the EPA has failed to protect bees, which are needed to pollinate approximately 75% of all food crops, from neurotoxic, neonicotinoid pesticides.

The pesticides named in the suit are clothianidin, which is made by Bayer, and thiamethoxam, manufactured by Syngenta.

European Union Pesticide Ban Controversy

Meanwhile across the sea in the EU, a battle on the legality of the use of certain pesticides is being waged.

More than 2.5 million signatures have been collected from those opposing the use of the neonicotinoid pesticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam, as well as a third called imidaclorprid which is also made by Bayer. While the companies that manufacture these chemicals continue to maintain that evidence showing these neurotoxic petrochemicals cause damage to bees is inconclusive.

Despite the clear signal from millions in the general populace in favor of the ban on these pesticides, due to the staunch opposition from (and no doubt considerable financial clout wielded by) Bayer and Syngenta, the proposed ban on these pesticides in the EU is stalled and has not yet come to pass.

Bayer and Syngenta

Bayer is consistently listed among the top 10-15 of the largest, most profitable Big Pharmaceutical companies in the entire world.

Interestingly one of their subsidiaries, Bayer CropScience, also manufactures a variety of toxic agricultural insecticidal petrochemicals.

Syngenta is one of the largest producers of toxic insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, and is heavily invested in the manufacture of genetetically modified seeds, primarily soy.

Interestingly, Syngenta is also in the pharmaceutical business, as it is an offshoot of the 2000 merger between Big Pharma giants AstraZeneca and Novartis, which is widely acknowledged as the number 2 top grossing Big Pharma company in the world.

Big Pharma, Big Agra and Big Biotech – an Unholy Alliance

Just as with any number of Big Pharma companies, these megacorporations not only have their fingers in the pharmaceutical pie, but are also hugely involved in the production of and profit from genetically modified organisms, (GMO) and many of the most common toxic industrial chemicals used in conventional agricultural practices.

What a racket these Big Conglomerates have going!

Not only do they profit from the manufacture of poisonous chemicals, but they also rake in big bucks from the sale of GMOs, along with many of the prescription drugs people turn to when they become chronically ill.

And why are so many people these days suffering from so many chronic degenerative illnesses? To a large degree it’s because we’re living in a world polluted with toxic chemicals that are being manufactured by many of these same companies that have also hijacked, contaminated, and deeply compromised the genetic quality and nutritional value of our food supply. While simultaneously these same big, greedy multinational corporations are also heavily invested in the creation, production and sale of pharmaceutical drugs.

It’s an insane merry-go-round of an astonishing lack of consciousness in high places that’s resulting in quantum greed, rampant exploitation and contamination of the natural world, massive financial gain for an ‘elite’ few, widespread degradation of human health, and mindless, soulless corruption on an epic scale.

What Can We Do?

To counteract this egregious situation, we must maintain an expansive perspective in the form of cultivating and maintaining a global awareness, while making conscious, conscientious, thoughtful and sane choices in terms of the ways in which we live here and now in our everyday lives.

In other words, we need to think globally and act locally. Some of the most effective ways we can do this are by working towards having food sovereignty, seeking out and regularly eating nutrient dense foods, by empowering ourselves with knowledge of non-pharmaceutical approaches to healing and wellness, and by practically applying that knowledge on a regular basis.

To that end, here are a few suggestions:


  • Grow your own food

  • Use organic, biodynamic, beyond organic and/or permaculture techniques to cultivate your home grown food

  • Purchase non GMO seeds

  • Purchase heirloom seeds

  • Save your own seeds and replant them from season to season

  • Forage locally for wild herbs and foods

  • Purchase local, organically grown produce

  • Shop at your local farmers markets

  • Shop at local natural food coop

  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

  • Raise your own animals for meat, dairy and/or eggs by caring for them humanely and feeding them properly on pasture and without chemical laced GMO feed

  • Seek out and purchase grass fed and/or pastured, organically and humanely raised, non GMO fed meats, dairy and eggs

  • Avoid purchasing conventionally raised, pesticide/herbicide/fungicide sprayed produce

  • Avoid purchasing meats, dairy and eggs derived from factory farmed, GMO fed animals

  • Avoid the purchase of GMO foods

  • Make it a habit to consume the most nutrient dense foods possible

  • Avoid the use of over the counter and prescription pharmaceutical drugs manufactured by Big Pharma corporations

  • Educate yourself about the wide variety of holistic and nutritional approaches to healing and wellness available to use today, and choose the most non-toxic, natural and effective remedies and treatments possible by focusing on those which best support and empower your body’s own healing intelligence.

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Category: Alphabet Agencies, Animal Health, Beyond Organic, Big Agribusiness, Big Biotech, Big Chemical, Big Pharma, Biodynamic Farming, CAFOs, Call To Awaken, Commodity Agriculture, Community Supported Agriculture, Factory Farming, Farmers Markets, Food Sovereignty, GMO, Grass Fed | Raw Dairy Products, Heirloom Seeds, Human Health, Humane, Pasture Based Animal Husbandry, Monocropping, Natural Food Coops, Nourishment, Organic Gardening, Pastured Meats, Permaculture, Plant Health, Processed | Denatured Foods, Raising Your Own Food, Seed Saving, Small Family Farms, Soil Degradation, Soil Health, Sustainable Agriculture, Toxic Petrochemicals, Wild Foraging | Harvesting

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