Pesticides Are Killing My Planet–and Yours

C’mon, how long do we have to continue to read the evidence, as agriculture runs amok? We know what’s being done and we know who’s doing it.

Monsanto changes its name to avoid its reputation

Monsanto to drop its name after a sale to Bayer. And who can blame it?

Bayer (Germany) is ditching the name Monsanto, synonymous with deadly chemical warfare (think napalm) and genetically modified plants. Its dirty history included DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, RoundUp and recombinant bovine growth hormone, all of which are anti-Planet. My planet. Your planet. George Carlin’s planet.

That’s what evil companies do.

Yet RoundUp is still happily being sold and used

You probably have some on that dusty shelf in the garage, just over the half-used bag of fertilizer. No matter, Monsanto’s global weedkiller harms honeybees, research finds. Honeybees? Do I care?

Actually, you might care. Particularly if fruits and vegetables begin to disappear from the grocery shelves—or become outrageously expensive.

RoundUp is the world’s most used weedkiller and damages the beneficial bacteria in the guts of honeybees. New research has found it makes them more prone to deadly infections. No bees, pretty much no food, because even cattle-feed needs to be pollinated Sex makes the world go ‘round, ya know.

Previous studies have shown that pesticides such as neonicotinoids, the fancy name for a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine, cause harm to bees, whose pollination is vital to about three-quarters of all food crops.

Who knew?

Monsanto and Bayer knew, but didn’t give a shit

This stuff was insanely profitable and farmers loved it. Spray glyphosates a couple times and get better yields. Studies prove it damages the microbiota that honeybees need to grow and to fight off pathogens and so we have a new phenomena called hive-collapse. But what the hell, everyone’s doing it.

We know the science and continue to ignore it

Quite possibly because most of us live in cities and bees are simply those minor annoyances at picnics. But far more likely because industrial agriculture has such enormous lobbying capability world-wide and family farms are on the wane. Industrial agriculture is the new buzzword—at least in farm country.

You may remember family farms, but maybe not. They’re the folks who are actually on the land and care about what happens to it because their kids may want the place. Willie Nelson does an annual Farm Aid Concert to help keep the auctioneers off the land, but it’s an uphill battle even in flat farmland.

Those who don’t need Willie are bean-counters in New York

Like bean-counters everywhere, they squeeze profits for investors and stock-exchanges don’t much care about bees, fieldmice and earthworms. I got so concentrated on bees I almost forgot about those critters.

It’s not only bees. These chemicals kill off what we sometimes call soil amendments. Stuff like bacteria to fungi to earthworms. A single teaspoon of healthy soil can contain as many as one billion bacteria, plus fungi, protozoa and nematodes. You can’t see any of that and can’t find a column for it on a spreadsheet, but it needs to be there.

And it’s disappearing. Along with it are the insects. Which would be okay—no one likes to slap mosquitoes—but insects and natural soil amendments are the basis of the food chain. Without the field-mouse, hawks and foxes disappear and the chain begins to collapse.

I might remind you, we are at the top of that chain. Shakespeare said it, but spelled it differently…

To bee or not to be, that is the question…

 


Photo Credit: wallpaperup.com

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