Wednesday, May 1, 2013

3 new studies link Bayer pesticides to bee slaughter; is the University of Nebraska helping whitewash Bayer?

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NU's Dr. Marion Ellis: whitewashing Bayer?

Here's part of Bayer's press release:
MEAD, Neb. (April 1, 2013) – In an effort to foster
education and collaboration between growers and
beekeepers, the Bayer Bee Care Program will travel
to the University of Nebraska on April 1 as it continues
its Bee Care Tour throughout the Midwest.
Held at the University of Nebraska Agricultural Research
and Development Center near Mead, the event will bring
together leading researchers and beekeepers to promote
science-based solutions aimed at improving honey bee
health. The event will arm growers with top stewardship
practices and will host a presentation from Dr. Marion
Ellis on "Pollination and Honey Bee Health."

CBS did not mention the 800-lb. gorilla of neonicotinoid pesticide production and sales — Bayer — but Mother Jones did:
     It's springtime, and farmers throughout the Midwest and South are preparing to plant corn—and lots of it. The USDA projects this year's corn crop will cover 94 million acres, the most in 68 years. (By comparison, the state of California occupies a land mass of about 101 million acres.) Nearly all of that immense stand of corn will be planted with seeds treated with neonicotinoid pesticides produced by the German chemical giant Bayer.
     And that may be very bad news for honey bees, which remain in a dire state of health, riddled by large annual die-offs that have become known as "colony collapse disorder" (CCD). 
      In the past months, three separate studies—two of them just out in the prestigious journal Science—have added to a substantial body of literature linking widespread use of neonicotinoids to CCD. Read more at Mother Jones...
     In Europe, Bayer and Syngenta are lobbying furiously against government efforts to save bees from the pesticides the two companies sell.

     In the US, Bayer is trying to con the public into thinking the real problem with bee deaths is mites, and to flog three products it sells to kill the parasites.
     On April Fools Day, 2013, Bayer's propaganda offensive staged a dog-and-pony show involving the University of Nebraska:
“Ongoing collaboration with partners and stakeholders is essential to advancing sustainable solutions for honey bee health in Nebraska,” said Dr. Ellis, University of Nebraska apiculture specialist. “Through the mobile Bee Care Tour, Bayer is able to foster interaction directly with supporters of bee health in Nebraska to heighten discussion, increase awareness and encourage the sharing of ideas.”
     Cynical as it is, AKSARBENT wonders how much, if anything, Dr. Ellis received from Bayer for his "presentation," to what degree he benefits monetarily either directly or indirectly from any partnership between Bayer and the University of Nebraska, and whether he mentioned at all in his presentation on bee health the role that insect poison marketed by Bayer to farmers is suspected to have played in the very recent explosion of bee deaths.
     In the mean time, websites like Bayer Kills Bees continue to assail Bayer's pesticides.

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