Despite Big Agriculture claiming for years that their pesticides only kill pests, a report published in late June in the Journal Science proved what many people have suspected for years: the type of pesticides that Bayer pioneered, known as neonicotinoids, are responsible for diminishing numbers of honeybees.
“Two studies, conducted on different crops and on two continents … find that bees near corn crops are exposed to neonicotinoids for 3 to 4 months via nontarget pollen, resulting in decreased survival and immune responses, especially when co-exposed to a commonly used agrochemical fungicide.” the report said.
The studies even found neonicotinoid residue inside of hives where no chemicals had been used nearby. The study also noted that the presence of these insecticide residues was correlated with fewer queen bees in the hives and fewer egg cells in solitary bees nests.
This comes on the heels of the United States placing the rusty patched bumblebee on the endangered species list earlier this year.
This is especially troubling, because bees are responsible for pollinating nearly 75 percent of all crops grown for human and animal consumption worldwide.
And US honeybee colonies have been on a steady decline for the last four decades, as this chart illustrates:
However, perhaps the major contributing factor to not only the threats facing the honeybee but also many other species of plants and animals is the threat of globalization. A 2012 report in the journal Nature noted the following:
“Here we show that a significant number of species are threatened as a result of international trade along complex routes, and that, in particular, consumers in developed countries cause threats to species through their demand of commodities that are ultimately produced in developing countries. We linked 25,000 Animalia species threat records from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List to more than 15,000 commodities produced in 187 countries and evaluated more than 5 billion supply chains in terms of their biodiversity impacts. Excluding invasive species, we found that 30% of global species threats are due to international trade.”
This map shows the species threat hotspots caused by US consumption. The darker the color, the greater the threat caused by the consumption. The magenta color represents terrestrial species, while the blue represents marine species.
Credit: Daniel Moran and Keiichiro Kanemoto
While the Donald Trump presidency has placed the spotlight on the ways in which globalist policies have harmed the economies of the US as well as many other countries in the developed world, we tend to overlook the ways in which the demand for cheaper and more goods from the developing world harm our environment. Indeed, the Trump era has ushered in a demand not only for political decentralization, but also for the decentralization of our media, our currencies, and now our food supply as the damage of agricultural centralization becomes apparent. Our demand for 99 cent hamburgers has taken us to the edge of total ecological collapse, and at this point it is unclear if the damage is irreversable.
An interesting development over the last few years has seen large cities in the US most acutely ravaged by globalist policies, such as Detroit and Baltimore, turning derilect buildings within the city into multiacre urban farms as a solution to growing food insecurity within these deindustrialized urban centers. Urban flight from these cities over the years has facilitated the use of large swaths of the city to satiate demand for locally produced fresh produce, and has led to the growth of many year-round farmers markets that have helped to increase food security in these areas while decreasing dependence on these global agribusiness cartels. It seems that some of the Districts in our Hunger Games society are attempting to gain independence from the Capital.
Urban farms, such as this one in Baltimore, have increased food security in cities that have been hit hard by globalism and free trade.
Certainly, as we have noted before in previous columns, we are living in an era where massive change is taking place in almost every sphere of human activity. Right now is the critical juncture in which we will decide whether power will be returned to the people, or will be further consolidated into the hands of those who wish to micromanage every aspect of the human and natural world for their own private gain. The fight for control over the food supply is just one of many battlegrounds in this war for the future of the planet and our lives. Growing public awareness about the dangers of these pesticides as well as GMOs, and an increased demand for locally produced organic agriculture are signs that the public is waking up and understanding the great peril that agricultural centralization poses to not only our health, but the health and wellbeing of our entire planet.
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