2014-01-11 Hooray! Research, Canada, on neonics (chemicals killing bees and other pollinators). Star Phoenix
Congratulations to Professor Christy Morrissey at the University of Saskatchewan! See the article below, U of S research serves as check.
#neonics #bees #pollinators #MarchAgainstMonsanto
- Not just for doing the Research on neonics (the chemicals that are killing bees & other pollinators).
- But also for being willing to speak up.
There will be attempts to discredit Christy Morrissey. The chemical / biotech corporations are too entrenched at the U of S for it to be otherwise.
Following the article: copy of the email I sent to Christy,
- The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear, New York Times, Jim Robbins
- Very Important Video: Ronnie Cummins on Turning the Tide Against Monsanto.
- Bees and agro-industry – your attention needed
- Informative: Russia Warns Obama: Monsanto GMO. Global War Over “Bee Apocalypse” Coming Soon, EU Times
- The Counter-Enlightenment, How government science advisers misrepresent science. Guardian, Monbiot. (Bees, EU neo nic ban)
- A win! Bee-harming pesticides banned in Europe, The Guardian
- Biotech giants Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, DuPont, BASF and Dow face trial for ‘systematic human rights abuses’
- January 27th, Star Phoenix, CropLife Canada (the industry lobbyists) wrote their usual ” no problem with neonics .. We are the most highly regulated industry .. “
- Many of the March Against Monsanto (MAM) groups have a “Save the Bees” component, to raise awareness of the neonics. Is there a MAM group in your community? . . . click on Z to find out. The next March is May 24, 2014. Become involved. It’s a way to support what Christy is doing.
U of S research serves as check
The Star Phoenix January 11, 2014
The research being done by University of Saskatchewan assistant Prof. Christy Morrissey on the presence and impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on prairie wetlands underlines why Canada needs to support the work of independent scientists as a check on claims by industry groups in marketing agricultural products.
Neonicotinoids are a relatively new pesticide that entered the market in the early 2000s, but their use as a seed coating has grown during the past five years and nearly all of the canola grown in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is now treated with it.
Ms. Morrissey told CBC reporter Geoff Leo that she’s alarmed by the early findings of her four-year study, with sampling by researchers of hundreds of Prairie wetlands showing that more than 80 per cent to 90 per cent of these areas are contaminated with neonicotinoids.
What’s of even greater concern is that they found the chemical in the water before spring seeding, suggesting the chemicals persist in the water for months. The presence of the pesticide in concentrations at least three times greater – and in some cases 100 times more – than what’s been deemed tolerable for insect habitat can be devastating to bugs that range from mites to mosquitoes, which are a prime food source for birds and waterfowl. While Ms. Morrissey notes there’s a lot of evidence to indicate that bird and insect populations are declining, she admits any role played in the wetlands ecosystem by nicotinoids isn’t clear.
However, that’s a far cry from the reports issued by chemical manufacturers and industry lobby group CropLife Canada. They say that what they call “neonics” have been rigorously tested and found to be safe since being introduced to the market, and that there’s no reason to believe the chemical persists in the water for long periods. This research in Europe and North America was conducted by the companies, and Ms. Morrissey’s study is the first in Canada to investigate the effect on wetlands of the widespread use of neonics, which she conservatively estimates were used on 44 per cent of Prairie croplands in the year she reviewed.
“This class of insecticide had extremely low toxicity to humans, extremely low toxicity to other mammals as well as birds and fish,” CropLife spokesman Pierre Petelle told CBC. However, note that insects, which play a huge role in the wetlands ecosystem, aren’t mentioned.
While the manufacturers have consistently said no direct evidence exists to connect neonics to declining bee populations, the European Union last April placed a two-year ban on the chemical after complaints from apiarists. Even Health Canada’s pest management regulatory authority has raised concerns about the possible impact of neonics on bees in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, where treated seeds are used to grow corn.
In this context, the work of researchers such as Ms. Morrissey is invaluable, not only to push chemical companies to reassess their studies and public claims, but to serve as a reminder to a province such as Saskatchewan, which is turning over more environmental stewardship responsibility to farmers and ranchers, of the need for scientific rigour and independent oversight.
The editorials that appear in this space represent the opinion of The StarPhoenix. They are unsigned because they do not necessarily represent the personal views of the writers. The positions taken in the editorials are arrived at through discussion among the members of the newspaper’s editorial board, which operates independently from the news departments of the paper.
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix
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I EMAILED PROFESSOR MORRISSEY:
Sent: January-28-14 1:55 PM
To: Christy Morrissey
Subject: Your researh on neonics. Thank-you so much.
Your work is a wonderful contribution to the welfare of the people in Saskatchewan and in Canada.
Whether you count that first, or the contribution to the health of the environment and its creatures first, is not material.
I have posted the article at http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=12302 and will email it into networks.
The posting (titled Hooray! Research, Canada, on neonics (chemicals killing bees and other pollinators). Star Phoenix) has commentary and links to seven articles circulated into networks in the last year. It is important for you to know that there ARE informed people who are very grateful for your work and voice.
When time permits, I’ll post to all the Canadian and some American March Against Monsanto facebook groups. Many of them share information about the neonics and are connected with the Save the Bees networks.
Thank-you so much for being willing to speak up about the neonics.
The stranglehold of the chemical / biotech corporations at the University AND in the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of the Federal Government are the reason there has been a paucity of research in Canada on neonics.
You may or may not know an earlier statistic: the Canadian market for roughly ONE THIRD of ag chemicals is in Saskatchewan. The industry will be watching you closely.
It is very important that you and your work are supported.
I’ve had run-ins. A federal scientist with the PMRA, located in Innovation Place, threatened to sue me a few years ago (to silence my voice). I replied that the industry is well-known for using the threat of the justice system to silence critics. No different than the mafia using the threat of broken bones.
I am an elected Senator, University of Saskatchewan. I have received the same threat of legal action against me, from the U (arising out of a challenge to the conflicts-of-interest at the U). I replied in the same vein as to the PMRA scientist.
In neither case did I hear another word. They are bullies and intimidators.
You are on solid ground. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be attempts to discredit you. I used to maintain a list of the scientists that the industry has gone after. They cannot do it so freely these days – – too many people are onto them and share information.
Please feel free to get in touch anytime, if I might be of assistance.
All the best to you, Christy.
FYI to all
From Rene Moreau (416-489-8347
At a time when governments, in a fit of ignorance of the dangers of turning over functions to corporate entities, whose ‘god’ and reason for being is money, try calling the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to see if they are outsourcing inspection functions to corporate.
1800-442-2342 is all message machines, no human contact.
Health in Canada is a federal and a provincial concern. Watch for a divide and conquer situation where the feds think the province is looking after a particular problem and the province thinks that the feds are regulating it. The potential is there for outside interests to destabilize or infiltrate.
Read ‘When corporations Rule the World’, by David Korten.
Rene Moreau (416-489-8347)