Saturday, 24 March 2007

Are GM crops killing bees?


An article in Der Spiegel, Germany's most influential news magazine, asks if the decimation of bee populations in the US and Germany is a result of GM crops.
Walter Haefeker, vice president of the European Professional Beekeepers Association, points to research conducted at the University of Jena from 2001 to 2004, which examined the effects of pollen from Bt maize (corn) on bees.
When during the research, by sheer chance, the bees in the experiments were infested with a parasite, a "significantly stronger decline in the number of bees" occurred among the insects that had been fed on a concentrated Bt feed.
According to the director of the study, Professor Hans-Heinrich Kaatz, the Bt toxin may have "altered the surface of the bee's intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry -- or perhaps it was the other way around. We don't know.

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." - Albert Einstein

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