In 2015, honey bee populations in the state of Maryland declined by 61%, according to the USDA. That startling statistic is two times higher than the national average, which is why beekeepers are celebrating the state’s recent decision to ban neonicotinoids, pesticides which have been linked with Colony Collapse Disorder.
ThinkProgress reports that in April, the Maryland House and Senate agreed upon and jointly passed a final version of the Maryland Pollinator Protection Act. If passed, the legislation will virtually eliminate consumer use of the widely-used pesticide that has been shown to negatively impact honey bee populations. In effect, Maryland will become the first state in the U.S. to codify such protection for the bumbling insects.
While scientists haven’t pinpointed a single cause behind the mass honey bee deaths, most agree that pesticides are an important contributor. The reason a ban on neonicotinoids hasn’t been passed nationwide is because the USDA has failed to declare a link between neonics and bee deaths. Reportedly, the widely-used pesticides are a key part of expanding the global insecticide market projected at around $15 billion in revenues.
Facts from the 30-year study
Organic yields match conventional yields.
Organic outperforms conventional in years of drought.
Organic farming systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter, making it a more sustainable system.
Organic farming uses 45% less energy and is more efficient.
Conventional systems produce 40% more greenhouse gases.
Organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional.
One student’s experience of pro-GMO propaganda at Cornell University
My name is Robert, and I am a Cornell University undergraduate student. However, I’m not sure if I want to be one any more. Allow me to explain.
Cornell, as an institution, appears to be complicit in a shocking amount of ecologically destructive, academically unethical, and scientifically deceitful behaviour. Perhaps the most potent example is Cornell’s deep ties to industrial GMO agriculture, and the affiliated corporations such as Monsanto. I’d like to share how I became aware of this troubling state of affairs.
via The GMO Debate
Author: F. William Engdahl
I must make a confession. I never thought it would get this far. There is an absolutely amazing international revolt against the most deadly and most widely used weed killer in world agriculture–glyphosate. Those of you who have followed my earlier writings can detect my feeling of pessimism that mere “democratic” grass-roots protest, combined with a scientific assessment from an agency of WHO that glyphosate was a “probable carcinogen” would be enough to stop the pending, twice-postponed EU Commission renewal of the expiring license for glyphosate in the EU. It almost doesn’t matter at this point what the ultimate vote is when the next EU Commission glyphosate meeting is convened. The genie is out of the bottle. One of the world’s most important eugenics projects to maim and ultimately reduce human population is on the brink of being banned much as DDT decades ago.
On May 19, a revised proposal by the European Commission to re-approve glyphosate for use in Europe for 9 more years (rather than the original 15 years), but with almost no restrictions on use, failed to secure the required qualified majority among EU governments. This is an amazing and very positive development for democratic empowerment against an institution increasingly seen–not only by the British population–as an anti-democratic, even totalitarian structure irresponsive to the most basic concerns for the health and safety of EU citizens.
The agri-chemical industry bigs—Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer and friends–are stunned at their failure. Corruption in government corridors whether in Berlin or Brussels seems to be losing its efficacy.
Around the globe, people’s access to water is being threatened every day by one of the most powerful institutions on the globe—the World Bank. Under the guise of development, the World Bank and its investment arm, the International Finance Corporation, invest hundreds of millions in water privatization schemes that reduce access to water, increase costs and have a devastating impact on people. What’s worse is that the IFC often positions itself to profit from these projects, creating an irreconcilable conflict of interest.
But one congresswoman just took a stand against this threat that could mean the beginning of the end of the World Bank’s harmful water-for-profit pursuits. In a letter, Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) demanded the World Bank cease all promotion and financing of these projects pending an external review and congressional hearings on conflicts of interest. Because Moore is the ranking member of a subcommittee with direct World Bank oversight, it has no choice but to listen.
As if it were not enough that Vladimir Putin’s Russia makes a monkey out of the US “anti-ISIS” campaign in Syria by accomplishing more in six months to damage the terrorist advance in that country than the Pentagon managed, with its suspiciously ineffective campaign in fourteen months. Now Russia delivers a huge slap in the face to US agribusiness domination of global food trade by deciding to make Russia the world’s largest exporter of healthy, non-GMO, non-industrial food.
Ignored by western media, as are most positive developments in Russia, President Vladimir Putin made his annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly Address on December 3. In his remarks he announced the national goal for Russia to become food self-sufficient within four years–by 2020.
One of the least commented sectors of the Russian economy—especially by superficial western economists who imagine Russia is merely an oil and gas export-dependent country much like Saudi Arabia or Qatar—is the significant transformation underway in Russian agriculture. Today, less than a year and a half into the decision to ban exports of major EU agriculture imports as a retaliation to the silly EU sanctions on Russia, Russia’s domestic farm production is undergoing a remarkable rebirth, or, in some cases, birth. In dollar terms, Russian exports of agriculture products exceed in value that of weapons, and equal a third of gas export profits. That’s interesting in itself.
(Alan Bjerga) A growing demand for organics, and the near-total reliance by U.S. farmers on genetically modified corn and soybeans, is driving a surge in imports from other nations where crops largely are free of bioengineering.
Imports such as corn from Romania and soybeans from India are booming, according to an analysis of U.S. trade data released Wednesday by the Organic Trade Association and Pennsylvania State University.
That shows a potential market for U.S. growers willing to avoid the use of artificial chemicals and genetically modified seeds, said Laura Batcha, chief executive officer of the association, which includes Whole Foods Market Inc., Whitewave Foods Co. and Earthbound Farm LLC.
The report is “a help-wanted sign” for U.S. farmers, Batcha said. “There are market distortions that are pretty striking.”