Going organic

...and on the eighth day God created the horse in perfect image, to romp, graze, gallop, play and make manure wherever it darn well pleases, in divine grace.

Now I’m not a scientist, so don’t misunderstand me, and this column sometimes sports my opinions, but my father and his buddy, Charlie Vorisek from Linesville, are both beekeepers, so we have all been following the Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) issue. CCD is a world wide problem, with honeybee and pollinator bee species dying en masse. It is an ongoing issue.

This should concern you, busy as you are.

The scientists working at research labs continue to alter and genetically modify the most basic of food crops that humans consume. This includes corn, soybeans, oats and now wheat.

Try to grasp what foods you eat on a daily basis that use these core ingredients. All bread, all cereal, all pasta and noodles, all pancakes, cookies, doughnuts, pretzels and flavor ingredients are all using GMO units.

The animals consume grains such as corn, oats and wheat, that have been genetically modified. Their meat and milk include whatever they have consumed.

Jewish people believe that porcine, or hogs, are unclean, due to the animal snarking around in its pen, eating “unclean” ingredients. Actually, hogs are quite clean and will stand in the cleanest part of their pen before it is mucked out.

But maybe the Jews were on to something after all.

All animals are consuming GMO grains as of today. It stands to reason that what they are consuming is embedded in their blood, muscle and tissue.

Look at the hormone-injected poultry industry. Look at news items such as precocious puberty in young people and anti-biotic-resistant strains of sickness.

Honeybee deaths spiked in the summer of 2014, with monitor results showing the figures surpassing winter die-off from the previous season.

Honeybee pollination services that supply farms with hives have an estimated value at $10 to $15 billion dollars a year.

The Bee Informed Partnership is a consortium of universities and research labs that collects data on hive populations during winter and summer seasons.

Farms that produce fruit must have the trees pollinated or no fruit will be produced.

“Neonicotinids” are a relatively new class of pesticide, first appearing in the late 1980's and more extensive research ongoing into the 1990's. This pesticide affects an insect’s central nervous system, resulting in paralysis and death. Chemicals included in this category are: Nithiazine, Thiacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Imidacloprid, Clothianidin, Acetamiprid and Dinotefuran.

Breakdown of chemicals, as in an ecology or environmental system, are toxic. Residue from treated seeds lasts over 2 years.

The US uses this pesticide class almost universally on certain crops grown here.

The US EPA said last month that it is unlikely to approve any new usages of this pesticide class until more testing on the risks to pollinators and honeybees have been undertaken.

Bayer CropScience LP is a major manufacturer of neonicotinoids, and they say these are safe, when used as directed. Sounds like they are recommending some aspirin.

Extensive research regarding neonicotinoids is ongoing in Europe at this time.

The European Commission has banned 3 varieties of neonicotinoids on flowering plants, and in 2008,

Germany put the pesticide under scrutiny over “Environmental impact usage, linked in a range of studies to adverse ecological effects, including Colony Collapse Disorder of bees, and loss of birds due to reduction in insect populations,” that the birds subsist upon. (1)

Italian research has proven that honeybee immune systems become harmed when in contact with this class of pesticide and Dutch studies have proven that residue is present in water, with invertebrate problems/issues in more than 50% of studied species, in areas where the pesticide was used, compared to where it was not used.

Tests were conducted on honeybees located next to crops using neonicotinoids. Results proved that corn pollen brought back to hives contains the pesticide. Bees showed signs of convulsions, tremors, un-coordination and death. Residue was found on seeds laying in the fields 2 years later.

The American Bird Conservancy is also closely watching this issue.

Furry Bumblebee populations have also been affected, with severe death and die-off, and negative impacts on colony growth and queen production.

Before you laugh, point and call me uninformed, the scientists and groups performing these bonafide tests are legitimate. It isn’t me performing the research, folks.

Dad and Charlie Vorisek go to a certain Honeybee Symposium held every year near Pittsburgh, sponsored by a certain, famous university located here in the state.

There is a team of female physicists who attend every year and they are super-duper-smart. Several years ago, they indicated that they were close to pinpointing causes of CCD, and it was all heading toward these insecticide classes of neonicotinoids. They spoke to the “aspirin people” and were immediately ordered to keep silent or all of their research funding would be revoked.

Talk about things that make you go “Hmmmmm...”

I’m sure those female physicists from the university aren’t wondering whether the moon is made of cheese. And with all the research and test findings coming out of Europe now, I think that cat will be coming out of the bag very soon.

Here’s how it works, in short, and you can do your own deducing.

The seed is coated in a sticky substance for slow release of chemical. Then it is covered in Talc, to make commercial planting easier. Both have and leave residue in the environment.

When the insect comes in contact with the plant and pollen, the chemical is already in the plant, everywhere. The insect, such as a corn ear worm, bites the plant, consumes it and dies. This includes corn pollen, since it, too, is part of the corn plant.

Bees alight on corn pollen and transport it back to the hive.

The female physicists at the Bee Symposium pointed this out years ago.

Why do the Europeans always seem to be ahead of us these days? Why do you think they are halting the use of neonicotinoid classes of insecticides?

Do you think that a bird population could decline due to its food source, an insect, being gone due to insecticides?

Author Rachel Carson pointed out years ago that when millions of acres of farmland are planted into just one crop, it stands to reason that an insect pest will proliferate, due to the massive amounts of food stuff available. Man’s answer to this is to spray more insecticide.

When you see “Organic” on a label, does it make you want to purchase the item, or are you happy with the evolution of man’s capacity to feed millions of people?

There is a price for GMO food. Yes, it is free from disease and free from pests to grow and grow, but what is that price for a perfect plant of corn, wheat, soybean or oat? Fields of perfection that are drought-resistant and produce huge-sized fruit look beautiful, but what’s inside?

There is a reason for the ever-growing “Grass-fed Beef” market; ranches in Colorado cannot keep up with the demand from restaurants whose patrons are tired of GMO corn-raised beef that may or may not have anti-biotics injected. Do those patrons know something you don’t?

I do not think that all the scientists researching this topic will be bought off by big manufacturers of pesticides. Somewhere, somehow this news is going to get out, linking pesticides and GMO crops to Colony Collapse Disorder of honeybees and other pollinator species.

The vast spraying of field crops with herbicide is also affecting Milkweed plant populations, which are the sole food source of the Monarch Butterfly. The decline of this species of butterfly is ongoing, nationwide, also.

What does a little butterfly dying off across the nation have to do with your busy day? What does a honeybee dying have to do with it, also?

You tell me.

I don’t eat cereal anymore, unless it’s Rice Crispies with plain Almond milk. I never eat at fast food burger joints like the Top 3 you see everywhere- - God knows what the Chinese are doing. I don’t eat high fructose corn syrup products, but I do look at labels for “Organic” or “Grass-fed,” and I do support citizens-rights committees that want the government to label all GMO’s.

Far as I know, the grass is still the same as it was 150 years ago, so cattle grazing on it is all right by me. My horses can have as much of that as they want, too.

Maybe some old cowboy is resting in the grass somewhere with his cattle and horses right now, listening to the immortal words of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, “Happy Trails to You.”

1: Internet