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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 May 2013

Big business threatens bees

Pete Mason
Bee, photo USDA Photo by Jack Dykinga

Bee, photo USDA Photo by Jack Dykinga

The Con-Dem government has been accused of bowing to the agrochemical industry, supporting bad science, and threatening food production around the world.

Prime Minister David Cameron, 'life patron' of the Oxfordshire Beekeepers' Association - but now apparently dismissed from that position - led his government to vote against a ban on a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids which are suspected of killing bees in huge numbers.

Bees, which pollinate 71 out of the 100 most common crops, providing 90% of food in 146 countries, are facing a massive decline in numbers.

Six species of bumblebees have declined by 80% and most species are declining, while 35 British bee species are considered to be at risk of extinction.

Big business

By far the worst culprits are neonicotinoids, developed originally by the oil company Shell, which have been identified as causing colony collapse disorder - the complete destruction of bee colonies.

Big business is playing its usual hand against science - just like the dishonest campaign waged by the tobacco industry against the overwhelming scientific evidence that cigarette smoking causes cancer.

Claims by the government's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), that the scientific evidence against neonicotinoids is inconclusive, are backed up by grand sounding research institutes set up by the pesticides industry to confuse the issue.

This Machiavellian nonsense is familiar to climate change scientists battling against oil company-backed fake climate change sceptics.

The European Food Safety Authority has stated that neonicotinoids pose an unacceptably high risk to bees, and that the industry-sponsored science upon which regulatory agencies' claims of safety have relied on may be flawed.

The US government's mis-named Environment Protection Agency is being sued by beekeepers for failing to ban the pesticide.

Friends of the Earth said: "It's very clear that some of the large farming interests and chemical companies have been lobbying very hard." In reality, they are pushing at an open door with this big-business government.

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In The Socialist 8 May 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tax bankers not bedrooms!

NHS WARNING! Privatisation puts patients at risk

Teachers demand action

Big business threatens bees

One in five borrow to buy food

Food banks and fighting austerity

Them & Us


Socialist Party election analysis

Capitalist parties rejected: Time for a new mass workers' party


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Salford - two-faced attack on mental health

Defend Liverpool's jobs and services - then and now


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International socialist news and analysis

Portugal: Government in disarray... Left must seize the opportunity

The Palestinian struggle - How can a state be realised?

May Day - fighting capitalist oppression internationally

Greece: Challenging the Golden Dawn


 

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