How shameless is Monsanto Hawaii’s advertising? A banner ad on the Maui Now web site shows a photo of a bee sucking up nectar from a sunflower next to a photo of a butterfly landing on a yellow flower with a caption proclaiming – “Cultivating an even brighter future for agriculture.”
So here’s the giant agro-chemical corporation turning truth on its head like a sick, twisted version of George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four” doublespeak, because it’s Monsanto merging with Bayer that’s killing off bees and butterflies.
Commenting on the upcoming monolith merger, the National Resources Defense Council warned: “If you are a farmer, consumer, or any of the pollinators critical to our nation’s food supply and environment—such as the bees and monarch butterflies facing massive new threats from pesticides in recent years—this big business merger could be very bad news.”
The widespread use of neonicotinoids pesticides is suspected as the cause of massive deaths of bees. Nearly 30% of American honey bees died last winter. More than a quarter of the 46 bumblebee species in North America are considered at risk.
Who makes neonicotinoids? Bayer and Syngenta.
And what’s killing butterflies? Monsanto’s GMO crops and Bayer’s neonicotinoids.
Scientists from the Greenpeace International Science Unit have documented evidence that the introduction of GMO crops, like herbicide-tolerant Roundup Ready corn and soy, reduces the abundance of farmland plants. University and other researchers have suggested that this is a major factor to blame for the decline in monarchs. Farmers are spraying more and more Roundup, sold by Monsanto.
The herbicide kills all plants in its path, except for the GMO crop. This includes milkweed, the only plant that monarch butterflies lay their eggs upon and that monarch caterpillars rely on for food. Herbicides like Roundup have driven milkweed, which once sprouted between rows of corn and soybean, to near extinction in agricultural landscapes.
USDA researchers have also identified the neonicotinoid insecticide clothianidin, made by Bayer, as a likely contributor to monarch butterfly declines in North America.
“Industrial agriculture is a lethal combination of methods that is causing the extinction of thousands of species worldwide,” notes Allison Wilson, Science Director of the Bioscience Resource Project. “It is affecting birds, amphibians, bats and other pollinators besides butterflies. Many ecosystems are staring down the barrel.”