Pope Francis and 100,000 Beekeepers Take a Stand Against Toxic Agriculture

What do Neil Young, Pope Francis, and German beekeepers have in common? They’re all speaking out against genetically engineered crops and the excessive use of toxic pesticides.

Meanwhile, the chemical technology industry is feverishly trying to revamp its image by renaming itself and putting out new spins on words, to disguise what they’re really all about.

The sad fact is, the chemical industry has to a large degree taken over the food industry, not to mention hijacked the federal regulatory process. In essence, most of the population is being fed by poison experts. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), which has (by its own admission) been instrumental in keeping Americans in the dark about what’s in our food, also admits it has played an integral role in shaping the draconian “DARK Act” — ‘Denying Americans the Right to Know’ — which delivers Monsanto everything they’ve ever wanted on a silver platter while obliterating the democratic process.

Surprising Many, Pope Francis Calls for Radical Transformations to Confront Environmental Degradation

On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis’ 184-page long Encyclical letter1,2 was published, in which he calls for the transformation of lifestyles, politics, agriculture, economics, and business in general to tackle environmental degradation. “The violence present in our hearts is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life,”he says. And, while praising scientific advancements, he criticizes the use of novel technologies without adequate forethought, noting that: “our immense technological development has not been accompanied by a development in human responsibility, values and conscience.”

To many people’s surprise, Pope Francis appears to have a fairly comprehensive grasp of the subject of genetically engineered food and its many inherent hazards, both to the environment and human health.

Far from coming from a strictly religious perspective, he comprehensively addresses the issue from the point of ecological and economical balance, noting:3

“The expan­sion of these [genetically engineered] crops has the effect of destroying the complex network of ecosystems, diminishing the diversity of production and affecting region­al economies, now and in the future.

In various countries, we see an expansion of oligopolies for the production of cereals and other products needed for their cultivation. This dependency would be aggravated were the production of in­fertile seeds to be considered; the effect would be to force farmers to purchase them from larger producers.

Certainly, these issues require constant at­tention and a concern for their ethical implica­tions. A broad, responsible scientific and social debate needs to take place, one capable of con­sidering all the available information and of call­ing things by their name.

Discussions are needed in which all those directly or indirectly affected (farmers, consumers, civil authorities, scientists, seed producers, people living near fumigated fields, and others) can make known their problems and concerns, and have access to adequate and reliable infor­mation in order to make decisions for the com­mon good, present and future.

This is a complex environmental issue; it calls for a comprehensive approach which would require, at the very least, greater efforts to finance various lines of inde­pendent, interdisciplinary research capable of shedding new light on the problem.”
German Beekeepers Call for Nationwide Ban of GE Crops

The issue of GE crops goes hand-in-hand with the issue of rising pesticide use, and the effects these chemicals are having on soils, pollinating insects, and human health.

Bees can be viewed as “canaries in the coal mine,” and over the last decade beekeepers have grappled with bee colony collapse disorder (CCD). Bees are priceless as they pollinate one-third of the food we eat. Just about every fruit and vegetable you can imagine is dependent on the pollinating services of bees.

But bee die-offs have in recent years been so severe that many farmers were barely able to get enough bees to get the job done, and beekeepers are asked to deliver their bees over far greater distances than ever before due to bee shortages.

Toxic pesticides have long been suspected of being responsible for CCD, and GE crops are particularly contaminated. To protect these crucial pollinators, the German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which represents nearly 100,000 beekeepers, has called for a nationwide ban on genetically engineered (GE) crops.

GE crops are approved on the European Union (EU) level, but recently adopted legislation4 allows member states to opt-out of the cultivation of GE crops if it so chooses. According to a report by GM Watch:5

“Under the law, a member state can ban a GMO in part or all of its territory. But the law has come under heavy criticism for failing to provide a solid basis for such bans.

The beekeepers are urging Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt (CSU) to implement a Germany-wide ban on cultivation. The Minister pleads, however, for letting each state decide individually.

The beekeepers counter that a piecemeal approach will not work. Bees fly up to eight kilometers in search of food, the DIB said, so a juxtaposition of GM crop cultivation zones and GMO-free zones within Germany would be ‘environmentally and agriculturally unacceptable.. ‘Bees know no borders,’ the DIB added.”

Neil Young Sings About ‘The Monsanto Years’

Neil Young’s latest album, The Monsanto Years, is all about Monsanto and “exposing the myth of progress,” to quote one of his musicians. Young has also made public statements decrying the hijacking of democracy by corporate interests, warning:6

“These Corporations were originally created to serve us but if we don’t appropriately prioritize they will destroy us.“

“I choose to speak Truth to this Economic Power,” he writes. “I support those bringing these issues to light and those who fight for their rights like Freedom of Choice. But Freedom of Choice is meaningless without knowledge. That’s why it’s crucial we all get engaged and get informed.

That’s why GMO labeling matters. Mothers need to know what they are feeding their children. They need freedom to make educated choices at the market. When the people have voted for labeling, as they have in Vermont, they need our support when they are fighting these corporate interests trying to reverse the laws they have voted for and passed in the democratic process.”

 

This is part of a feature which you may read on Wake Up World