In 1976, retired apiculturist S.E. McGregor, from the USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ASR), wrote a paper in 1976 entitled “Economics of Plant Pollination”. After mentioning that some plants are wind or self pollinated, McGregor stated, “… it appears that perhaps one-third of our total diet is dependent, directly or indirectly, upon insect-pollinated plants.”
In his 1976 paper, McGregor also points out, “Another value of pollination lies in its affect on quality and efficiency of crop production. Inadequate pollination can result not only in reduced yields but also in delayed yield and a high percentage of culls or inferior fruits. In this connection, Gates (1917) warned the grower that, … ‘without his pollinating agents, chief among which are the honey bees, to transfer the pollen from the stamens to the pistil of the blooms, his crop may fail.’”
Now We Have Colony Collapse Disorder
It’s well known to those who care about our future food supply that bee populations are dying off dramatically, and certain pollinating butterfly species, especially Monarchs, are becoming endangered.
Sometimes the bees simply get confused and don’t return to their hives, and sometimes they simply die in their hives. It’s known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), and it has been rampant in North America. Neonicotinoids are the most widely used pesticides in the world and are extremely toxic to bees and other pollinators.
European scientists have discovered that bee populations are experiencing a resurgence after three neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam were banned by the European Commission in 2013. Unfortunately, all three are still used heavily in the USA.
The European Academies Science Advisory Council, an independent body composed of representatives from the national science academies of European Union member states, has a growing body of evidence that shows the widespread use of the pesticides “has severe effects on a range of organisms that provide ecosystem services like pollination and natural pest control, as well as on biodiversity.”
The European ban is up for review this year, and the council’s report, based on the examination of more than 100 peer-reviewed papers that were published since the food safety agency’s finding, was prepared to provide officials with recommendations on how to proceed. Hopefully science will prevail over political influence from agrochemical industries.
Predatory insects like parasitic wasps and ladybugs provide billions of dollars’ worth of insect control, they noted, and organisms like earthworms contribute billions more through improved soil productivity. All are harmed by the pesticides and herbicides as well. Using pesticides is like trying to put out a fire by shooting at firemen as they arrive at the scene.
You can include glyphosate herbicides as well. Dr. Donald Huber, 55 year government plant pathologist and Purdue University professor emeritus suggests strongly that glyphosate herbicides contribute to pollinating bees’ confusion, causing them to not be able to return to their hives. That’s one part of CCD, the other part is when whole hive colonies die in or near their hives.
Despite Huber’s strong background and integrity, he has been ignored and vilified for his attempts at warning the corrupt creeps in the USDA and academia. They are all on the GMO industry’s payroll, directly or indirectly.
Perhaps Big Ag mono-crop farmers are too ignorant of older methods of agroecology insect control or perhaps their farms are too big or they’re too lazy and greedy. Or perhaps they’re simply victims of a failed system known as Big Ag with its handful of large worldwide distributors and a commodity speculative trading system that influences food pricing.
The solution to a sustainable food supply has been determined by several international studies from agricultural experts not attached to specific Big Ag or biotech industries; the largest was assigned to international experts by the United Nations. Their proposed solution to world hunger is small organic agroecological farms that supply food within their regions.
These studies received little or no mainstream media publicity. And the practices they advocate receive no government subsidies. Instead, the loudest and most quoted voices for solving world hunger are from GMO shills.