More Damning Evidence Points to Pesticide as Cause of Mass Bee Deaths | Common Dreams

More Damning Evidence Points to Pesticide as Cause of Mass Bee Deaths | Common Dreams.

More Damning Evidence Points to Pesticide as Cause of Mass Bee Deaths

Bayer-produced imidacloprid harmful to bees even at very low levels

– Common Dreams staff

A new study published in Naturwissenschaften – The Science of Nature by a leading bee expert provides damning evidence that a widely used pesticide, even at low levels, is responsible for the recent catastrophic decline in honey bees. Dr. Jeff Pettis of the USDA’s Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, MD led the study.

Colony collapse disorder, as this phenomenon is known, has been getting worse since 2006.

The news has brought renewed calls for these pesticides, which only became widely used in the 1990s, to be banned as honey bees are key to human’s survival – pollinating 70 per cent of the crops which produce most of the world’s food.

The pesticide that the study (pdf) looked at was imidacloprid, one of the most widely used pesticides worldwide. It is neonicotinoid insecticide produced by Bayer CropScience.Findings give credence to fears that neonicotinoids are behind a worldwide decline in honey bees. (photo: Samantha G)

* * *

The Independent reports:

Compelling new evidence from the US government’s top bee expert [Dr Jeffrey Pettis] that modern pesticides may be a major cause of collapsing bee populations led to calls yesterday for the chemicals to be banned. […]

Researchers found that bees deliberately exposed to minute amounts of the pesticide were, on average, three times as likely to become infected when exposed to a parasite called nosema as those that had not. The findings, which have taken more than three years to be published, add weight to concern that a new group of insecticides called neonicotinoids are behind a worldwide decline in honey bees, along with habitat and food loss, by making them more susceptible to disease. […]

“The science is now clear, bees poisoned by neonicotinoid pesticides are much more likely to die from disease, gather less food and produce fewer new bees.”Buglife, the invertebrate conservation charity, is calling for a ban on the controversial pesticides. Its director, Matt Shardlow, said yesterday: “The science is now clear, bees poisoned by neonicotinoid pesticides are much more likely to die from disease, gather less food and produce fewer new bees.” He added: “Buglife’s 2009 review of the science of environmental impacts from neonicotinoid pesticides showed that there was serious cause for concern. We called for a ban then, and as subsequent research has only added to concerns, including the revelation that neonicotinoids make bees prone to a diseased death, we are repeating our call for these toxins to be banned.”

The Government needs to take urgent action, said Tim Lovett, of the British Beekeepers Association. He backs the findings of the new research: “Their conclusions are right … here is some data that would appear to suggest links between widely used pesticides and pathogens.”


Saving Poland´s Lynx

Saving Poland’s Lynx

Saving Poland’s Lynx

Eradicated from much of Europe 150 years ago, lynx populations remain dotted across isolated forested regions. An estimated 200 of the solitary big cats live in Poland, where a group of veterinarians are doing their bit to save the pointy-eared felines.

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Halal and Kosher slaughter ‘must end’

The method of animal slaughter used by Jews and Muslims should be banned immediately, according to an independent advisory group.
The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), which advises the government on how to avoid cruelty to livestock, says the way Kosher and Halal meat is produced causes severe suffering to animals.
Both the Jewish and Muslim religions demand that slaughter is carried out with a single cut to the throat, rather than the more widespread method of stunning with a bolt into the head before slaughter.
Kosher and Halal butchers deny their method of killing animals is cruel and have expressed anger over the recommendation.
‘Clearly suffering’
One worshipper at the Central London Mosque told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Everything about the Islamic way of life is under attack so it makes you wonder if this is actually about humanity to animals.”
Peter Jinman, president of the British Veterinary Association said vets respected people’s religious beliefs, but urged Muslims to be respectful of animals too.


The brain is instantaneously starved of blood and there is no time to start feeling any pain
Muslim Council of Great Britain
“We’re looking at what is acceptable in the moral and ethical society we live in,” he told Today.

FAWC said it wanted an end to the exemption currently allowed for Kosher and Halal meat from the legal requirement to stun animals first.
It says cattle can take up to two minutes to bleed to death – amounting to an abuse of the animals.
“This is a major incision into the animal and to say that it doesn’t suffer is quite ridiculous,” said FAWC chairwoman, Dr Judy MacArthur Clark.
Compassion in World Farming backed the call, saying: “We believe that the law must be changed to require all animals to be stunned before slaughter.”
‘Way of life’
Muslims and Jews argue that their long established method of slaughter results in a sudden loss of blood from the head, causing animals to feel virtually nothing.

They say they will fight any attempt to prevent a practice required by their religion and central to their way of life.
One rabbi, who had been practicing the Jewish method of animal slaughter for around 40 years, told BBC News: “The process takes a fraction of a second.
“With a very, very sharp knife all the vessels in the neck are severed and that means there’s no blood going to the brain and the animal loses consciousness very rapidly and dies soon after that.”
The Muslim Council of Britain says animals are not distressed when they are slaughtered.
“It’s a sudden and quick haemorrhage. A quick loss of blood pressure and the brain is instantaneously starved of blood and there is no time to start feeling any pain,” said spokesman Dr Majid Katme.
The Humanists movement, which has previously called for the abolition of ritual slaughter, said ethical values should be put above religious ones.

“There is no imperative for Muslims or Judaists to eat meat produced in this manner,” said spokesman Roy Saich.
“There is no reason why they should not simply abstain from eating meat altogether if they do not wish to eat the same meat as the rest of us.”

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2003/06/10 15:02:22 GMT

© BBC 2018

Shark Found: Haifisch gefunden: am Rande der Boot-Messe in Düsseldorf

Sea Shepherd flag flying on the RV Farley Mowat.
Image via Wikipedia
Dieser Hai wurde vorgestern von Sharkproject-Aktivisten am Rande der Boot-Messe in der Düsseldorfer Altstadtentdeckt!Sea Shepherd Deutschland ruft alle Meeresschützer die sich in diesem Moment auf der Boot und in der Nähe von Düsseldorf befinden, den Verantwortlichen des Fischhaus inmitten der Düsseldorfer Altstadt einmal persönlich vor Ort die Meinung zu sagen! Alle anderen können dies per E-Mail, Facebook, Telefon oder Fax tun. Vernetzt euch am besten an den Ständen der Boot.
Alle Kontakt-Details zum Fischhaus am Ende dieses Beitrags.

Heiner Endemann von Sharkproject telefonierte den Tag nach dem Hai-Fund (gestern) noch einmal persönlich mit Angestellten des Fischhauses, welche ihm den Hai bestätigten und ihn über den bereits erfolgten Verkauf informierten. Der Hai wurde laut eigenen Angaben komplett aufportioniert und binnen eines Tages vollständig verkauft.

Haie enthalten zumeist alarmierende Werte an Methylquecksilber-Werten. Menschen können durch den einmaligen Verzehr von Hai-Fleisch ihr ganzes Leben durch Methylquecksilber verseucht bleiben! Ein Hinweis auf die hohen Gesundheitsrisiken schien den Angestellten des Fischhauses völlig egal zu sein!

Schätzungen zu Folge werden jedes Jahr mehr als 100.000.000 Haie getötet. Im Gegensatz dazu töten sie nur etwa fünf Menschen pro Jahr. Dies in Kombination mit durch den Menschen verursachten Umweltkatastrophen und einer sehr langsamen Reproduktionsrate (einige Haiarten erreichen erst nach 30 Jahren ihre Geschlechtsreife) führt zur zwangsläufigen Ausrottung dieser höchst bedrohten Art innerhalb kürzester Zeit, wenn die Gesellschaft nicht endlich aufhört einen derartigen Umgang mit Haien zu tollerieren und die Regierungen nicht endlich den Verkauf aller Hai-Produkte weltweit verbieten!

Sea Shepherd Deutschland ruft dazu auf, dem “Fischhaus” mitzuteilen, was ihr von ihren Praktiken haltet!

(Bitte stets friedlich und professionell bleiben!)

Tel: 0211 / 854 98 64 und 0211 / 828 45 64
Fax: 0211 / 134745

Berger Str. 3-7
40213 Düsseldorf

Wenn die Haie sterben, stirbt auch das Meer. Und wenn das Meer stirbt, werden auch wir sterben. Das Leben an Land wäre ohne einem funktionierenden Ökosystem im Meer nicht länger möglich. Haie haben 450 Millionen Jahre überlebt und sorgen für die Gesundheit der Meere, doch nun liegt es an uns ihrer Ausrottung zuvor zu kommen!
Schaut euch auch den Film “Sharkwater” in dem Sea Shepherd mitgewirkt hat. (erhältlich auf DVD & Blu-Ray)

Bitte teilt diesen Beitrag und engagiert euch für den Schutz der Haie bevor es zu spät ist.

Researcher in France Placed Microphones in a Tank with Five Dolphins at Night

Fresco of Dolphins, ca. 1600 BC, from Knossos,...
Image via Wikipedia

Researchers in France placed microphones in a tank with five dolphins at night to see if they made any noises. Turns out they did and they were making whales noises they had heard played in an audio track at the aquatic park where they live. The audio track was played for human visitors at the beginning of the daily shows at the dolphinarium, and featured mainly whale songs.

The five dolphins studied made the vocalizations, including whale noises, mostly at night from midnight to 3 a.m. which is when they are resting or sleeping.

It is also significant the dolphins were producing vocalizations long after they had heard the sounds they were mimicking, “This is to our knowledge the first time that a long separation between hearing an auditory model and copying it has been observed in a marine mammal,” says the research paper, “Do dolphins rehearse show-stimuli when at rest?”

One explanation for their nocturnal behavior is that the audio track with the whale sounds is played during what is called a salient event, a situation that is a significant aspect of the day, and at night they are rehearsing it for memorization. (Birds have been shown to rehearse their songs at night, so perhaps what the dolphin research found is in some kind of alignment with what birds do also.)

A researcher studying dolphins in Costa Rica found they were creating a sort of hybrid language when a smaller species was imitating the vocalizations of a larger one possibly to show it was interested in being friendly, instead of being harassed by the larger species.

Image Credit: NASA, Public Domain Wiki Commons


Related Links
Different Dolphins Try to Speak Same Language
Military Dolphins Could Go to Iran

Read more:

Rattlesnake `Roundup`Event in Georgia – Which was Really a Large Gathering of People to Kill Many Snakes

The rattlesnake ’roundup’ event in Georgia – which was really a large gathering of people to kill many snakes – has reversed itself, transforming into a wildlife festival, according to several sources. The roundup had been staged since 1968. The Evans County Wildlife Club in Claxton, Georgia had been organizing and staging the annual mass snake killing, but will now put on the Claxton Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival, where visitors will learn about eastern diamondback rattlesnakes, enjoy entertainment and displays of local wildlife. The local chamber of commerce website says the two-day festival attracts 15,000 people. This event is an excellent opportunity to educate and celebrate in order to raise awareness.

The Center for Biological Diversity praised the change: “We’re so happy the rattlesnake roundup in Claxton is being switched to a humane event that celebrates these great native animals and recognizes the importance of saving them. The Whigham Community Club needs to follow suit, it needs to recognize that massacres of endangered animals are just wrong,  and clearly the wrong message to send to young people about our relationship to the natural world,” said Collette Adkins Giese, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. (Source: Center for Biological Diversity)

Eastern diamondbacks are venomous, but more people die each year from lightning strikes and bee stings, than from their bites. So there is no reason whatsoever to kill them. The people who are bitten by them generally are snake handlers or people who accidentally get too close. The snakes don’t seek out human targets.

Rattlesnake mass killings, along with road accidents and habitat loss have put eastern diamondbacks at depleted levels, but these snakes naturally help keep rodent populations down, and play an important role in their ecosystems. Methods used during the roundups such as pouring gasoline down snake holes, can also damage habitat and other wildlife.

Image Credit: TimVickers / Wiki Commons

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Animals Harmed

Animals WERE harmed in the making of this movie

Several famous films were denied permission to use the famous disclaimer after mistreating animals onset

Yahoo UK Movies FeaturesBy Orlando Parfitt | Yahoo UK Movies Features – Thu, Jan 26, 2012 12:30 GMT


The credits are almost over and a familiar phrase flashes across the screen: “No animals were harmed in the making of this movie”. The words are so familiar they have become part of popular culture.

The American Humane Association is the only organisation allowed to bestow the disclaimer on a movie after trade-marking the first four words. They’ve been working to ensure animal actors – such as Uggie the dog in ‘The Artist’ or the equine thesps in ‘War Horse’ – have been treated humanely on movie sets since 1940, when a horse was needlessly killed during the filming of ‘Jesse James’.

They monitor as many films and TV shows as possible – though the trend towards shooting outside the US means more and more big-budget Hollywood films escape their jurisdiction.

[See more: What happened to famous animal stars?]
[See more: All the latest Oscar news]

On-set observers monitor scenes featuring animals and give the film a rating based on how well they are treated. Those judged “Outstanding” now get the famous credit, while the films which are merely “acceptable” are allowed to put “American Humane Association monitored the animal action” .

Projects are rated “unacceptable” when film makers ignore safety rules and animals get hurt or even killed. The rating has been extremely rare in recent years and can only be found on a handful of films, but some are extremely famous or surprising.

We looked at the AHA’s database of film reviews to find which films were denied the famous credit and why. They include…

Snow joke… kids’ flickSnow Buddies (2008)
The film: A straight-to-DVD sequel to Disney’s ‘Air Buddies’, about five mischievous golden receivers. Not a classic.
What happened? Basically, five puppies died on set. Disney unknowingly used underage and ill dogs during production, and several had to be put down after contracting parvovirus. Dogs used on movie sets must be at least eight-weeks-old, and these weren’t. The breeder who supplied the poor creatures was charged with fraud for falsifying health documents. Not the best PR for a Disney flick.

Speed Racer (2008)
The film: Misjudged attempt by Andy and Lana (formerly Larry) ‘The Matrix’ Wachowski to bring animation ‘Speed Racer’ to the big screen.
What happened? This notorious flop was a shambles behind the camera as well. Firstly, five piranhas died for unknown reasons on set. Then one of two chimps playing comedy relief ape Chim-Chim bit the hand of a young actor standing in for Paulie Litt (Spritle Racer) for no reason. Finally, towards the end of filming, the chimp’s trainer hit him “in an uncontrolled impulse”.

The Lord of the Flies (1990)
The film: Duff adaptation of William Golding’s classic book about boys stranded on a desert island.
What happened? The AHA doesn’t go into much detail here, but apparently puffer fish were killed while shooting scenes in Jamaica. No laws were broken, but it was still a needless loss of animal life.

Vampire’s Kiss (1988)
The film: Mental Nicolas Cage effort; he plays an advertising exec who thinks he’s turning into a vampire. Famous because…
What happened? …it features a scene where Nic’s character eats a live cockroach. He did this for real, and then did another take. The AHA was not impressed.

[See more: Embarrassing mistakes on movie posters]
[See more: Why do stars go nude?]

One Man’s Hero (1999)
The film: Forgotten historical drama about Irish gang the St Patrick’s Brigade – who caused trouble in Mexico back in the day. Stars Tom Berenger.
What happened? The AHA weren’t on set for this, but they reckon (after several anonymous tip-offs) that horses were tripped with wires during production – which is illegal. The producers did not co-operate and – even worse – slapped the ‘No animals were harmed’ disclaimer on the credits without permission. Speaking of which…

The King’s Speech (2010)
The film: Oscar-winning yarn about King George VI and his stutter.
What happened? We’re almost certain no critters were actually harmed in this, but the film got into bother for the unauthorised use of their famous credit. The AHA weren’t on-set and threatened legal action. Producers said they didn’t realise the phrase was copyrighted. This is rated ‘not monitored’.

Troubled production… ‘Conan the Barbarian’

Conan the Barbarian (1982)
The film: Classic almost mute fantasy flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the buff warrior-king.
What happened? Serious abuse of horses throughout the film – at one point a nag falls over pointed spikes. It was shot in Spain, which (at the time) had rather lax laws about animal welfare. The AHA were not allowed onset but organised a protest outside cinemas on its release. Sequel ‘Conan the Destroyer’ was also deemed unacceptable for camel abuse.

First Blood (1982)

The film: First and by-far the best ‘Rambo’ film that starred Sylvester Stallone as a mentally damaged Vietnam war vet.
What happened? An animal care official on set saw rats burnt by an actor, thrown against a wall and “squeezed” by production staff. Apparently the director and crew were laughing at the abuse. Not nice.

Unacceptable… ‘Fast & Furious’
Fast & Furious (2009)
The film: Lesser instalment of petrol-head action franchise.
What happened? There’s a cockfighting scene. It was shot in Mexico – where the blood sport is legal – and the film’s producers wouldn’t pay for the AHA to fly out and oversee the sequence (according to their site anyway). After watching the footage they reckon the birds may have actually been fighting – in violation of their rules – and invited the public to complain to studio Universal.

Apocalypse Now (1979)
The film: Trippy Vietnam War epic starring Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando.
What happened? The finale saw Willard (Sheen) hack Kurtz (Brando) to death while natives sacrificed a water buffalo with machetes. The footage of animal slaughter was obviously real and it got the ‘unacceptable’ rating.

[See more: ‘Woman in Black’ review]
[See more: Worst movie lookalikes]

Heaven’s Gate (1980)
The film: Nihilistic western starring Christopher Walken that is infamously Hollywood’s biggest-ever flop.
What happened? All sorts – and most of it horrible. Without going into too much detail, there were cockfights, chicken decapitations and a horse was “blown up”. One owner sued for the injuries his horse suffered and the case was settled out of court. An upshot was that the nastiness prompted Hollywood unions to contractually authorise the AHA to oversee animal actors, so at least the beasties didn’t suffer in vain. Another reason not to watch a truly awful film.
Animals WERE harmed in the making of this movie


Spirit&Animal&Nature: Biofuels Pollute More than Oil, Leaked Data Show

English: Slash and burning in Brazil
Image via Wikipedia
Biofuels pollute more than oil, leaked data show

Arthur Neslen  I read this article here:
2012-01-27 04:59:00


Greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels such as palm oil, soybean and rapeseed are higher than those for fossil fuels when the effects of Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) are counted, according to leaked EU data seen by EurActiv.

The default values assigned to the biofuels compare to those from Canada’s oil sands – also known as tar sands – according to the figures, which should be released along with long-awaited legislative proposals on biofuels in the spring.

A spokesperson for the European Commission said she could “not comment on leaked documents, such as impact assessments which have not been published.”

But industry and civil society sources described the data as credible and in line with other studies. One said it would sound a death knell for the biodiesel industry, if published.

“I think the science has proved clearly that because of the link to deforestation in places such as South East Asia, a lot of the biodiesels have significantly negative impacts on the climate,” Robbie Blake, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, told EurActiv.

Comment: So the net effect is that the ‘green measures’ put into place to ‘save the planet’ will cost us more and speed up destruction of the planet.

Japanese Scientists Create Genetically-Modified Animal

dick mouse
Image via Wikipedia

The mouse that tweets like a bird: Japanese scientists create genetically-modified animal By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 4:44 PM on 27th January 2012 Comments (63) Share Japanese scientists have produced a genetically-engineered mouse that tweets like a bird, it was revealed today. A team of researchers at the University of Osaka are breeding genetically modified mice that are prone to miscopying DNA and are more likely to develop mutations. The ‘tweeting’ mouse was created as part of the team’s ‘Evolved Mouse Project. They hope it will shed new light on how languages evolve. Click here to listen to the singing mouse A mouse genetically engineered to tweet like a bird has been created in Japan ‘Mutations are the driving force of evolution. We have cross-bred the genetically modified mice for generations to see what would happen,’ lead researcher Arikuni Uchimura said. ‘We checked the newly born mice one by one… One day we found a mouse that was singing like a bird,’ he told AFP. He said that the ‘singing mouse’ was born by chance but that the trait will be passed on to future generations. ‘I was surprised because I had been expecting mice that are different in physical shape,’ he said by telephone The project has also produced ‘a mouse with short limbs and a tail like a dachshund’. The laboratory, directed by professor Takeshi Yagi at the Osaka University’s Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences in western Japan, now has more than 100 ‘singing mice’ for further research. The team hopes they will provide clues on how human language evolved, just as researchers in other countries study songbirds such as finches to help them understand the origins of human language. ‘Mice are better than birds to study because they are mammals and much closer to humans in their brain structures and other biological aspects,’ Uchimura said. ‘We are watching how a mouse that emits new sounds would affect ordinary mice in the same group… in other words if it has social connotations,’ he said, adding that ordinary mice squeak mainly under stress. Uchimura said their chirps ‘may be some sort of expressions of their emotions or bodily conditions.’ The team has found that ordinary mice that grew up with singing mice emitted fewer ultrasound squeaks than others. This could mean that communication methods can spread in the same group like a dialect. Uchimura dreams of further ‘evolution’ of mice through genetic engineering. ‘I know it’s a long shot and people would say it’s ‘too absurd’… but I’m doing this with hopes of making a Mickey Mouse some day,’ he said. Read more:

Say No to Monsanto´s Genetically Engineered Soy

Say No to Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Soy
Send Your Comment to the USDA

By deregulating one GMO after another (Round Up Ready alfalfa, “drought-resistant corn, etc.), President Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack have made it clear to the American public that they do not care about our concerns with genetically engineered food and its questionable safety, adverse environmental impacts, and detrimental effects on farmers, especially organic farmers.

We must keep the pressure on! Let’s continue to flood the USDA with public comments opposing their misguided and dangerous policy of indiscriminately releasing GMOs into America’s farm fields and food supply. Cornucopia already urged farmers and consumers to comment on Dow Agrosciences’ petition to deregulate corn that is resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D. Please also send comments opposing the petition by Monsanto for its soybeans that are high in stearidonic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that does not naturally occur in soybeans.

While an omega-3-rich soybean may appear beneficial to public health, the truth is that genetically engineering a ubiquitous monoculture crop to contain higher levels of just one particular nutrient will not solve our public health crisis, and might even exacerbate it. A healthy diet is about much more than simply increasing the levels of one particular omega-3 fatty acid. “Monsanto’s stearidonic acid soybeans is another band-aid solution that will do little to address the root of the problem with our nation’s ‘nutrition’ problem, which is people eating too many processed foods containing corn and soybean derivatives, and not eating a varied diet of nutrient-rich wholesome foods,” said Charlotte Vallaeys, Cornucopia’s Director of Farm and Food Policy.

Citizens can comment on the proposed approval of Monsanto’s stearidonic acid soybeans until February 27, 2012.