GM Crops Contaminate Honey in Bee Hives

GMO discussions and alerts
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 551
Joined: 25 Nov 2003, 20:20
Location: Ecuador

GM Crops Contaminate Honey in Bee Hives

Postby Gnosty » 08 May 2007, 15:52

This is why the bee hives are dying throughout every region in the world where GM crops are being grown. Genetically modified contamination = dead bee hives

GM crop taints honey two miles away, test reveals

The Sunday Times, September 15, 2002, ... 27,00.html [you have to register for Times' sites]

EVIDENCE that genetically modified (GM) crops can contaminate food supplies for miles around has been revealed in independent tests commissioned by The Sunday Times.

The tests found alien GM material in honey from beehives two miles from a site where GM crops were being grown under government supervision. It is believed to have been carried there by bees gathering pollen in the GM test sites.

The disclosure, showing that GM organisms can enter the food chain without consumers — or even farmers — knowing they are present, will undermine assurances by Tony Blair and ministers that such crops can be tested in Britain without contaminating the food chain.

The test results come as ministers, under pressure from the American agrochemical lobby, mount a huge consultation exercise to persuade the public of the virtues of GM foods. They have previously given assurances that consumers “are not being used as guinea pigs”.

The GM material was found in honey sold from farmer David Rolfe’s hives at Newport-on-Tay in Fife, almost two miles from one of 18 sites holding trials of GM oil-seed rape.

A test carried out by GeneScan, a respected independent laboratory in Bremen, Germany, checked for traces of an NOS terminator, one of four modified genes which make the crop resistant to pesticides. This proved positive.

A second test confirmed that GM material in the honey could have come only from oil- seed rape grown at Wester Friarton, in Newport-on-Tay, by Aventis, one of the world’s biggest biotechnology firms. The fact that the GM material travelled such a distance makes a mockery of the government’s 50m-200m crop-free “buffer” zones that were created around GM sites to protect neighbouring farms. Critics have claimed that the GM crop trial sites are too close to other farms. America has buffer zones of up to 400m, Canada up to 800m, and the European Union recommends a 5km (three-mile) zone for GM oilseed rape.

When Rolfe first raised his concerns, government officials said that although it was not possible to rule out cross-pollination, they did not believe it should be “a source of concern”.

“I’m very angry and disappointed,” Rolfe said last week. “I feel I’ve been denied the right and freedom to eat my own GM-free produce. Now we can’t eat the honey or sell it.”

This weekend Defra, the ministry responsible for the crop trials, said: “We have not seen the results of the study but will treat any such findings extremely seriously.”

In the case of GM rape, like most GM products, there is no evidence that contamination poses a health risk. Concern centres on maintaining the integrity of traditionally produced products.

Tim Lang, professor of food policy at Thames Valley University, said: “The early assurances from the industry and the government that a buffer zone would allow safety and choice for consumers are falling apart. It raises environmental health worries, and what we don’t yet know is whether these warnings will translate into a risk to human health.”

Britain has imposed a moratorium on the widespread planting of GM crops until it has analysed the impact of GM crop trials at 18 farm-scale sites around Britain.

However, The Sunday Times’s tests confirm earlier work that was carried by Friends of the Earth, the environmental group, and will increase pressure on the government to scale down its support for the GM industry.

It will also come as a personal setback to Blair, who is determined that British companies will win a share of the potentially lucrative bioscience industry. In May the prime minister attacked GM protesters as part of an “anti-science fashion” in Britain.

The tests will bring pressure on Aventis, which was accused of a “serious breach” of regulations earlier this year after GM trials in 12 sites were contaminated with antibiotic genes. These are controversial because of the danger of gene transfer to bacteria in animals and humans, who could become immune to common life- saving antibiotics.

While the government tends to support the GM lobby, food retailers have been more cautious. The big supermarkets insist that such products are properly labelled and refuse to take honey from within six miles of UK test sites.

In Canada, a leading cultivator of GM crops, sales of honey have plummeted by 50% amid concern that the integrity of the product has been compromised.

A spokesmen for Aventis said: “We would be very interested in looking at both the origin of the honey sample and how the tests were carried out. We would like to look at this further

Source: Norfolk Genetic Information Network (ngin),

SEE ALSO ... .php?t=643

Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 461
Joined: 25 Dec 2003, 09:58
Location: North America

Posted on SEVEN years ago!

Postby linn » 10 May 2007, 21:33

The following was posted on SEVEN years ago:

Beginning Of The End?
Genes In GM Crops Jump
The Species Barrier.. ... 4xfxz.html

LONDON (AFP) - Research by a leading German zoologist has shown that genes used to genetically modify crops can jump the species barrier, newspapers reported here on Sunday. A three-year study by Professor Hans-Heinrich Kaatz at the University of Jena found that the gene used to modify oil-seed rape had transferred to bacteria living inside honey bees. The findings will undermine claims by the biotech industry and supporters of GM foods that genes cannot spread.

They will also increase pressure on farmers across Europe to destroy fields of oil-seed rape contaminated with GM seeds. In an interview for The Observer newspaper, Kaatz said: "I have found the herbicide-resistant genes in the rapeseed transferred across to the bacteria and yeast inside the intestines of young bees. This happened rarely, but it did happen." Asked if his findings had implications for the bacteria inside the human gut, Kaatz replied: "Maybe, but I am not an expert on this."

The Observer said Kaatz was reluctant to talk about his work until it is officially published and reviewed by fellow scientists. The reports come a day after Britain's Agriculture Minister Nick Brown urged farmers to destroy crops contaminated with genetically modified seeds. Up to 600 farmers in Britain are believed to have inadvertently planted more than 30,000 acres of oilseed rape contaminated with GM rape seeds, supplied by Anglo-Dutch seed company Advanta. Similar crops have been planted elsewhere in Europe, including in France, Germany and Sweden. The French and Swedish governments have already announced they are ordering the uprooting of the crops.


Modified Crop Genes 'Jump The Species Barrier' By Anthony Barnett - Public Affairs Editor ... 18,00.html 5-28-00

A leading zoologist has found evidence that genes used to modify crops can jump the species barrier and cause bacteria to mutate, prompting fears that GM technology could pose serious health risks.

A four-year study by Professor Hans-Hinrich Kaatz, a respected German zoologist, found that the alien gene used to modify oilseed rape had transferred to bacteria living inside the guts of honey bees.

The research - which has yet to be published and has not been reviewed by fellow scientists - is highly significant because it suggests that all types of bacteria could become contaminated by genes used in genetically modified technology, including those that live inside the human digestive system. If this happened, it could have an impact on the bacteria's vital role in helping the human body fight disease, aid digestion and facilitate blood clotting.

Agriculture Minister Nick Brown, who was yesterday advising farmers who have accidentally grown contaminated GM oilseed rape in Britain to rip up their crops, confirmed the potential significance of Kaatz's research. He said: 'If this is true, then it would be very serious.'

The 47-year-old Kaatz has been reluctant to talk about his research until it has been published in a scientific journal, because he fears a backlash from the scientific community similar to that faced by Dr Arpad Pustzai, who claimed that genetically modified potatoes damaged the stomach lining of rats. Pustzai was sacked and had his work discredited.

But in his first newspaper interview, Kaatz told The Observer: 'It is true, I have found the herbicide-resistant genes in the rapeseed transferred across to the bacteria and yeast inside the intestines of young bees. This happened rarely, but it did happen.' Although Kaatz realised the potential 'significance' of his findings, he said he 'was not surprised' at the results. Asked if this had implications for the bacteria inside the human gut, he said: 'Maybe, but I am not an expert on this.' Dr Mae-Wan Ho, geneticist at Open University and a critic of GM technology, has no doubts about the dangers. She said: 'These findings are very worrying and provide the first real evidence of what many have feared. Everybody is keen to exploit GM technology, but nobody is looking at the risk of horizontal gene transfer.

'We are playing about with genetic structures that existed for millions of years and the experiment is running out of control.' One of the biggest concerns is if the anti-biotic resistant gene used in some GM crops crossed over to bacteria. 'If this happened it would leave us unable to treat major illnesses like meningitis and E coli .'

Kaatz, who works at the respected Institute for Bee Research at the University of Jena in Germany, built nets in a field planted with genetically modified rapeseed produced by AgrEvo. He let the bees fly freely within the net. At the beehives, he installed pollen traps in order to sample the pollen from the bees' hindlegs when entering the hive. This pollen was fed to young honey bees in the laboratory. Pollen is the natural diet of young bees, which need a high protein diet. Kaatz then extracted the intestine of the young bees and discovered that the gene from the GM rape-seed had been transferred in the bee gut to the microbes.

Professor Robert Pickard, director-general of the Institute of the British Nutrition Foundation, is a bee expert as well as being a biologist and has visited the institute where Kaatz works. He said: 'There is no doubt that, if Kaatz's research is substantiated, then it poses very interesting questions and will need to be looked at very closely. 'But it must be remembered that the human body has been coping perfectly well with strange DNA for millions of years. And we also know many people have been eating GM products for years without showing any signs of ill health.'

Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 461
Joined: 25 Dec 2003, 09:58
Location: North America

And now for the good news!

Postby linn » 10 May 2007, 21:34

No ORGANIC Bee losses
2007 05 06

Received from Lancifer |

I am quite involved with many alternative agriculture
groups, and I received this email from a trusted might want to check it out for your news

"Sharon Labchuk is a longtime environmental activist and part-time organic beekeeper from Prince Edward Island. She has twice run for a seat in Ottawa's House of Commons, making strong showings around 5% for Canada's fledgling Green Party. She is also leader of the provincial wing of her party. In a widely circulated email, she wrote:

I'm on an organic beekeeping list of about 1,000 people, mostly Americans, and no one in the organic beekeeping world, including commercial beekeepers, is reporting colony collapse on this list. The problem with the big commercial guys is that they put pesticides in their hives to fumigate for varroa mites, and they feed antibiotics to the bees. They also haul the hives by truck all over the place to make more money with pollination services, which stresses the colonies.

Her email recommends a visit to the Bush Bees Web site at Here, Michael Bush felt compelled to put a message to the beekeeping world right on the top page:

Most of us beekeepers are fighting with the Varroa mites. I'm happy to say my biggest problems are things like trying to get nucs through the winter and coming up with hives that won't hurt my back from lifting or better ways to feed the bees.

This change from fighting the mites is mostly because I've gone to natural sized cells. In case you weren't aware, and I wasn't for a long time, the foundation in common usage results in much larger bees than what you would find in a natural hive. I've measured sections of natural worker brood comb that are 4.6mm in diameter. What most people use for worker brood is foundation that is 5.4mm in diameter. If you translate that into three dimensions instead of one, it produces a bee that is about half as large again as is natural. By letting the bees build natural sized cells, I have virtually eliminated my Varroa and Tracheal mite problems. One cause of this is shorter capping times by one day, and shorter post-capping times by one day. This means less Varroa get into the cells, and less Varroa reproduce in the cells.

Who should be surprised that the major media reports forget to tell us that the dying bees are actually hyper-bred varieties that we coax into a larger than normal body size? It sounds just like the beef industry. And, have we here a solution to the vanishing bee problem? Is it one that the CCD Working Group, or indeed, the scientific world at large, will support? Will media coverage affect government action in dealing with this issue?

These are important questions to ask. It is not an uncommonly held opinion that, although this new pattern of bee colony collapse seems to have struck from out of the blue (which suggests a triggering agent), it is likely that some biological limit in the bees has been crossed. There is no shortage of evidence that we have been fast approaching this limit for some time.

We've been pushing them too hard, Dr. Peter Kevan, an associate professor of environmental biology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, told the CBC. And we're starving them out by feeding them artificially and moving them great distances. Given the stress commercial bees are under, Kevan suggests CCD might be caused by parasitic mites, or long cold winters, or long wet springs, or pesticides, or genetically modified crops. Maybe it's all of the above...

Article Received from Lancifer

Return to “Genetically Modified Food”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest