LCG: Corn, Bees, and Pesticides

Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)


In his latest commentary, William Williams of the Living Church of God wrote the following:

Corn farmers in recent years have seen a growing demand for their crop, for processing into products as varied as ethanol gasoline and soda pop. Seeking higher yields, many choose to use insecticides—poisons—to “protect” their investments. These two trends have long been a source of controversy among nutritionists and ecologists, and now among biologists concerned about their effect on human and animal life and on our food supply.

Demands for more product stimulate the need for better, “safer” ways to get it. One answer to this dilemma has been the invention of neonicotinoids, insecticides made from nicotine (a highly toxic substance found in tobacco leaves). These newer insecticides are made to avoid certain dangers posed by spray-on chemicals such as DDT. Seeds are treated before planting so that, as the plants grow, they develop with the insecticide agent inside them—including edible parts, and the pollen and nectar of flowering plants. Designed and used by mega-agricultural corporations and major drug companies around the world, neonicotinoids have quickly become industry standard.

Bolstering the plants’ natural defenses this way seems logical, and neonicotinoids supposedly have little effect on “non-target” species. However, in addition to the damage that such chemicals could do to human beings, the treated plants are not just affecting pests, but also the honeybees and other pollinators that come into contact with them.

According a recent article published by the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology journal, the use of neonicotinoids since the mid-1990s has been connected with the sudden increase of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a phenomenon drastically affecting beehives worldwide (ABC News, “Honeybee Deaths Linked to Corn Insecticides”). These results have been especially linked to mass corn planting: “Beekeepers immediately observed an increase in die-offs right around the time of corn planting using this particular kind of insecticide” (ibid.). Neonicotinoids have become increasingly banned in European countries, especially after incidents involving their improper release in Germany in 2008 caused an immediate, significant drop in local honeybee populations (IO9, “Do People Know Perfectly Well What’s Killing Bees?”). A recently leaked memo from the EPA even contains admissions that such chemicals are a likely cause (Wired Science, “Leaked Memo Shows EPA Doubts About Bee-Killing Pesticide”). However, clothianidin and other neonicotinoids are still widely used in the U.S.

Honeybees and other pollinators have a big impact on earth’s ecosystems, and human food supply. Domesticated bees alone account for almost 15 billion dollars of annual revenue in the agricultural industry, and one in every three bites of food we eat today has been made possible by pollination (USDA Agricultural Research Service, “Colony Collapse Disorder: a Complex Buzz”). Although some researchers downplay the possibility that neonicotinoids are the primary cause of CCD, other evidence has pointed strongly to the contrary.

As greedy mankind continues to manipulate nature and “improve” it by unnatural methods, Scripture’s clear instructions are ignored: “You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the Lord your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 25:15-17). Poison is poison, and when those responsible for monopolizing the world’s agricultural production downplay its effects on the environment (and our bodies) they are guilty of “rigging the scales” so that their destructive actions are protected from scrutiny. Meanwhile, the ecosystem that mankind was commanded to “tend and keep” (Genesis 2:15) is systematically being destroyed, and the damage done to God’s special creations, right down to the tiny honeybees going about their critical business, will have unforeseen effects on our environments.

Stewardship of the earth is a gift that has been largely misused. However, God promises to put an abrupt end to the poisonous and profiteering activities of mankind (Malachi 4:1), and to bring a time of restoration (Acts 3:19-21; Ezekiel 47:1-12). Read our free booklet, The World Ahead: What Will It Be Like? or watch “A New World Is Coming” for more insight into God’s coming intervention, and a time when all life will be protected.

Many companies make pesticides and modify seeds while insisting that what they are doing must be safe. Yet, even if they are safe in small quantities, the cumulative affects of substances that are not found in nature (and/or not found in concentrated forms) are simply not tested well enough to be sure that they cannot cause any problem. Human “short-cuts” may thus be hurting the bee population as well as the corn supply–and that would not be good.

Why be so concerned about bees? Because bees are necessary for the pollenization of many plants that humans eat. Wikipedia states:

It is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees, especially the domesticated European honey bee.

One third of human food possibly being dependent upon bees is a significant percentage. Losing half the bees could be devastating.

Corn is one of the most important crops produced in the USA and some other lands.  Corn that has been genetically-modified to resist the corn rootworm was found last summer to be susceptible now to changed versions of it (see Pestilence Issues and Genetically-Modified Corn).  The USA and others are taking major risks for their food supply that is exceedingly dangerous.

If pesticides and other human attempts to force changes in the food supply are starting to kill honey bees and put the corn supply at risk, presuming this trend continues to increase, the food supply could greatly decrease.

Jesus warned that one of the “signs” of the end of the age would be famine:

7…And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:6-8)

We seem to be in the time Jesus called “the beginning of sorrows.”

Between the widespread and growing use of genetically modified (GMO) “foods,” pesticides, herbicides, and synthesized sweeteners, countries like the USA are putting themselves at risk for the famines which are certain to come. Losing bees perhaps should be a sign that things are beginning to worsen.

As Jesus said:

37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch! (Mark 13:36-37)

Three articles of related interest may include:

Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2012, 2013, or 2014? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What happens in the “beginning of sorrows”? What is the Day of the Lord?
Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilence? What will it bring and when?

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