As I prepared for the conference, a few interesting news items on the industry crossed my desk.
* As I’ve written before, Bayer’s neonicotinoid pesticides, which now coat upwards of 90 percent of US corn seeds and seeds of increasing portions of other major crops like soy, have emerged as a likely trigger for colony collapse disorder. Watch this NBC News report
from last week linking bee kills in Minnesota to Bayer’s highly profitable product.
Meanwhile, the Columbus Dispatch reports similar bee die-offs in Ohio farm country, with beekeepers there, too, pointing the finger at Bayer.
* One of my biggest complaints about the agrichemical industry it its market dominance. As I say above, more than 90 percent of corn seeds planted today are treated with Bayer’s pesticide. What if a farmer wants to opt out, to plant seeds free of neonicotinoids? Good luck. According to a Pesticide Action Network press release I received today, farmers in the midwest are complaining that it’s virtually impossible to buy untreated seeds. In other words, farmers there have two choices: either pay up for Bayer’s poison, or exit the corn-growing business.”