Zika Virus Pesticides Wiping Out Bees, BioTech Industrial Complex Booming

Continental Americas (TFC) – Honey bee populations, after having dwindled over the last two decades, have just taken a turn for the worst. Pesticides sprayed to kill mosquitoes suspected of carrying Zika virus purged millions of bees from America. Now they’re being considered for the endangered species list, and few are talking about any of it. Not only that, but Zika fear is now fueling a pesticide spouting, water tainting, genetically modified mosquito breeding, corporate biotech industrial complex.

Zika pesticide has been sprayed across several states, including South Carolina and Florida, over the last month or so. The pesticide, called Naled, is being used to kill a specific species of mosquito which carries the virus. Similar poisons have been used in South America, where the virus is spreading.

The scare began shortly after worries over an Ebola outbreak in West Africa traveling to America simmered out. Zika virus reputedly affects unborn babies, causing defects like microcephaly–which is a deformation in head size. While some Brazilian researchers recently linked Zika to other defects, others are more skeptical.

Another study released by Argentinian group Physicians in the Crop Sprayed Towns (PCST) suggested local health issues were actually pesticide-caused. The toxin used in Brazil, called pyriproxyfen, EcoWatch reports, is actually produced by everyone’s favorite agra-giant, Monsanto.

Commercially, the pesticide is known as SumiLarv, and was introduced in Brazilian drinking water in areas with high populations of Aedes aegypti, the Zika carrying mosquito species. PCST described the “malformations detected in thousands of children” as “not a coincidence”, since the government added Monsanto’s product to drinking water.

“The Ministry Of Health places a direct blame on Zika virus for this damage,” PCST’s analysis states, “while trying to ignore its responsibility and ruling out the hypothesis of direct cumulative chemical damage caused by years of endocrine and immunological disruption.”

Toxins associated with GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) agriculture–which Monsanto all but monopolizes–have also been found in human blood. The company financed the creation of crops which produced Bt toxin, a known endocrine disruptor like pyriproxyfen. Bt has also been detected in mothers’ breast milk across America, with little consideration from the company as to the damage it may cause to the next generation.

PCST’s analysis also stated “previous Zika epidemics did not cause birth defects in newborns, despite affecting 75% of the populations of those countries.” According to EcoWatch, 3,177 Zika cases have been diagnosed in Colombia with all women conceiving healthy babes. None of this has stopped toxin-centric measures against the virus from creeping up the continent, and then hopping the border.

When it came to Florida, protests were swiftly organized by environmental activists and concerned citizens. According to the New York Times, activists even began collecting health complaints attributed to the spraying. Those included headaches, rashes, and nausea, while also killing bees and pond dwelling koi fish. Due to this, protesters demand that spraying cease so as to better determine if conventional methods can bring down the Aedes aegypti population.

Shortly after spraying began, reports of dozens of birds dying simultaneously circulated on social media. According to the Guardian, Forty-seven  birds of the same species–Grackles–rained down as distraught Boston, Massachusetts residents gawked in horror. Thirty-two died despite efforts by animal rescue, but the rest survived. It’s still unknown exactly what caused the chilling carnage, but investigations are reputedly underway.

Commenters on social media suggested Zika-associated pesticides were responsible but this is unsubstantiated. No information has been released regarding the potential for Zika pesticide to drift into non-targeted areas. This has been a key issue with pesticide heavy GMO agriculture, and hasn’t been effectively remedied by corporations or government.

A British biotech company, Oxitec, has even proposed releasing genetically modified mosquitoes into the Florida Keys. Company representatives spoke before the International Congress of Entomologists recently in a bid to get their bugs passed.

The mutant counter-op works by inserting GM mosquitoes into Florida and allowing them to mate with Aedes aegypti females. Any offspring die before adulthood, ultimately reducing the overall population. Several kinks in the plan exist, including the mutant’s need for an antibiotic used by Oxitec to keep them alive in captivity.

Image Source: Day Donaldson, Flickr, Creative Commons America Has The Right Type Of Mosquito For The Zika Virus - Yale Epidemiologist

Image Source: Day Donaldson, Flickr, Creative Commons
America Has The Right Type Of Mosquito For The Zika Virus – Yale Epidemiologist

The company also assumes the mosquitoes, which are the same species as the Zika carriers, won’t mate with other species. This is based on the species’ tendency to not hybridize, though testing for this has yet to be presented. Little information also exists on whether the genetically modified Aedes aegypti can carry and transmit Zika. Regardless, the company’s stock continues to increase in value as publicity propels it into limelight.

Oxitec claims it produced a 90% reduction of the Aedes aegypti population where their mosquitoes have been tested. In addition to this claim, Oxitec has stated that diseases associated with the species have dropped as well.

Protesters in Florida and elsewhere have been unsuccessful in persuading US officials to halt spraying. One protester demonstrating at the meeting was reputedly escorted out. However, they understand the importance of their fight as there is already one critical bee species which has been proposed for the endangered species list. In fact, Free Thought Project reports, one of the species most affected by the spraying pollinates a third of all US crops. The hard work of bumblebees and their cousins brings $3.5 billion to farms, and all of that’s endangered by Zika pesticide spraying.

Even Oxitec’s mutant solution to the Zika problem represents a volatile element hurling its way into predesignated chaos. Damage wrought by the industrial-scale Biotech complex birthed from the Zika phenomenon is exponentiating weekly. Proponents place a great deal of faith in Oxitec’s bugs, similar to GMO fervor. The consequences of these activities are manifesting already, and are only to become more pronounced. Yesterday it was Miami residents who were resisting the spraying, today it’s the honey bees who are dying. Tomorrow, no one knows–especially the corporations responsible.