«GMO-herbicide» Monsanto is killing bees, the ecologists

© RIA Novosti / Konstantin to Collabourate in photobackpack in the Novgorod region«GMO-herbicide» Monsanto is killing bees, the ecologists© RIA Novosti / Konstantin to Collabourate in Photobacterium to daily updates RIA Science

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. Environmentalists found the first evidence that glyphosate, the main component of the herbicides of the company Monstanto, causing mass deaths of bees and other pollinators. Their findings were presented in the journal PNAS.

«Of course, we cannot write off all the recent epidemic of unexplained mass death of bees to glyphosate. On the other hand, given its widespread use, we really should pay attention to the connection between their deaths and the use of this herbicide,» said Eric Mott (Erick Motta) from the University of Texas at Austin (USA).

A sense of false security

Monsanto company, one of the largest producers of pesticides in the world, has gained prominence in the early 1990s, due to the fact that she began to invest heavily in the development of biotechnology and the production of GMO crops, which she now sells in conjunction with medicines that protect them from weeds and pests.

One of these products, the herbicide RoundUp, has now become the object of sharp criticism from activists and a large part of the scientific community due to the fact that it contains a substance glyphosate, presumably provoking the development of cancer. A year ago, biologists have discovered that this compound gradually accumulates in the body and encouraged to equate it to DDT and to ban its production worldwide.

Glyphosate, as noted by Motta, has long been considered safe for humans and other multicellular living beings, for the reason that it affects the enzyme, which is present in the organism of plants and microbes, but not animals.

Motta and his colleague drew attention to one simple thing, which somehow were forgotten by their colleagues, who studied glyphosate in the past. The intestines of humans and all vertebrates and invertebrates living beings contains a huge number of microbes that are critical for digestion and normal immune function.

Following this idea, the scientists decided to check how to change the work of the intestinal microflora of bees, if they are to pollinate blossoms, covered with approximately the same amount of pesticide Monstanto, which are found on actual plantings of GM crops.

Silent killer

As shown by these experiments, herbicide significantly changed the species composition and number of microbes in the gut of bees already in 3-4 days after contact with him, even in cases when the glyphosate concentration was relatively low.

No signs of the restoration of microflora in the following days and weeks led scientists to test what would happen if the hive will start an epidemic caused by the microbe Serratia marcescens, one of the most dangerous pathogen of bees, whose spores are almost always present in their gut.

The effect of glyphosate easily noticed and Amateur – about half of the bees from the control group did experience a similar outbreak of the disease, whereas only 10% of their relatives exposed to the GMO herbicide, failed to control this disease. Similar epidemics, according to the researchers, needs to occur among wild bees, bumblebees and other pollinators.

Scientists believe that this property of glyphosate may be one of the main reasons why the population of domestic and wild bees began to decline rapidly in the U.S. and neighboring countries in the past few decades.

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