Deadly parasite turns Bay Area honeybees into zombie slaves
By Lisa M. Krieger
Bay Area News Group
Posted: 01/03/2012 05:30:38 PM PST
Updated: 01/04/2012 08:39:16 AM PST
San Francisco biologists have made a macabre discovery that might help explain the mysterious crash of honeybee populations: zombie-inducing parasites.
Infected bees go mad, abandoning their hive in a suicidal rush toward bright lights, according to a new study by San Francisco State University researchers.
“It’s the flight of the living dead,” said lead investigator and biology professor John Hafernick, also president of the California Academy of Sciences.
The parasite, a tiny fly, has been found in bees from three-quarters of the 31 surveyed hives in the Bay Area, including in San Rafael, Mill Valley and Larkspur.
In a plot line similar to a George Romero horror film, the fly deposits its eggs into the bee’s abdomen, then takes over. The hapless bees walk around in circles, with no apparent sense of direction. Some are unable to even stand on their legs.
“They kept stretching them out and then falling over,” Hafernick said. “It really painted a picture of something like a zombie.”
The bees’ demise may contribute to what’s known as “Colony Collapse Disorder,” a phenomenon of failing honeybee hives around the United States — and a great concern in the agricultural community, which depends on these pollinators.
Despite six years of intense research, scientists have been unable to find a single reason for colony collapse. Increasingly, they suspect that several factors, including viruses and fungus, may be to blame.
“This is one more piece in the puzzle,” said researcher and SFSU graduate student Jonathan Ivers. “But no one has come up with a coherent picture of what the puzzle even looks like.”
The stakes are high, because honeybees are the primary pollinator of most nuts, vegetables and fruits. California’s $1 billion-a-year almond business, for instance, is entirely dependent on the honey bees.
“The agricultural economy of California would be devastated if honey bees disappeared,” Ivers said.
This creepy parasitic parable started in an unlikely place: a desk at SFSU. Three years ago, Hafernick returned from a field trip with a hungry praying mantis, so he scrounged for insects for it to eat. He found some bees under the light fixtures outside his classroom at Hensill Hall, and stuck them in a vial.
“But being an absent-minded professor,” he joked, “I left them in a vial on my desk and forgot about them.”
When he looked at the vial again — a week or so later — there was a startling sight: the dead bees were surrounded by small brown fly pupae.
“I knew that was unusual,” he said. “I knew that a parasitic fly was feeding on them.”
The fly’s identity — Apocephalus borealis — was revealed through a DNA test. The same fly is known to infect wasps and bumblebees.
Ivers and fellow grad student Andrew Core gained permission from Bay Area beekeepers to set up traps at the hives, then caught 20 to 50 so-called “worker bees” en route to find food.
The parasitic flies even engage in mind control. Somehow they’re able to hijack the bee’s normal daytime behavior, turning it into a nocturnal creature. Seven days after death, little larvae emerge from the bee.
The casualties are hard on a hive in two different ways. Not only does it lose important workers — but when these foragers are gone, younger bees inside the hive are forced to take their place. The entire labor structure of the hive goes awry.
“As you lose more and more workers, there’s a tipping point, which could lead to collapse,” he said.
Bees from the infected hives are often infected with a virus and a fungus — suggesting the fly might be a vector for these pathogens.
There are other gruesome examples in the insect world of exploitation.
An Asian wasp stings a cockroach in the brain, and injects venom that controls where the roach walks. Then it lays its egg on the roach and its larvae eat it alive.
And there’s an Amazonian nematode that, once inside an ant, turns the insect’s abdomen the same bright hue as a tasty berry. The ant is eaten by birds, who spread baby nematodes through their poop.
While SFSU researchers are far from discovering a treatment for bees, the next step is to expand their geographic search for infected hives.
Already, Hafernick has noticed a colony in the walls of his San Francisco house. “At night, they bounce against the windows while my wife and I are at the dinner table,” he said brightly.
And they’ll deploy a range of identification tools to better understand the freeloading fly. Next spring, they will glue tiny radio-frequency devices — smaller than the head of a pin — to the backs of bees, then track their travels. Once sick, do they re-enter the hive, infecting others?
“We don’t know how big a player this is” in collapsing colonies, he said. “It could be a really important one.”
Bees – for some reason – seem to fascinate many of us. Perhaps it’s their social structure: the queen, the workers, the drones, producing honey and baby bees and living their short lives in a super-organized way that would be the envy of any business. Like many an enterprise today, they even have guards outside the hives to sound the alarm if things get out of hand.
So when five years ago the world learned that bees in America and Canada were dying in large numbers, and hives were becoming defunct, the agricultural community and the beekeepers and just plain people became alarmed. Hives were deserted, the bees gone, presumably dead, honey production stopped, and the bee industry crippled.
The problem was called Colony Collapse Disorder, and it threatened California’s very profitable almond industry, which is dependent on bees to pollinate the trees and keep the nuts growing. And not just almonds: 130 crops in California alone depend on honey bees. Beekeepers from around the nation load their hives on trucks and bring them to California and rent them out to growers. As the disease, or whatever it is, spread, the price of renting ever-more-scarce bees went up.
Honey bee hive at UC Davis
Once the news media started reporting heavily on the plight of the bees and the beekeepers, interest soared. Researchers at universities around the country started looking into the problem; money was donated to figure out what was killing the bees. Stories appeared frequently about the scientific efforts to figure out what was causing Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and what would cure it. With all that attention you’d think they would have solved the problem.
But what the scientists have discovered is that they really don’t know very much about bees. They don’t have a baseline of what goes on on the microscopic level in the hives. What viruses already exist in healthy colonies? You’ve got know that before you can start to understand if a virus is normal or abnormal and may be killing bees. Scientists like Joe DeRisi at the University of California San Francisco say they’ve made great strides, even though they haven’t found a culprit.
DeRisi: “I think there’s been tremendous progress. One of the frustrating things with CCD is it doesn’t look like there’s any one single agent or culprit that you can point the finger to that’s causing all of these problems. It looks to be a confluence of things that is several different pathogens or situations or environmental conditions that are coming together to cause losses that are more than would be expected. And that’s what’s frustrating people. What has occurred because of the interest in honeybees and because of the large losses caused by CCD is people like myself and other researchers around the country applying new techniques and tools to honeybees which they normally would not have done so, and so we’ve learned an incredible amount about the ecosystem in the bee and around the bee. And what we now know is that there’s a whole host of pathogens no one knew anything about and that certain combinations of these appear to be associated with higher losses than would otherwise be expected during the season. “
DeRisi’s lab discovered four new viruses that exist in healthy hives they never knew existed before. But that didn’t solve the problem at hand.
The disease remains a serious threat, with about a third of all bee colonies affected, and no cure in sight. But many among the other two-thirds of the beekeeping community think they have it under control, because their hives are doing well. They claim they take better care of their bees, feed them better, and use various medicines and techniques to keep the hives healthy.
One technique some beekeepers swear by is splitting the hives every year or even more frequently. That means taking half the bees out, getting a new queen (you can buy queens!), and making two hives out of one.Eric Mussen, a university extension bee specialist at the University of California at Davis, thinks splitting works – up to a point:
Mussen: “When you make these splits, you more or less take the pathogen load, all the problems, you kind of split it in half and then you’ve got these little colonies that have to build up really quickly and when that happens frequently they can outrun some of the parasites. They can outrun some of the disease problems for awhile, so those colonies get up and they make it and they’re, they’re good for a season. Okay, had you not split it, it seems like in many cases the microbes and the parasites become overwhelming and the colony dies, so my terminology is starting from packages, making splits, if you could keep your colonies forever young it looks like that’s a, a way that helps deal with the problem. Nothing’s perfect.
Q: Why hasn’t that completely eradicated this problem then? Why isn’t everybody splitting?
Mussen: Well, a number of people are splitting, either by default or some by design. They’ve, they’re now understanding what the problem is and, and how this helps. But the problem is that I think some of the equipment has or whatever the CCD problem is, is kind of innate in the equipment and so it really doesn’t matter what bees you put in and how you deal with them, it’s always right there, right on the edge ready to create a real problem. So you do the best that you can to try to just stay a little bit ahead of that.”
The research goes on – and so does pollination. The almond industry is surviving, and in fact, thriving. Last year was the largest crop ever. The crisis mentality seems to have passed, but the problem remains. While beekeepers are used to cycles where their bees die off, and then come back, Colony Collapse Disorder seems to be more persistent than previous die-offs, and shows little sign of abatement. While it hasn’t been decoded nor cured, it has focused attention on a unique part of agriculture that seems to need the attention. And that’s not honey-coating the progress that has been made.
S.1310: Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 2011, introduced at the end of June by U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) is, using Byron J. Richards’ words, “an alarming regulatory nightmare that is trying to treat vitamins as if they are drugs.”
Its stated purpose is to:
“… improve the safety of dietary supplements by amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require manufacturers of dietary supplements to register dietary supplement products with the Food and Drug Administration and to amend labeling requirements with respect to dietary supplements.”
As is typical of most diabolical laws, it initially sounds harmless enough. But there’s more. Durbin’s bill goes hand-in-hand with new FDA regulations that amend the definitions for new dietary ingredients (NDI’s), and together, they can threaten your health and freedom of choice, and further serve to strengthen the fatally flawed paradigm of health and medicine.
We’ve seen proposed legislation that sorely threatens your health and well-being before, but this time they’re really trying to hit the alternative health field, and your right to take control of your own life, hard.
For comparison, look at the latest statistics available from the U.S. National Poison Data System, which covers acute poisonings. In 2007, 1,597 people reportedly died from drugs. Meanwhile there was not one single fatality caused by a vitamin or dietary mineral supplement that year. Yet, Durbin and the FDA want you to think that they’re just acting in your best interest. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Up to this point, the FDA has had to prove a supplement unsafe in order to take action against it, but now they want the supplement industry to prove the safety of what in many cases amount to food, before they can reach the market.
Why add an extremely costly testing and approval process for compounds that are inherently safe? Well, an obvious side effect of these proposed regulations will be the elimination of small and medium sized companies, which in turn will drive up costs while at the same time reduce your access to historically safe nutritional products. The end result is that fewer people will use supplements to improve their health; driving them back into the extremely profitable fold of conventional medicine and drugs.
“The elimination of health options is required for the control of a population, while the preservation of health freedom is a leading indicator of the overall freedom within a society… [T]he control of health options is as important as the control of food and money.
… Big Pharma influences Republicans by aligning itself as a corporate conglomerate that is too big to fail, one that should be free of prudent safety regulations or reduction in grotesquely inflated prices. It fights against drug safety at every turn, while at the same time lobbying to pass laws that lock in sales or eliminate its competition.
The media plays along, as Big Pharma is a wonderful source of advertising dollars that are in no small part made possible by taxpayer funding of Big Pharma drug sales. While Big Pharma sees many aspects of the dietary supplement industry as competition, it is also the case that many pharmaceutical companies are in some aspect of the dietary supplement industry, often as raw material suppliers.
Big Pharma does not want to see the dietary supplement industry eliminated, it wants to see the small and medium sized independent businesses in the dietary supplement industry eliminated and it wants to own the industry. Their key strategy to accomplish this at this time is to lobby to pass costly laws and regulations which they can comply to and which other smaller, independent companies cannot. “
The Second Part of an Orchestrated Attack
Back in the early 1990s, the FDA threatened the availability of dietary supplements to the point that consumers staged a massive revolt, which resulted in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). The law specifically protects your access to dietary supplements by classifying them as foods, not food additives or drugs, and it grand-fathered in dietary supplements that were already in use as of 1994. Only novel ingredients introduced after October 15, 1994 are required to seek FDA approval.
Now, along with Durbin’s bill, the FDA has concocted new proposed mandates regarding the definition of a New Dietary Ingredient , known as NDI, that can be retroactively applied to products already on the market.
“It is important to understand that this is a Durbin effort to ruin the dietary supplement industry, using both newly proposed legislation (S.1310) and retroactively redefining the DSHEA law through new FDA regulations to reflect what is being proposed in S.1310 – undermining the clear intent of the DSHEA law.
the Federal Government should not take any actions to impose unreasonable regulatory barriers limiting or slowing the flow of safe products and accurate information to consumers;
dietary supplements are safe within a broad range of intake, and safety problems with the supplements are relatively rare;
and legislative action that protects the right of access of consumers to safe dietary supplements is necessary in order to promote wellness
The proposed mandates directly contradict what DSHEA sought to prevent, and the FDA is using its authority in direct violation of Congressional intent. As explained in an article by Alliance for Health, the proposed regulations turn what was clearly supposed to be a pre-market notification system into a pre-approval system, just like that of drugs. As a result, dietary supplements that have been freely available for nearly two decades can be forced off the market until they receive NDI approval. And the NDI approval process is a lengthy affair that may take months or years to complete, and cost a small fortune.
What might make an “old” ingredient “new,” under the new regulation?
The methods of production and extraction, for example… As bizarre as that sounds, the mere fact that a product is being extracted or produced by improved means compared to methods used in the past, could reclassify any grandfathered nutrient as an NDI that would now have to undergo the same type of safety testing and approval process as a drug.
Ridiculously Excessive Safety Testing Would be Required Under New Rules
If the FDA and Durbin get their way, once a supplement is taken off the market pending approval as an NDI, the manufacturer would have to conduct outrageously expensive studies using abnormally high doses—in some situations multiplied by a “safety factor” up to 2,000-times the recommended dosage on a per product basis. In fact, some of the safety thresholds are in excess of those required by pharmaceutical drugsdespite studies showing supplements are FAR safer than drugs!
An estimated 106,000 hospitalized patients die each year from drugs that, by medical standards, are properly prescribed and administered, and two million more suffer serious side effects. How does the safety of supplements compare?
In 2001, 84.6 percent of all substances implicated in fatal poisonings were pharmaceutical drugs, according to that year’s American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) report. This compares with 0.8 percent for all dietary supplements combined, even including substances such as dinitrophenol, a dangerous (and illegal) substance banned in 1938, as well as the central nervous system stimulant Ma Huang (Ephedra).
ONE drug alone, the anti-asthma drug theophylline, which was responsible for 15 deaths that year, amounted to 66 percent more than all the available dietary supplements combined.
Now, since dietary supplements are not patented drugs with outrageous profit margins, very few supplement makers will be able to afford the required safety studies, which could run in the millions of dollars per ingredient! Furthermore, the manufacturer is not the only one that would have to seek approval—every distributor that wants to use the NDI would have to file a separate NDI application.
Get Involved NOW!
Folks, this is not the time to doze off on the sidelines. Durbin’s bill and the FDA proposed mandates for NDI’s are a poorly veiled attempt to usurp your rights and health freedom. As Richards writes:
“This chess game is being played with a pathetic opening strategy based on imaginary safety problems. The gambit requires an ignorant public for its success.“
It’s time to prove them wrong yet again, just like we did back in 1994. The open comment period on the FDA’s proposed guidelines expires on September 30, 2011. It’s vitally important for everyone to file a written protest and not allow them to rewrite the intent of the DSHEA law. Durbin’s bill and the FDA proposal pose a direct threat to your health and longevity, so please, step up and defend your right to continue using supplements and to gain access to new natural ingredients with demonstrated efficacy by following the steps outlined below:
Write to your State Senators and tell them to beware of S.1310 and to vote NO on it.
Send a letter to your Representative and two Senators demanding the FDA immediately withdraw their oppressive proposed guidelines pending rationale discussions with those who depend on dietary supplements to protect their health and livelihood. You can do this easily by logging into www.lef.org/lac, or use the sample letter below.
Empower yourself today. Recall how Consumers revolted back in 1994 and the result was a glorious victory over FDA tyranny!
Let your voice be heard by logging on to www.lef.org/lac today and exercising your right to petition the government against these serious violations of the law and scientific principle.
SAMPLE FDA PETITION:
PLEASE NOTE, it is best if you customize or change the letter below to state your specific concerns and beliefs as it will be better. If you are unable to then you can send the one below but it will work MUCH better if you can customize it.
TO: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements
Food and Drug Administration
5100 Paint Branch Pkwy.HFS-009
College Park, MD 20740-3835
Fax: (301) 443-9767
On July 11, 2011, President Obama issued an Executive Order that requires the FDA to:
Make regulatory decisions only after consideration of their costs and benefits (both quantitative and qualitative).
Review significant regulations to make sure they are not excessively burdensome.
Develop and release to the public a plan within 120 days under which the FDA will periodically review its existing significant regulations to determine whether any such regulations should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed so as to make the agency’s regulatory program more effective or less burdensome in achieving the regulatory objectives.
I am petitioning the FDA regarding your draft guidance on New Dietary Ingredient notifications for dietary supplements (known as Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues).
I demand that you immediately disregard all the proposals you outlined and instead consider a rationale and scientific approach to regulating new dietary ingredients that will be submitted to you by the Alliance for Natural Health within the next 180 days.
Your proposed guidelines on New Dietary Ingredients will cause the price of my supplements to skyrocket and some of these life-sustaining supplements are likely to disappear altogether.
This is not acceptable, especially when there are no significant reports of adverse reactions to the supplements you plan to ban.
In as much as your threat to ban my access to new dietary ingredients is causing me great anxiety which is injurious to my health, I insist that you immediately put your proposed new rules on hold for a 180 day period so that the Alliance for Natural Health can draft guidelines that will protect me against unsafe ingredients without destroying my access to low cost effective nutrients.
The Honorable ______________________, Washington, DC
In direct violation of the law, the FDA is threatening to ban my access to new dietary supplements.
The FDA defines dietary supplements as being “new” if they were introduced after October 15, 1994. That means that nutrients that I have been safely using over the course of three decades will be subject to FDA’s oppressive policies that mandate costly animal testing, which translates into forced withdrawal from the market, and higher prices for me if the supplement is ever allowed to be sold again.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 states that:
“The Federal Government should not take any actions to impose unreasonable regulatory barriers limiting or slowing the flow of safe products and accurate information to consumers.”
It says that Congress finds that:
“dietary supplements are safe within a broad range of intake, and safety problems with the supplements are relatively rare.”
And it says that:
“legislative action that protects the right of access of consumers to safe dietary supplements is necessary in order to promote wellness.”
This draft guidance does the exact opposite of what Congress intended. It imposes unreasonable barriers that limit and slow the flow of safe products and accurate information to consumers. I call upon Congress to:
Uphold the landmark legislation it passed seventeen years ago, and to direct the FDA to revise its New Dietary Ingredient draft guidelines to reflect DSHEA’s (and Congress’s) stated values and goals.
Vote against the newly introduced Dietary Supplement Labeling Act as this would give the FDA even greater arbitrary powers to remove safe dietary supplements from the market, which will a profoundly adverse impact on this nation’s health.
All of these proposals results in wasteful federal spending, while imposing a massive new “regulatory tax” on consumers and the vitamin industry.
Kindly let me know what actions you are taking in response to the urgent issues raised in this letter.
Below is a sample letter that you can use to select one or more of the 19 listed requests for records, or create your own individual request. You can then copy, edit, print, and send this to the FDA at the address on the letter. Please note that you are committing to paying a $25.00 charge if FDA agrees to respond to your request. The more records you request, the greater the FDA fees are likely to be. If you choose to file a Freedom of Information Act request, please read this letter carefully.
Food and Drug Administration
Division of Freedom of Information
Office of Shared Services
Office of Public Information and Library Services
12420 Parklawn Drive
Rockville, MD 20857
Re: Freedom of Information Act Request
Dear FOIA staff:
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. §552, we wish to have copies at the earliest possible time, of any and all public records in the custody of the Food and Drug Administration that relate to the “Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues” released in July 2011.
I specifically request:
All records relating to the expenditure of time and money by FDA personnel (and outside consultants) in researching, drafting and promulgating the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to communication of FDA personnel with pharmaceutical company representatives (including lobbyists) that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to communication of FDA personnel with any member of Congress or Congress as a whole that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to communication of FDA personnel with any member of private industry that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to communication of FDA personnel with any scientific advisory committee, scientific advisory board, or individual scientist that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to communication of FDA personnel with FDA’ General Counsel’s office, or outside legal counsel that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to FDA’s evaluation of safety issues relating to new dietary ingredients that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to FDA’s decision to impose barriers that limit the ability of consumers to access new dietary ingredients that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to communication of FDA personnel with other FDA personal that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to communication of FDA personnel with personal from the Department of Health and Human Services that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to communication of FDA personnel with personal from the U.S. Treasury Department that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to the cost benefit analysis performed by FDA or outside consultants that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to financial estimates made by FDA personnel or outside consultants relating to the cost to the FDA of administering the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to financial estimates made by FDA personnel or outside consultants relating to the cost burden of the dietary supplement industry in complying with the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to what human and other resources within the FDA would be utilized to oversee and administer the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to what human and other resources within the FDA would be moved or transferred from other positions within the FDA in order to oversee and administer the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to communication of FDA personnel with the Department of Justice that in any way relate to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to the steps taken by the FDA to ensure the Administrative Procedures Act was fully complied with as it relates to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
All records relating to the steps taken by the FDA to ensure that provisions in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 was fully adhered to as it relates to the Draft Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues.
I agree to pay any and all expenses up to $25.00 related to this request. If you anticipate that the nature or volume of the records requested is such as to require extensive use of information technology, resources, or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance by personnel of the Food and Drug Administration, and such expenses would exceed $25.00, I would appreciate being advised thereof in advance of the assembly of those records and the estimated charge in excess of $25.00, if any, for doing so.
If the FDA asserts an exemption from Public Records Act disclosure of any records falling within the scope of the above request, we request that it include in the records inspected, or otherwise make available to us as soon as possible and in no event no later than the date of the initial production of the records, a reasonable description of the nature of the records for which an exemption or exemptions are claimed and the statutory or other legal bases under any such exemption is claimed.
I would appreciate your contacting me, at ___________ at the earliest possible time to advise us of when the FDA will make the requested copies available.
Please call if you have any questions regarding this request.
From the Rawesome Foods raid in Venice, California, this video is from the day of the raid and reveals how the government terrorists poured all the raw milk down the drain! Video courtesy of RealFoodRights.com
Massive public protest announced against government-sponsored terrorism of Rawesome Foods in California
(NaturalNews) As promised, a massive public protest is now being announced to give the members of the public an opportunity to voice their outrage against today’s arrest of three raw foods advocates who are all being charged with conspiracy.
The protest will be held at the LA County Courthouse located at:
210 West Temple, Division 30
Arrive there at 7:45 am to join the protest, which needs to be in full swing early, because the court hearing for James is scheduled at 8:30.
Please keep your protests non-violent in nature and bring your signs, shirts and more. LA newspapers and media have already indicated they will be on scene. NaturalNews video journalists will also be on the scene filming whatever goes down. Videos will be posted on www.NaturalNews.TV
Bring your own cameras, too, and record your own photos and videos. Please post on NaturalNews.TV and we will likely link to your video in upcoming coverage of this event.
We apologize for the very short notice of this public protest, but we are publishing details about this story as quickly as we can. The story is breaking big and has already reached millions of listeners on the Alex Jones Show (www.InfoWars.com) and millions of readers through the Drudge Report (www.DrudgeReport.com), which has linked to NaturalNews as the breaking news source for this story.
Once the mainstream media starts covering this story, they will twist it around and LIE about it as they always do. NPR already did a hatchet job on this group following a previous raid. Only independent media (like NaturalNews) can be trusted to bring you the honest story on this without some corporate or government agenda.
There are already misinformed accusations that Rawesome Foods was not licensed as a retail business. But that’s incorrect information: Rawesome Foods is a private buying club and not a retail business that’s open to the general public. People can’t just walk in off the street and shop there like a regular grocery store. Thus, Rawesome does not have to be licensed like a regular grocery store. They are a private buyer’s club.
What went down in Venice, California today was clearly an act of government-sponsored terrorism against innocent citizens who are only “guilty” of selling healthful foods that are in huge demand by happy, healthy members (customers). That the selling of healthful raw milk cannot even be tolerated by the thuggish, corrupt government criminals who run the state of California (and the federal government) today is a powerful statement of just how much freedom we’ve already lost… and how hard we’re all going to have to fight back against tyranny to restore our basic food freedoms.
Watch NaturalNews for more developments on this story, and thank you for spreading the word about this latest assault on food freedom in America.
It has been reported this morning (August 3rd, 2011), that raw milk farm “Rawesome” in Venice, California has been raided once again by members of the SWAT team. With guns drawn, two of the owners arrested, and over $10,000 worth of raw milk dumped out, the freedoms of Americans are diminishing. There is, however, something we can do about it.
Rawesome Raid – Based on Public Health?
The excuse given for these absurd raids (that honestly casts embarrassment over the police force) is that raw milk is a health threat that causes listeria, e. coli disease and death. This certainly can be true for raw milk — but only if you are drinking raw milk from animals that are being raised in inhumane and poor conditions.
The actual excuse for the arrests and the raids have not yet been officially stated. Stay tuned for that news.
Clean, fresh raw milk from grass fed, free ranging animals, however, does not need to be pasteurized. Milk you purchase from a traditional grocery store does require pasteurization, as the farmers who raise these cows raise them in poor, dirty and sanitation conditions. Pasteurization is the answer for man’s dirty mistakes! Nature does not need to be cleaned, and man does not know more than nature.
Raw Milk Proven Safer than Other Commonly Sold Foods
Recent data from researcher Dr. Ted Beals, M.D., shows that between 1999 through 2010 illnesses resulting in raw milk consumption totaled to around462, which is about 42 illnesses per year.Out of the 47.8 million food borne illnesses each year from foods such as raw meat (which is readily available at every grocery store), peanut butter and spinach, it is very curious as to why raw milk is targeted so violently.
Up to 2011, it is estimated that close to 10 million individuals drink raw milk as its popularity rises. More and more individuals are starting to realize and wake up to the fact that are rights as citizens, when it comes to what we consume or inject in our bodies, are slowly being taken away.
We are supposed to be free. We are supposed to be able to make informed decisions on our health. With the majority of the population overweight, diabetic and prediabetic, shouldn’t we focus more attention on the foods that are actually threatening the health of the American population? Shouldn’t we be performing raids on sugary cereals that surpress immune function and accelerate cancer growth, learning disorders and blood sugar instability?
Breaking news: Multi-agency armed raid hits Rawesome Foods, Healthy Family Farms for selling raw milk and cheese
(NaturalNews) This is a NaturalNews exclusive breaking new report. Please credit NaturalNews.com. A multi-agency SWAT-style armed raid was conducted this morning by helmet-wearing, gun-carrying enforcement agents from the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the FDA, the Dept. of Agriculture and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).
This story is now being followed and widely reported on InfoWars (www.InfoWars.com) and the Drudge Report (www.DrudgeReport.com). See updates below…
Rawesome Foods, a private buying club offering wholesome, natural raw milk and raw cheese products (among other wholesome foods) is founded by James Stewart, a pioneer in bringing wholesome raw foods directly to consumers through a buying club. James was followed from his private residence by law enforcement, and when he entered his store, the raid was launched.
Law enforcement demanded that all customers (members) of the store vacate the premises, then they demanded to know how much cash James had at the store. When James explained the amount of cash he had at the store — which is used to purchase product for selling there — agents demanded to know why he had such an amount of cash and where it came from.
James was handcuffed, was never read his rights and was stuffed into an unmarked car. While agents said they would leave behind a warrant, no one has yet had any opportunity to even see if such a warrant exists or if it is a complete warrant.
Law enforcement then proceeded to destroy the inventory of the story by pouring the milk down the drain and / or confiscating raw cheese and fresh produce for destruction. Video now posted at NaturalNews.TV: http://www.naturalnews.tv/v.asp?v=A…
Note to NaturalNews readers: We believe this was an ILLEGAL raid being conducted mob-style by government thugs who respect no law and no rights. This is an all-out war by the government against people who try to promote healthy raw and living foods.
James is now being held at the Pacific division police department at Centinela and Culver in Los Angeles. He is being held at $123,000 bail with no possibility of using bail bonds. Law enforcement has demanded that if he comes up with the money to cover bail, he must disclose to them all the sources of that money. (This is an illegal demand!)
Massive public protests are needed to teach these criminal law enforcement agencies that they cannot illegally arrest and persecute individuals merely for buying and selling raw milk and cheese. We are organizing a public protest day in cooperation with James. Please watch NaturalNews for an announcement of that. Story is developing…
Right now, James needs help raising money with his legal defense needs. Our non-profit Consumer Wellness Center is currently serving as the collection point for donations. You may donate right now at www.ConsumerWellness.org (100% of the donations go directly to James’ legal defense needs, the Consumer Wellness Center keeps nothing).
See this video of James Stewart talking about his farm:
Story on InfoWars.com:
Here’s background on Healthy Family Farms which was also targeted in the raid:
Healthy Family Farms in Santa Paula, California:
“Healthy Family Farms is a sustainable, pasture-based farming operation. We raise all our livestock on pasture. We raise all of our animals from birth. We do not feed any of our animals soy, choosing instead to feed animals as they are designed to be fed. This results in healthy, sturdy animals needing no hormones, antibiotics, or other artificial “enhancements.” We harvest our animals humanely by hand before they are delivered to the farmers markets. We never freeze our products. In addition to farmer’s markets sales, we have an active CSA, which offers discounts to our valued members.”
Watch NaturalNews.com for more breaking news on this story. We are fed up with these illegal mob-style raids against the raw foods community! It is time to protest and fight back against tyranny!
Rawesome Foods founder to be prosecuted under special environmental crimes unit in LA
(NaturalNews) Details are still sketchy on this, as we’re breaking this news straight from the front lines in the aftermath of the government raid on Rawesome Foods in Venice, California (http://www.naturalnews.com/033220_R…), but NaturalNews is now being told that the LA County District Attorney will not be prosecuting James Stewart and the other “conspirators” who were arrested yesterday for selling raw milk. Instead, a special “environmental crimes” prosecutor will reportedly be prosecuting the case, which now consists of 13 criminal charges, some of which are felony crimes.
NaturalNews has not yet learned the name of this special environmental prosecutor, but the explanation smacks of the new environmental police who have been promoted through various propaganda outlets as being upstanding protect-the-Earth cops who arrest people for burning too much gas or using non-recyclable cups to drink beverages.
The issue of environmental police has been covered extensively by Alex Jones at InfoWars.com, where he refers to them as eco fascists. See this page to read more about how propaganda ads are being used to get people comfortable with the idea that “environmental crimes” should result in police slamming your face into the ground and handcuffing you:
Far from being a campaign merely to protect the Earth (which would be great if it were true), the new “green police” agenda is now being used as a way to terrorize innocent Americans as we’re seeing right now with Rawesome Foods. What’s especially frustrating about all this is that some of the Al Gore followers who largely supported the idea of the green police are, in fact, the very same people who are now being targeted for advocating raw milk. They had been misled, sadly.
You see, eco fascism was never really about protecting the planet and promoting sustainable living. It was always about enslaving the population, destroying health freedom, and mandating total corporate conformity at gunpoint. That’s the lesson we’re now learning from the Rawesome Foods raids, where LA County Sheriffs literally poured thousands of dollars worth of wholesome raw milk down the drain and arrested the buying club owner who will be prosecuted as by a special environmental prosecutor.
For the record, I’m a huge advocate of green living, renewable energy, and green consumer practices — but NOT at the cost of surrendering our Constitutional freedoms to a group of government badge-wearing eco terrorists who raid our raw milk clubs and charge people with conspiracy crimes for “mislabeling cheese.” I believe in solar power, I raise my own chickens and grow a portion of my own food NOT because Al Gore told me to, but because it just makes common sense in today’s unpredictable world to be prepared for food supply disruptions and power grid failures.
I try to minimize my eco-footprint on the planet not because some bureaucracy forces me to, but because I want to support the long-term continuation of sustainable life on our planet. Yes, I’m “green” in my daily practices, and at the same time I’m strongly invested in the powerful ideas of liberty and freedom for individuals. “Green” should never mean we have to mean we give up our freedoms. Forcing people to “go green” at the end of a gun isn’t acceptable. It must be done through education and awareness.
Green cops are no better than regular corrupt cops
It’s very clear to me that much of the political talk about saving the planet and going green was really just a campaign to encourage people to surrender their freedoms to yet another tyrannical enforcement bureaucracy that will abuse its power just like every other government agency abuses its power. “Green police” is just another excuse to put tens of thousands of new badge-wearing power trippers on the streets who will terrorize innocent citizens.
And that’s really, really sad, because I think the core idea of “going green” in our day-to-day lives is extremely valuable and valid. We should stop pouring toxic chemicals down the drain. We should collect rainwater and drink that instead of drinking toxic city water. And for that matter, our own government should stop dumping toxic fluoride chemicals into the water supply in the first place!
Meanwhile, the real environmental threats to our planet — such as the Fukushima meltdowns, the toxic chemicals produced by Big Pharma, and the DNA contamination of our planet with GMOs — remains totally ignored. That’s how this game always works: The big corporate criminals run free while the little people are persecuted in the name of “green.”
How insane is it, really, that this raw milk and cheese buyer’s club is now being prosecuted by the very same people who were given power by the green police movement?
All I can say is, beware of creating new police in any form, because when you create police, military or political forces that have power of your lives, they will ALWAYS abuse that power. Eventually, every bureaucracy or institution becomes totally corrupted by corporate influence, and then it no longer serves the people but the corporatocracy that really runs the show.
Notice that all the wealthy elite who pay no corporate taxes and fly around in private jets aren’t being targeted for arrest by the green police? There’s a reason for that. The whole campaign is designed to muzzle the little guy and remind the slaves that they’re really just slaves.
Pay attention, SLAVE. Drink your dead pasteurized milk, take your psychotropic drugs, gulp down your fluoridated water and shut the hell up. You’re under the control of the new eco fascists now, and it’s no longer just talk. It’s all coming to a farm near you.
(NaturalNews) The mainstream media reports almost nothing about the downside of GMO farming. Only the propaganda of creating more agricultural abundance cheaply is broadcasted. A short video documentary “Farmer to Farmer: The Truth about GM Crops” offers a glimpse into the undisclosed downside reality of GMO farming.
Michael Hart has been a commercial farmer in Cornwall, England for thirty years. He is not an organic farmer, but he is a proponent of agricultural diversity from family farms. He wants the EU to avoid theGMOseed/herbicide trap.
His recently produced short documentary focuses onAmerican farmers, who have bought into thebiotechindustry’s propaganda of higher yields with less overhead. Thefarmershe interviewed underscore the same theme:Monsantohas trapped them into a financial system of patented seeds andherbicidesthat have resulted in faltering crop yields with higher operating expenses.
Major Points Discussed in the Video
Monsanto sells its Roundupherbicidespecifically for itsRoundup ReadyGM seeds. It’s part of a rigidly enforced deal. The deal is sold with the promise that one post emergence pass (spraying after plants emerge) ofRoundupwill be sufficient for high crop yields of Monsanto’s patented Roundup Ready GMOseeds.
At first this appeared to be the case. But within a short time, Roundup resistantweedsbegan sprouting. Different combinations of tank mixed herbicides had to be contrived and purchased in addition to Monsanto’s contractually required Roundup herbicide. Monsanto even sold tank mixed herbicides as well.
Not only did one pass not work, but farmers also attested to different combinations of herbicides with several passes, which included pre-emergence and post emergence spraying to manage theircrops. The new weeds had become a plague. And GMO crop production wound up demanding even morepesticideapplications thannon-GMOcommercial farming.
Because the biotechindustrynow funds most agricultural university research, the farmers are concerned about the lack of attention toward developing betterpesticidesthat would minimize spraying. When the composite chemical tank pesticides don’t do the job, Monsanto advises farmers to pull weeds by hand. Many crop fields are well over a thousand acres!
GMO farmers are contractually barred from saving seeds for future crop planting. This violates a centuries old custom. They have to buy new GMO seeds from Monsanto for every new crop planting. A non-GMOfarmercan save seeds to raise new crops. Even if GMO seeds are cheaper, in the long run the non-GMO farmer saves money since he’s able to use seeds saved from prior plantings many times over.
Even so, prices for non-GMO seeds have increased substantially as public (not patented) seeds are being crowded out of the market with Monsanto’sgovernment granted ability to patent seeds that are not genetically modified. Farmers hire professional seed cleaners to clean and sort their saved seeds. Monsanto harasses seed cleaners to ensure they are not mixing Monsanto’s patented seeds with farmers’ saved seeds.
American farmers realize the co-existence of non-GMO fields with GMO fields is impossible. They’ve had to learn the hard way that cross pollination and seeds carried by wind and migrating birds contaminate their non-GMO fields. And Monsanto uses patent law to prosecute farmers, who have been unwittingly contaminated by nearby GM fields belonging to other farmers. This type of intimidation forces non-GMO farmers out of business.
Michael Hart has vowed to promote GMOresistanceto EU farmers. Beyond Hart’s mission, health freedom activists, who are concerned about GMO threat to human health, should consider including disgruntled GMO and non-GMO commercial farmers in an international coalition of GMO resistance.
Michael Hart, a conventional livestock family farmer from Cornwall (UK), investigates the reality of farming genetically modified crops in the USA since their introduction in 1996. He travels across the US interviewing farmers and other specialists about their experiences of growing GM.
Hart has been farming in Cornwall for nearly thirty years and has actively campaigned on behalf of family farmers for over fifteen years, travelling extensively in Europe, India, Canada and the USA.
During the making of the film he heard problems of the ever increasing costs of seeds and chemicals to weeds becoming resistant to herbicides.
US farmers told him that a single pass (one herbicide application) is a fallacy and concurred that three or more passes are the norm for GM crops.
As weeds have become more resistant to glyphosate there has been a sharp increase in the use of herbicide tank mixes (most of them patented and owned by the biotech companies). Astonishingly some farmers were now having to resort to hand labour to remove weeds.
Farmers have seen the costs spiral, for example, the price of seed has gone from $40 to over $100 per acre over the last few years.
Farmers referred to co-existence (the ability to grow GM crops next to non-GM and organic crops) as “unsolvable” and say that it does not work.
His work uncovers:
A huge “weed” problem;
The myth of co-existence;
Farmers trapped into the genetically modified biotech system; and
Huge price increases for seeds and sprays- well beyond the price increases farmers have received for their crops.
In short, the film shows US farmers urging great caution to be exercised by UK and European farmers in adopting this technology.
Visit http://cookingupastory.com for more videos on food and sustainable living. When the population of worker bees exceeds the resource capacity of a hive, a portion of the colony will leave to find a new home. A swarm is the natural way for a hive to divide itself (usually) in half, and transport the new colony (with the old queen) to a temporary spot (cluster) from which select bee members (scouts) search for a new home.