Quantcast

The honeymoon's over!

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
before the election I forewarned that a Tory government would swiftly allow GM, and as a sop to a few powerful livestock farmers would spread the proven useless badger cull nationwide.........
I hoped that the coalition would curb their worst excesses like these measures, sadly, I was wrong. I've oft been accused of being a conspiracy theorist when I've suggested that DEFRA is in the pocket of big Agrochem and GM Frankencorp.Plc - here are two articles which sum up the present state of play.........

Precisely as predicted! GM to be given go ahead, useless badger slaughter to be spread nationwide.....

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/04/gm-crops-caroline-spelman

"Environment secretary Caroline Spelman backs GM crops

In her first interview in charge of Defra, Caroline Spelman committed coalition to becoming most pro-GM government yet

The wider growing and selling of genetically modified crops has received its strongest government backing to date from the new environment secretary, Caroline Spelman.

At present no GM crops are commercially grown in the UK, and the previous Labour government was nervous of promoting GM foods because of fear of a renewed public backlash against "Frankenstein foods". But in her first interview in charge of the department of environment food and rural affairs, the minister committed the new coalition to becoming the most pro-GM government yet, saying she was in favour of GM foods "in the right circumstances".

"GM can bring benefits in food to the marketplace. The sale should not be promoted by the taxpayer. [New Environment minister] Lord Henley has approved a trial of a potato blight-resistant variety. That's the kind of modification that can reduce the amount of agro-chemicals which need to be applied," said Spelman, who spent 15 years in the agriculture industry and worked as director of a biotechnology lobbying firm.

She added: "There are benefits to developing countries, like drought resistance or resistance to high salt content in water. The principle of GM technology is [OK] if used well. The technology can be beneficial."

But in a reference to Labour's £500,000 plan to gauge public attitudes to the controversial technology, she said she was not in favour of using taxpayers' money to promote the industry. Two members of the Food Standards Agency committee in charge of the plan recently resigned in protest.

"The Food Standards Agency should not be spending taxpayers' money promoting GM foods," Spelman said.

Visiting the Guardian's head office in London before the UN's world environment day tomorrow, Spelman, 52, also said she would be "implacable" in defence of green belt land and would allow new protected areas to be created to halt the continuing loss of nature, would back badger-culling but would not prioritise the promised vote on the repeal of the hunting with hounds act.

A Conservative MP for a "green belt constituency" on the edge of Birmingham, said she would stop the practice of building on existing green belt sites in return for creating new green belt land in areas with little or no development threat, and would abolish regional planning committees allowing local authorities to take responsibility for protecting their own communities from urban sprawl.

However national "strategic" projects would still go ahead on green belt, including proposed new high-speed rail lines, she said.

"I'm implacable on green belt," added the Meriden MP. "Green belt was created in the 1950s in order to protect the countryside from urban sprawl ... and green belt needs to be maintained."

Although the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition agreement did not propose a national scheme for increasing protected areas, Spelman said local planning authorities would be encouraged to protect green space – with the likely result that protection would increase.

"Every local authority will negotiate with the community where housing is built, where green space is protected, and where new green space is created," she said.

In advance of a major meeting of the International Whaling Commission later this month (JUNE), Spelman said the UK government would not support the IWC's proposed "peace plan", which would lift the ban on limited commercial whale hunting in return for banning "scientific" whaling. Scientific whaling is currently allowed and many suspect is used as a cover by Japan and other countries for killing whales for their meat.

Instead, Spelman said she was trying to get agreement in the European Union, whose countries make up 25 of the 88 members of the IWC, for an alternative compromise, which would still outlaw commercial whaling, but allow indigenous communities in countries such as Denmark to carry out limited "subsistence" hunting. The British proposal would continue to allow whales to be killed for scientific research, though it "mustn't be a proxy for hunting whales commercially", said Spelman.

Spelman also confirmed that badgers, which are protected in law but have been at the centre of a passionate debate about the spread of bovine tuberculosis, would be culled in England. The decision will please livestock farmers but is expected to enrage many conservationists.

"It [the policy] has to be led by science," she said. "We will take a science-led package of measures including culling and vaccination."

Spelman confirmed that – as the coalition agreement and Conservative manifesto promised – there would be a free vote in this five-year parliament on repealing Labour's hunting act, which banned hunting foxes with hounds, but warned it was "not a priority".

"The absolute priority at the moment is to get to grips with the economic crisis; the fact is recognised by the [pro-hunting lobby group] Country Alliance," she said. Asked how the vote was likely to go, Spelman added: "I can't possibly answer that question because it's a free vote."
 

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
and...........

"further evidence of finagling..........

from today's Observer - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/06/gm-crops-biotech-lobbyists-fsa
"GM lobby helped draw up crucial report on Britain's food supplies

Email trail shows how biotech group helped watchdog to draw up analysis of GM crops ... and prompted two advisers to quit


A powerful lobbying organisation representing agribusiness interests helped draft a key government report that has been attacked by environmentalists for heavily favouring the arguments of the genetically modified food industry.

The revelation comes after the resignation of two government advisers who have criticised the close relationship between the Food Standards Agency (FSA), the body that oversees the UK's food industry, and the GM lobby.

Emails between the FSA and the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC) show the council inserted key sentences strengthening the case for GM food that ended up in the final report.

The report, "Food Standards Agency work on changes in the market and the GM regulatory system", examines how GM products are entering the UK, where the growing of GM products is banned, through the animal feed system. It acknowledges food prices could go up if GM products continue to be excluded.

Emails from the council – which represents leading GM food companies such as Monsanto and Bayer – to Dr Clair Baynton, the then head of novel foods at the FSA, show a close dialogue between both sides between 2008 and August 2009, when the report was published.

On 19 November 2008, Baynton sent the council a draft of the report, saying: "I am happy to discuss… if that would be helpful."

In response, the council suggested a series of changes that emphasised how GM food was playing an increasingly important role in global agriculture and helping bring down food prices. Some of the amendments were rejected by the FSA, but others were accepted.

One accepted alteration acknowledged the GM lobby's argument that GM food is inevitable in the European Union because of its ubiquity elsewhere. It stated that "retailers were concerned they may not be able to maintain their current non-GM sources of supply as producers increasingly adopt GM technology around the world".

And the FSA also accepted the suggested amendment that soya protein (which can be grown as a GM crop) remains "the most cost-effective method of supplementing animal feed at present". Baynton replied a few days later: "Many thanks for your comments on the draft report", and asked the council for help in finding evidence of the prevalence of GM foods, "either authorised or being considered for authorisation in Argentina, Brazil and the US".

Months later, the council sent Baynton, a former employee of GM food producer Syngenta, a list of whom it wanted on a steering group overseeing a "public engagement exercise" on GM food. The email stated: "We believe GM must be presented as an option within the wider context of food security as part of a solution to feeding a growing population."

The FSA was due to start the public engagement exercise, which is expected to cost the taxpayer £500,000, this month. But the move is being seen in some quarters as a "rigged" exercise.

Two members who sit on the FSA's steering group have resigned in protest. Dr Helen Wallace, director of Genewatch UK, a scientific pressure group opposed to GM, stepped down last month. Last week, the group's vice-chairman, Professor Brian Wynne, an expert on public engagement with science, resigned, complaining that the FSA had adopted a "dogmatically entrenched", pro-GM attitude.

Wallace said the emails "expose how the Food Standards Agency is acting as a puppet of the GM industry, by colluding with foreign GM companies to undermine people's access to GM-free food supplies in Britain". The FSA is chaired by former Labour minister Lord Rooker, a GM enthusiast, who has attacked its critics as "anti-science".

A confidential bid document to win the contract to run the engagement exercise, submitted by the polling company Ipsos MORI, acknowledges the sensitivity of the initiative. "There will be no active seeking of media interest in relation to this project," it explains.

The bidding document states that it works on behalf of a "multinational agro-chemical and seed company" and warns: "Campaign organisations who may feel that the 'battle' was won in 2003 could decide to try and hijack the process to ensure GM food does not get a chance to be reintroduced into the UK."

An FSA spokesman defended its decision to include the GM lobby's suggested changes in the final report.

"In order to obtain an accurate picture of the situation, the FSA held a series of meetings with stakeholders before drafting this report," the spokesman said. "As the report was concerned with the markets for food and animal feed, the biotech industry had not been involved in these meetings. However, in order to ensure the report was balanced and not to exclude this relevant stakeholder group, the view of the ABC was also sought. Their comments were taken on board in the final draft, as were the comments by other stakeholders."

But Wallace was critical of the decision. "The stakeholder meeting was transparent – the changes made behind the scenes at the industry's request were not," she said. "The report fails to represent the vast majority of GM-free farmers, who will have to pay a heavy price if their crops or seed are allowed to become contaminated with GM crops or seed."

The row came as the environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, who used to work as director of a biotech lobbying firm, said that she was in favour of GM foods "in the right circumstances".
BRIEF HISTORY OF GM

People have been breeding animals and new varieties of plants for centuries. As a result, the world's main food crops have been selected, crossed and bred to suit local conditions and to make them tastier.

Whereas traditional methods involve mixing thousands of genes, genetic modification allows just one or a small number of genes to be inserted into a plant to change it in a predetermined way. Genes can be "switched" on or off to change how it develops.

The first commercially grown genetically modified whole food crop was a type of tomato, which was modified to ripen without softening and was approved for release in the US in 1994.

Most GM crops are grown in North America. The Grocery Manufacturers of America association estimates that 75% of all processed foods in the US contain a GM ingredient. In the EU, if a food contains or consists of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), this must be indicated.

Public opposition to GM food within the EU saw one of its main proponents, Monsanto, pull out of the European seed cereal business in 2003"
 

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
I'm ambivalent about fox hunting, I see both sides of the argument, but I am incandescent over the projected badger cull - it's been proven to be ineffective (actually spreads it), and the only way it could be effective is to completely erase badgers as a native species, which is frankly idiotic when vaccination of cattle and badgers could sort it out. The only reason it's happening is as a sop to the powerful "big farming" lobby
 

Hivemaker. 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
14,310
Reaction score
1
Location
Exmoor.
Hive Type
national
They need to cull or vacinate all the deer as well.
 
Last edited:

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
Howsabout a cull of politicians? (Particularly those who work(ed) for GM Frankencrap lobbying companies):biggrinjester:
 

Haughton Honey 

Drone Bee
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
1,237
Reaction score
0
Location
South Cheshire
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
Lots of Commercial hives.......
As a cattle keeper myself and also as someone who's come in to close contact with TB, Animal Health's policies and reactions towards it, movement restrictions and the like.......we should be asking WHY ON EARTH A SUITABLE CATTLE VACCINE HASN'T BEEN DEVELOPED AFTER ALL OF THESE MANY YEARS!

Government seems to have focussed it's effort in every direction but the right one.
 

Somerford 

Drone Bee
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
1,573
Reaction score
10
Location
Wiltshire, Somerset, S Glos & S Oxfordshire
Hive Type
national
WOW - now we're talking.

Brosville - you'll have to forgive me as I know we agree on a number of beekeeping issues, but regarding TB, I am on the other side of the fence. WPC - I also wonder the same thing ref. a vaccine, but I am not a vet and do not understand the reasons why this hasn't happened.

I know a number of dairy farmers on a personal basis, across the country and also a few 'celebrity' ones too (Adam Henson from Countryfile, to name but one).
TB is a serious issue, always has been, always will be and there is no doubt it is spread by Badgers, and , now at last it is being recognised, by deer as well.

My solution would be a total cull within dairy farming regions, and limit the badger populations to upland/lowland hinterlands where they can live unmolested. We have to make a decision - more vaccines in our cattle, or less, and with that a serious cull. I'd also go for the deer population too - they are far too numerous and damage trees, cause death on the roads, and frankly where I live are a pest.

This will always be a very emotive subject, especially as we in the UK are a nation, in general, of bunny huggers. The problem is for those who have to live with the consequences in the countryside of TB, all to often everyone else doesn't care.

as regards Foxhunting....I have it on good authority that a free vote in the commons is unlikely until either the scottish labour MPs are removed and can only vote in Holyrood, or a Conservative majority is returned at a subseqent election.

While I don't hunt myself, I do support it and could be classed as a hunt supporter as it brings much needed income into the struggling rural economy. But I believe in a humane despatch of a fox, and wonder if the current law is better as this is what now (should) happen....

GM - tricky, for non bee pollinated crops I think it needs to be tested but in secure conditions (under glass perhaps). Bee pollinated crops I still believe is a no-no if one then has to spray fungi/pesti/herbicides on the crops ....

I think I might wear my tin hat for a while and dig a trench....is there a good smiley for this ?!

S
 

milkermel 

Field Bee
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Messages
724
Reaction score
0
Location
left of launceston right of bude!
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6
As a cattle keeper myself and also as someone who's come in to close contact with TB, Animal Health's policies and reactions towards it, movement restrictions and the like.......we should be asking WHY ON EARTH A SUITABLE CATTLE VACCINE HASN'T BEEN DEVELOPED AFTER ALL OF THESE MANY YEARS!
I have wondered this as well - Currently a relief milker in cornwall and I have seen farmers crippled by suspected tb positive test. And dont understand why a vaccine cant be sorted (poultry with a 2 year laying span etc are vacinated - but cattle worth thousands arent - seems potty)

Deer carry TB as well ,however they (as far as I am aware) Do not actively search out cattle feed and snuffle around the cows and sheds. Think this is why badgers are focused on more than deer. I have never seen deer in the yards but have glimpsed the occasional badger.

Most farmers are educated enough to not remove healthy badgers, however on a farm under restriction due to tb then I can only think it will help to have the badgers in the area culled.

Lets not be under any false impressions there are many badgers found dead on the side of roads from Lead rebalancing and not run over! so a cull legally or not is still happening the same as fox hunting!

(think i better have a can of worms smilely please!!!):coolgleamA:
 

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
Vaccines have to be the way to go, but for some inexplicable "reason" the powers that be would sooner see funeral pyres of cattle when there's an outbreak of foot and mouth (often followed by distraught farmers committing suttee), and they'd sooner wipe out a native species than get a grip on the fact that infections are curable.
A good friend of mine who's a vet is adamant that the foot and mouth outbreaks could have been simply controlled with nil loss of cattle or farmer's lives (obviously the same thing applies to TB), but there seems to be endemic bloodlust on the subject.
As usual, I take an opposite view - Badgers are native and have been here for thousands of years, perhaps if anything should be culled it should be cattle! (although both should be vaccinated instead.......)
GM is indefensible, utterly useless (it's NEVER done what it says on the tin, the first horrific long-term effects on living creatures are now surfacing, superweeds are rampant where it's been used etc etc etc) and the only reason it's "back on the agenda" is the now very visible vast, powerful and rich army of GM lobbyists who have undue influence, and will stop at nothing to get their toxic technology strongarmed onto a largely comatose public............ (often the same lobbying companies who've done the same for nuclear........)
 

Busy Bee 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
461
Reaction score
0
Location
N. Ireland
Hive Type
national
Would you eat meat vacinated with TB I don't think so espically now there is a new strain of TB thats incureable!!.

I think all you save the BADGER campaigner's should foot the bill for all the cattle lost to TB, like you want to keep them SO PAY FOR THEM !

It is proven beyond doubt badgers spread TB, so lets deal with them and not have farmers lives food production put at anymore risk!!

Busy Bee
 

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
Virtually every broiler chook is vaccinated for several diseases, I've yet to see outbreaks of fowl pest amongst the general populace!
According to the NFU who are shrilly demanding badgercide themselves admit there is virtually no danger whatsoever to the general public, but only to those who work closely with cows (which can be guarded against by human vaccination).
What we do need is to spend money on speeding the development of vaccines for badgers, cows, and other animals in the wild.
Badgers are an easy target for the uninformed and biased, because they're "wild", if it were pussy cats or dogs, vaccines would be found overnight because the public outcry would be too great. Diseases can be stamped out completely in the human populace by vaccination without resorting to what is euphemistically known as "culling" - lets be brutally frank and call it "killing" or "slaughtering"
The efficacy of badger slaughter is proven to be near useless, so as I've said, unless you're willing to completely eradicate a native species it will do bog all good anyway, but will just act as a sop for those who contribute to a certain party's funds..........
 
Last edited:

Firegazer 

House Bee
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
291
Reaction score
0
Location
Gloucestershire
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
3
Busy Bee,
yes, I would eat meat from vaccinated cows, with no problem at all.

A vaccine is either a completely inactive protein that 'looks' like the bug to the cow's immune system, or a weakened version of the real bug. It works by sensitising the cow's immune system to that bug so it can fight off real versions before they can multiply up to a dangerous/infectious level.

For this to be dangerous, the vaccine would have to be the real bug, badly de-activated, in great quantities and the meat would have to be uncooked and manage to avoid my stomach acids. Even then it's the wrong strain for humans so I'd probably be OK.

I think the problem (if there is one) is more for farmers who spend a lot of time with cattle, in close quarters, breathing the same air cows cough and splutter out when they get TB.

Vaccines are also IMHO much better than anti-biotics in meat. Some of those can happily survive cooking and my stomach acids and act within my body destroying potentially useful micro-organisms I need. Vaccines are as delicate (if not, more delicate) than the pathogens they emulate and don't survive cooking or affect me afterwards.

FG

PS - this isn't the branch of science I trained in, so anyone with better knowledge, please jump in and tweak the above if necessary.
 

Haughton Honey 

Drone Bee
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
1,237
Reaction score
0
Location
South Cheshire
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
Lots of Commercial hives.......
Would you eat meat vacinated with TB I don't think so espically now there is a new strain of TB thats incureable!!.

I think all you save the BADGER campaigner's should foot the bill for all the cattle lost to TB, like you want to keep them SO PAY FOR THEM !

It is proven beyond doubt badgers spread TB, so lets deal with them and not have farmers lives food production put at anymore risk!!

Busy Bee


Do you eat beef?

Do you know how many vaccinations cattle can already have before they ever hit your plate?

Lepto? IBR? BVD?..............the list goes on.

TB will never, ever be eradicated from the natural badger or deer population. As Milkermel says, many more badgers die 'on the road' due to either being shot or by having paracetamol fed to them in apples than are ever hit by vehicles!

And to extend my rant...........the standard TB (reactor) test is inaccurate....as is the Gamma test.

I have had cattle culled that tested positive on the reactor test (i.e. they've come in to CONTACT with TB before but don't necessarily have it) which have then gone on to test negative after a Gamma blood test before culling....upon my insistance.

Two years ago we lost 62 head of cattle to a positive Gamma result (a supposedly infallible blood test) only to find that when all of the carcasses were assessed at the knacker yard by the State Vet only 1 showed signs of TB in the lungs.

:beatdeadhorse5:

It's a travesty that is magnified and not helped by too many blithering idiots and urban dwellers with a 'local authority' mentality.
 

SER 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
139
Reaction score
0
Location
South Devon
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
A worry I have with the badger cull, which I know is shared by many local farmers around here is that badgers are very territorial so if you are currently testing negative for TB and have an active badger population (as my girlfriends parents do) then if their badgers were to be culled it wouldn't be very long until a new group moved onto the land and you just don't know if they will be carrying TB or not.

So the only answer is a complete nationwide cull of every single badger which I don't consider practical.

As for the vacine I understand they have a fully working bovine version of the BCG jab like the one given to school kids. The problem is the current tests can't differentiate between positive TB or vacinated animal. So they are working on new tests.

It's a difficult situation but we really need to get on top of it.

Si.
 

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
thank heavens someone appreciates the practical problems - as you've accurately said, wipe out one lot of badgers, another (unknown status) lot moves in - what could happen if these screaming eejits get their way is that we'd end up with no badgers at all (which is morally indefensible) and find that cattle are still getting TB from innumerable other vectors, both in the wild and from humans/cattle traffic etc........ Which rather suggests that if we follow that lunatic argument to it's logical conclusion, you kill ALL wildlife just so that noone need pull fingers out and sort vaccines.......(which puts that barbaric approach into perspective)
As you may have noticed (this being a bee forum and all) that bees are acting as the "canaries in our coalmine" and indicating the problems caused by the present short-sighted (and frankly deeply ignorant) practice of trying to blanket-bomb nature into submission by killing everything in sight.....
Add into that little equation the fact that we are rapidly running out of the materials squandered so readily on "factory farming" (fossil fuels, phosphates etc) it shows that we need a complete volte face, and learn to work WITH nature, rather than having the arrogance to suppose we can force it.... (you can get away with it for a while, but ultimately you end up with barren ground and the decimation of all nature......)
 

SER 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 24, 2009
Messages
139
Reaction score
0
Location
South Devon
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
2
The following is a collection of post to the twitter site by the TV wildlife presenter Chris Packham. I think he makes a very valid point.......

Si.

Chris Packham;
"The Badger cull is a tragic sop to a beleaguered rural community and defies all we have learned about the science of this issue - oppose it

Farmers need friends . I fear they have been misled on this and will aggravate a good number of their supporters which is the worse thing

We must sympathise and help our farmers as the future of our wildlife is largely in their hands . Having bloody hands won't help them .

So go the farm shop instead of the supermarket and ask them to reconsider the data and the cull . Support and communicate for compromise ."
 

Brosville 

Queen Bee
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
3,132
Reaction score
0
Location
uk
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
4
Nail on the head job there! Sadly farmers have been, and continue to be grossly misled, not least by the NFU and assorted government bodies!:coolgleamA:
 

Busy Bee 

House Bee
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
461
Reaction score
0
Location
N. Ireland
Hive Type
national
Not one of you said you would pay the farmer not one of you!! All talk talk talk..

Face up to it we need to CULL badgers, they spread it whether you want to believe it or not.

There is not a badger within a 10 mile radius of here and there has not been a positive test in cattle here for 10 years. A farmer here had reactors every 6 weeks his herd was closed down for 6 months of every year, his neighbours herds tested continously, until the badgers just disapperaed don't why but they did. End of TB problem.

Don't rant and rave across this forum about the lovely badgers, they are disease infected pests that need to be dealt with..


Busy Bee

P.S. If a vacancy arises to cull badgers I will apply for it.
 
Last edited:
Top