[NAFEX] Bee Colony Collapse Disorder, spin-science, the madness of cows

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Wed Apr 25 18:58:31 EDT 2007

Copper/manganese ratios, as well as organophosphate links, have been
investigated in Mad Cow.  Those theories have been rejected by the BSE
inquiry and the Horn committee, but there are still papers being published
that explore the associations.  Everyone agrees that a prion causes Mad Cow
- the question is whether prion contamination is insufficient, or that a low
Cu/Mn ratio or organophosphate exposure are necessary for infection,
increased the risk of development and/or the severity.  The apparent links
may just be due to the agricultural practices where Mad Cow has occurred.
Infected cattle seem to coincidentally ingest feed with a Cu/Mn ratio than
might be less than optimal for allowing animals to enjoy the neurological
and virological protections copper may contribute to.  So, as of now, the
consensus is that although prion exposure, Cu/Mn imbalances, and
organophosphate exposure have all occurred in the same populations of
cattle, there's absolutely no clear evidence that any one of those things
leads to one of the others; they seem coincidental, not etiological.  The
area is still being explored.


Universities are certainly dependent on corporate and special-interest
funds.  Bio and chem departments maintain lists of requested, fundable
studies that come from interested corporate parties.  Research only happens
when it's funded.  This is why it's important to encourage altruistic
research, through such things as charitable donations and political


Spin-science is confusing at best.  We end up with an advocate system of
biological research, where one interested party (the copper industry funds
studies linking low copper to Mad Cow) fuels and publishes research that
support their bottom line, while other industries (feed and fertilizer
suppliers, in this scenario) support research that would keep their costs
down, by not having to reformulate their products to correct mineral ratios.
All such research should be taken with a grain of sand (or copper
manganate).  It's just impossible for a lay person to suss out the truth
from what the corporate PR machines (the lie persons) are spinning.  It's
hard for a biochemist.  So there are arbiters, like the BSE inquiry, In
those arbiters it can be helpful to look for bias; does the arbiter want the
problem silenced, or solved?  I'm fairly able to examine the underlying
science, rather than infer that bad science must necessarily come from
biased sourcing; but I do scrutinize literature more carefully and
specifically when the funding source has a clear agenda.


There are other biases in science that are not commercial.  In psychiatry 40
years ago, the bias was upbringing rather than biology; then nature was
given its due, and we see that people have different brains, which result in
different psychologies, temperaments, orientations, and disorders.  Now
there's a pretty good nature/nurture balance, I think - but extremists on
each said would say I'm wrong (thus my perception of balance).  In biology,
there is a pathogenic bias.  Ever since ulcers were found to be largely
caused by a bacterium rather than stress or bad diet, pathogens have
rejoined the list of usual suspects.  It's certainly as good an area as any
to research in Colony Collapse.


For heaven's sake stay prudently cynical.


~ Stephen



From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of BRosholdt
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 2:45 PM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] Bee Colony Collapse Disorder


I looked at the article.  Now they are looking for a pathogen.  Just like in
Mad Cow disease - which has since been shown to be related to types of
pesticides and copper/manganese.  I wonder why none of the German/Japanese
research that found a potential link to GM pollen is cited?  Is it that
American Universities are so dependent upon funds from GM purveyors that
they dare not "go there"?  I expect the Japanese research will be declaimed
as "bad science", just like all the initial studies on Mad Cow that did not
look for a pathogen.

I get tired of industry-funded "spin-science".  If you want to know why I
feel this way, I recently watched "The Future of Food".

A little cynical today, but improving,
Barbara Rosholdt

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