Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bees and Starfish: Same Story for Species Collapse

Yesterday, I stumbled across an AP story in the Arizona Republic on the sea-star wasting syndrome that has purportedly baffled scientists:
Barnard, J. (AP) (2014, Nov 19). Study: Virus Linked to Sea-Star Wasting. The Arizona Republic, p. A23
[Excerpted] Scientists have isolated a virus they are pretty sure is causing the mysterious disease that has killed millions of sea stars on the Pacific Coast from Southern California to Alaska... researchers suspected a virus was responsible for the disease because sea stars got sick in aquariums that drew water from the ocean.... [end]
Enenews linked several more articles about the dying sea stars, including one from National Geographic.. The narrative put forth in these stories is the agentive "virus 'thought' to be responsible." It invokes the nineteenth century disease model of healthy host affected by hostile virus.

I find it telling that the AP narrative is tinged with uncertainty because in the star fish case a common virus around since the 1940s suddenly became virulent. Notice also the level of scientific caution in the caveat: "Scientists have isolated a virus they are PRETTY SURE is causing..."

Most of at Enenews believe that Fukushima radiation is playing a role in the mass animal casualties being reported across the country. Someone there (source unknown) coined the radiation phenomenon, RAIDS: Radiation Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Paul Langley's Blog is a great resource on historical research on RAIDS, as illustrated here:

That is not to deny contributing factors, such as bacteria and viruses, among other biological catalysts, in contributing to adverse mortality instances.

It is indeed true that in many instances, higher rates of bacteria, viruses, and fungi have been found in animals experiencing collapse, including starfish, bees, and bats.

However, what is being left OUT of the disease equation is the SUPPRESSED IMMUNITY being caused by ubiquitous and increasing genotoxins.

Our entire global eco-system has been assaulted by toxins at an ever-increasing rate since the birth of the industrial age. The Atomic Age and Green Revolution in agriculture vastly accelerated the rate of contamination by very dangerous elements (e.g., lead, mercury, radiocesium, strontium, uranium, plutonium, americium, etc) and chemicals (e.g., role of agricultural chemicals in ocean hypoxia). The Atomic Age was particularly prone to produce hazards that broke DNA and disrupted DNA repair for thousands of years.

Radioactive elements produced by Atomic Age Sociopaths destroy the building blocks of life through both chemical and radioactive decay actions.

There are limits to the resilience of DNA. I posted recently on tipping points and tipping elements (here). I believe the toxic tsunami and ongoing nuclear contamination from Daiichi were very likely tipping elements that pushed the North Pacific eco-system into a feedback amplifying loop capable of producing major eco-system disruptions.

The tsunami and nuclear meltdowns in Japan 2011 produced a toxic plume in the Pacific Ocean that continues to become more and more radioactive and chemically toxic across time. Moreover, atmospheric fallout from nuclear plant explosions at Daiichi rained out primarily over the Pacific Ocean.

Pacific Ocean contamination is reaching critical levels as bioaccumulation and biomagnification are increasing bodily burdens. Phytoplankton is increasingly radioactively contaminated (especially with cesium, radioiodine, uranium, americium, etc.) and dwindling in quantity. The food web is imperiled by collapse and contamination.

Pacific Ocean life now suffers from compromised immunity. Notice how very few public authorities are discussing COMPROMISED IMMUNITY probably caused by many factors but certainly catalyzed by Fukushima's ongoing environmental assault.

What OUTRAGES me is that our government agencies and nuclear industry have understood since the 1950s that chronic exposure to increased radiation exposure across time results in compromised immunity.

Compromised immunity by radiation exposure is well understood and has been since the 1950s, as documented here:
I. L. Shechmeister (1954, October) Susceptibility of Irradiated Animals to Infection. Radiation Research, 1(5), (Oct., 1954), pp. 401-409

It is apparent from a number of observations, rapidly increasing during the last six years, that infection plays a prominent role in producing morbidity and mortality after exposure to ionizing radiation (p. 401)….

Increased susceptibility after irradiation is shown not only to many pathogenic bacterial, viral, fungal, ricketsial, helminthic, and protozoal agents, but also to ordinarily harmless, common inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract, such as Escherichia coli and Proteus spp., which become pathogenic and induce fatal infections of the irradiated host. (page 401)….

The effects of radiation that may contribute to increased susceptibility are numerous, including such factors as (1) lower peripheral granular leucocyte and lymphocyte counts, (2) suppression of bone marrow and lymphatic tissue elements, (3) inhibition of antibody production, (4) altered activity of the fixed and wandering phagocytic cells, and (5) the impairment of lymphatic blockade and of the screening action of liver and spleen. (p. 402)….
In summary, the importance of infection in radiation injury is indicated by the findings that different species of animals exposed either to lethal or to sublethal doses of X-radiation are much more susceptible to experimental infection, and that bacteremia produced in these animals as a result of irradiation is an important factor in radiation death. In studies in this field it is essential that the role of post- irradiation period as well as the radiation dose and challenge dose be considered. Sublethal radiation has been found to activate subclinical or latent infections in mice and possibly in rats.

The scientists were well aware of COMPROMISED IMMUNITY caused by IRRADIATION ALONE whereas the situation in the Pacific Ocean is a situation of bioaccumulation, biomagnification, and transgenerational mutations, translocations, etc. 

Eco-system problems are snowballing and effects are potentially catastrophic unless action is taken to remediate immediately.

But the necessary levels of remediation and protective action are rarely seen and insufficient when pursued because of ingrained compromises. Worst of all, denial through obfuscation is systematic, deliberative.

Coverage of adverse mortality instances rarely address more than one species at a time, leading to disconnected coverage. Causes of increased mortality always reported as not understood fully. Months or years later some virus or bacteria or fungi is cited. Case examples include the starfish, bees, bats, and Monarch Butterflies.

Sadly, the starfish, bee, bat and butterfly stories all sound the same with no changes in script to respond to alarming escalation of Pacific and North American adverse mortality events.

I'm going to re-post here what I wrote about bias in mainstream reporting of bee colony collapse in 2010. The story sounds remarkably like the starfish narrative:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bias in Bee Study?

A New York Times article described the ongoing bee collapse mystery as solved by the collaboration between a university scientist and the U.S. Military.

Since I love honey I follow "bee" news carefully. This story was interesting but it didn't answer a few critical questions.

The story attributes the colony collapse to the combined force of a fungus and a virus. However, the article notes that neither of these two agents alone is capable of killing bees. Here is how the article phrases it:

NYT: "It’s chicken and egg in a sense — we don’t know which came first,” Dr. Bromenshenk said of the virus-fungus combo — nor is it clear, he added, whether one malady weakens the bees enough to be finished off by the second, or whether they somehow compound the other’s destructive power. “They’re co-factors, that’s all we can say at the moment,” he said. “They’re both present in all these collapsed colonies.”

Yet the chicken or the egg conundrum actually simplifies the story inappropriately because, as the article points out, some 3rd factor plays a role because the bees were only vulnerable to the combined impact of the virus and the fungus because their nutrition had been compromised. As the article explains:

NYT "both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised."
So, what might have compromised the bees' nutrition. The article suggests:

NYT: "Scientists in the project emphasize that their conclusions are not the final word. The pattern, they say, seems clear, but more research is needed to determine, for example, how further outbreaks might be prevented, and how much environmental factors like heat, cold or drought might play a role."
NOWHERE in the article is it mentioned that PESTICIDES may play a role. Guess why? The bee study's lead author received money from the manufacturer of the pesticide implicated by other scientists and bee keepers in the demise of bees.

Here is what the common dreams article by K. Eban reports:
"What the Times article did not explore -- nor did the study disclose -- was the relationship between the study's lead author, Montana bee researcher Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, and Bayer Crop Science. In recent years Bromenshenk has received a significant research grant from Bayer to study bee pollination. Indeed, before receiving the Bayer funding, Bromenshenk was lined up on the opposite side: He had signed on to serve as an expert witness for beekeepers who brought a class-action lawsuit against Bayer in 2003. He then dropped out and received the grant."
The common dreams article goes on to cite the concerns of other bee scientists who have studied bees and pesticides and found conclusive evidence that pesticides do impact bees adversely.

If we put both stories together we get a clearer understanding of what may be happening. Bees weakened by pesticides are succumbing to fungi and viruses.

The New York Times was once again remiss for biased reporting.


  1. Strictly speaking we have no reason to trust the USA. It has proven over and over again that it will do whatever it pleases. Obama has been in a way a more out front autocratic president. But he is just one in a fairly long line of bad presidents. The USA is surely a criminal nation. One violation of the Geneva Conventions after another. Only perhaps Israel can trump the record of the USA. So, sure what is a little poison here and a little there when the USA kills millions and talks about terrorists, has encouraged a reign of brutal police in the nation and allows thousands of children to go homeless? Bad business through and through. Too bad the NPR vision of America is not even faintly accurate.

  2. Toxins like pesticides induce immune damage by raising the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). When ROS is elevated, a biochemical reaction occurs which creates the anti-inflammatory cytokine Transforming Growth Factor (TGF-beta). TGF-beta wipes out cellular immunity. Myalgic encephalomyelitis is probably the purest example of this.

    Radiotoxins differ from ordinary toxins because of its property of radiolysis, that is, separating water into its components hydrogen and oxygen. Radioactive toxins are much more efficient at producing ROS than the ordinary toxins.

    Now, certain viruses like enteroviruses, Epstein-Barr viruses, and HHV-6 viruses have the property of producing TGF-beta and reducing cellular immunity as a survival strategy. These viruses can linger in the body for decades or a lifetime. When you combine these viruses with radioactive toxins, you set the stage for the destruction of cellular immunity in a big way.

    This is why the recent enterovirus epidemic is so concerning. The American people are losing their immunity to viruses in general due to radiation, which will lead to pandemics.

  3. Yes, I agree William no reason to trust US nor any other nuclear nation-state.

    Thanks for the discussion Bobby. I know you've researched the effects thoroughly.

    Wishing you all well...