Naturally the chemical manufacturers say the concerns are overblown, with sufficient study in the field proving the chemicals’ safety. Yet in a bid to contain what damage might be done to their investment, the chemical makers have also begun studying bee health in earnest themselves. Bayer has opened “bee care centers,” Syngenta AG (ADR) (NYSE:SYT) is funding research into CCD, and Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) even purchased the leading bee research firm Beelogics.
While such investments would seem to show concern for the health of bees, it’s also pretty much a case of the fox guarding the henhouse. Beelogics was one of the leading researchers into CCD, and now one of the possible culprits owns it. I think Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) cares not so much for the research conclusions per se but rather its work in genetically modifying the bees themselves. It is seeking patent protection for its RNAi-based — meaning the bees’ genetic code — treatment, which raises the obvious threat of what happens to the beekeepers whose bees get crossbred with Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON)’s? If history with its seeds is any guide, it will go after them legally for violating their patents.
Ultimately, Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) and the other biotechs need more than just a stinging rebuke from investors for their role in causing the collapse of bee colonies and the threat it poses to our food supply.
The article These Chemical Giants Deserve a Stinging Rebuke originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Rich Duprey.
Fool contributor Rich Duprey and The Motley Fool have no position in any stocks mentioned.
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