Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tippecanoe County Lawyers Manuever Behind Scenes to Thwart Candidacy of Les Meade as Multiple Disciplinary Complaints Allegedly Pending

Meade is not well-liked at the courthouse.
Judge Les Meade didn't have long to celebrate his primary win for Tippecanoe County Circuit Court Judge.  Post election maneuvering by a large group of local attorneys resulted in a bold general election political challenge by current and outgoing Superior Court Judge Tom Busch who was originally slated to retire at the end of the year.  At the urging of many Republican and Democrat attorneys, Busch decided to toss his hat into the ring and put off retirement a bit longer. 

Originally appointed by former Governor Frank O'Bannon, Busch went on to earn a stellar reputation as Superior Court Judge and was handily elected to two subsequent terms by Democrats and Republicans who found him to be fair, polite, honest, and most importantly, non-partisan. 

Readers can find the sanitized version about Busch's last minute change of plans at this link.

The real reasons for Busch's challenge against Meade have not been publicly stated, due in part, to the fact that conduct rules for attorneys prohibit them from speaking out against judges  -- even very controversial ones like Les Meade.

The political grapevine has been ripe with chatter, though, since Busch made his stunning announcement.  Interestingly, many behind-the-scenes comments have been very candid.

Meade has been described by local attorneys as "arrogant" and a "bully" and also someone who is "very difficult to get a long with."  Meade has also allegedly threatened lawyers and police officers with whom he has disagreed with jail time.

A common complaint has been that Meade reportedly makes disparaging comments about other judges and lawyers while on the record and in front of clients.  Attorneys have reported that several disciplinary complaints have been filed against Meade for this type of alleged misconduct, and some of those complaints are presently pending with the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.

Meade was involved in a controversy involving a disabled war veteran who had lost a leg and suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome as a result of horrific combat he experienced in which some of his friends were killed.

Prosecutors had worked out a plea agreement with the disabled veteran after he shot his firearm in the air during a dispute.  Meade rejected the plea and went so far as to send an email to the attorney indicating the veteran's decision to exercise his constitutional right to trial reflected upon his character and lack of remorse.

Meade showed no mercy toward the veteran and went so far as to tell the young man that he was the only judge in Tippecanoe County who was not sympathetic at the loss of a limb.  Onlookers were stunned by Meade's calloused remarks as well as the audacity to compare himself to a war veteran-amputee.

The defendant-veteran chose to pursue a jury trial and was acquitted of the felony charges against him despite Meade's best efforts to prosecute him from the bench.

It wasn't the first time Meade attempted to punish a defendant for exercising constitutional rights.

Another defendant who chose to exercise his right to a jury trial for a first-time misdemeanor offense was chastised by Meade after a jury found him guilty.  Again, Meade rejected the prosecutor's recommendation that the defendant be sentenced to three months of unsupervised probation since it was a first-time, minor offense. 

Meade sentenced the man to six months in jail after giving him a verbal lashing for "wasting his valuable court time with a jury trial" and for "failing to testify on his behalf" during the trial.  Onlookers were stunned that Meade would punish a citizen for exercising fundamental, constitutional rights.

A formal complaint was sent to the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission afterwards and Meade was forced to withdraw his harsh sentence. 

"It doesn't appear that the experience has taught him anything about constitutional rights of American citizens," commented one local attorney when asked about the case.

Local attorneys are also concerned about Meade's lack of qualifications citing the fact that Circuit Court is a high profile court involving murder cases.

"Les Meade hasn't handled a single murder case as a lawyer or a judge," commented a local attorney.  "He hasn't had the proper training, nor does he have an ounce of experience for that type of case."

If these complaints make it to the ears of voters, Meade may have a difficult time on election night in November.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

High Ranking LPD Officer Demoted & Suspended for Conduct Unbecoming to An Officer; Inside Sources Claim Quadraplegic Knocked From Wheelchair

J&C: Lt. Tom Davidson was suspended from the LPD.
The Journal & Courier is reporting that Lt. Tom Davidson of the Lafayette Police Department was disciplined by the Civil Service Commission today after determining that the detective engaged in conduct unbecoming of an officer last fall.

The members also voted 3-2 against a second allegation that Davidson used excessive force during an incident for which details were not disclosed to the public.

Inside sources, who asked not to be identified, say the discipline stems from an incident involving a wheelchair-bound quadraplegic who was reportedly knocked out of that wheelchair.  Sources claim that Davidson said the wheelchair ran over his toes and believed the man was coming toward him in an aggressive manner.  Three of the five Civil Service Commission members agreed that Davidson did not use excessive force during the incident; however, they were unanimous in their determination that his conduct was unbecoming of an officer.

Apparently there is an ongoing investigation into the matter, so it is unclear whether the discipline is complete.

Davidson has a good reputation in the community, and his friends say it is out-of-character for him to be involved in a disciplinary matter.  Giving him the benefit of the doubt would be easy were it not for the string of incidents involving Lafayette police officers, including death threats made against a private citizen by younger officers.   

It remains to be seen as to whether the City of Lafayette will be burdened with yet another civil suit.  The word on the street says there may be video of the incident in question.

Davidson is a 20-year veteran of the LPD, a police agency that continues to be plagued with unbecoming conduct.

Citizens will be watching closely as they become increasingly concerned for their safety when dealing with LPD officers. 

The LCJ will continue to investigate the details of this story as well as all the others.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Gracious Winners, Sore Losers, and Desperate Measures in the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Race

Desperados Find Independent "Elf" Candidate for Old Republican Guard Wing


Shell-shocked by a Barry Richard victory last week, the power brokers at the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department didn't waste much time finding a candidate to run against former LPD officer Barry Richard in the general election.   After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.


One of Schiuzi's Facebook profile pictures
The challenger, Chris Schiuzi, is currently employed as an assistant manager for Lowe's.  While there is nothing wrong with working at Lowe's it is fair to expect that a sheriff's candidate would have some sort of policing experience within the past decade.

Schiuzi is reportedly running as an independent, although he identifies himself as a Republican.  According to a report in the Journal & Courier, he is currently seeking the required number of signatures to have his named placed on the ballot and has created a Facebook page for his campaign.

We knew they were desperate to hold onto their power, but until this announcement was made today we didn't understand just how desperate they really are.  Former Sheriff Dave Heath and his band of merry men just can't accept the fact that it's time for the "Old Republican Guard" to give up the keys to their clubhouse. 

To be fair, Schiuzi is a former police officer and reportedly served on both the Purdue and Lafayette police departments; however, he's been out of policing for so long there's no way he's qualified to run a large sheriff's department.  If this is the best they can do then Richard has nothing to worry about.  It's his election to win or lose at this point.

Schiuzi may be a nice guy, but how can you take someone seriously as a professional candidate who has portrayed Will Ferrell's Elf character as a Facebook profile picture?  Buffoonery isn't something that gives an average citizen a sense of confidence when it comes to electing the highest law enforcement officer in their county.

We also have to ask the obvious question.  If Chris Schiuzi were really interested in the sheriff's job, wouldn't he have announced prior to the primary?  It is simply not credible for any rational voter to believe that this man had aspirations to become sheriff prior to Dave Heath's defeat.  Voters will see through the thin veil.  This is a back door attempt for the Old Republican Guard to hang on to power.

Sore Losers Eat Sour Grapes

 

Also worthy of mention is the ungracious response of Dave Heath after he lost the election.

"I don't get it, I really don't," Heath was reported as saying after realizing he lost. 

What don't you get, Dave?  The voters rejected cronyism and elected someone who has invested the best part of his life in our community.  Barry Richard continues to give to the community.  He cares more about people than the power behind a badge.

"I was a little surprised, because Barry hadn't voted in a Republican primary in 16 years or in a general election for 10 years, and it didn't make a bit of difference to Republican voters," Heath told a Journal and Courier reporter.

No, Dave, it didn't matter.  In fact, voters saw it as a positive attribute considering the fact that the role of a sheriff should not be a political one.  In fact, many of us have grown tired of the decades old tradition of outgoing sheriffs choosing their own replacement and handing the torch from one friend to the next.  Dave's torch-bearing years are over, and it's time for him to retire.  He can afford it, after all, since he will receive three government pensions for his stints as sheriff, mayor, and work release director.

Gracious Winner

 

In contrast, Barry Richard has always conducted himself with class.

"It was emotional, Richard said, because he felt for Heath's family members and the work they put into the campaign. Richard said it wasn't time to celebrate but rather to focus on uniting the Republican Party," read a statement in the Journal and Courier.

What Barry may not realize is that uniting the Republican Party is not on Dave Heath's narrow-minded agenda. That notion was put to rest after Heath hijacked the party in an eleventh hour coup when he announced to a shocked crowd that he was taking over the party as its only candidate for chairman.  It is reasonable to assume that Heath was setting himself up as a sheriff's candidate-power broker when he made this stealthy, calculated move.  This angered many Republicans in a local party made up of three loose-knit factions, which ultimately cost Heath votes.

Barry went on to say, "I hope to get some guidance and help, not only from Dave but also the previous sheriffs in making sure that we're successful," after the election.

WLFI showed Heath angrily wagging his finger at Richard
Our best advice to Barry is to steer clear of Dave Heath and his cronies, and especially do not ask them for advice.   Here's a reminder as to why:  “There’s a difference between what you’re going to do and what I’m going to do. I’m not going to do what you’re going to do,” Heath angrily told Richard after a campaign debate. 

Richard would do well to learn the lessons that Caesar was forced to learn the hard way.   Because of Caeser's naivety and lack of understanding for the motives of Brutus, a "trusted" friend literally stabbed him in the back, putting an end to his career and life. Dave Heath is no friend to Barry Richard, nor can he be trusted to give guidance to someone who he believes stole "his jail."

Why Dave Heath Lost

 

Here's our analysis as to why Heath lost the election.

1)  Barry Richard was the more dynamic candidate. 

Barry has spent the past 30  years of his life working among real people.  You didn't find him drinking beer at the FOP or isolating himself from the community at the country club.  He was out working among blue collar workers all of his life.  Many parents find Barry to be a great role model for kids.  Richard served as a local DARE officer for the Lafayette Police Department for enough years that many of those former students voted for their former mentor.  Even though Barry registered as a Republican, he has remained apolitical and appealed to many Democrats, some of whom were willing to cross party lines.

2)  The FOP endorsement was a turn-off to voters.

If there's one thing that turn voters off it's the politicizing of the police.  In general, citizens believe police officers should be non-partisan.  Some states do not allow for the partisan election of a sheriff candidate to avoid any type of impropriety.  The FOP endorsement backfired on the Heath campaign for these reasons.  Voters were further turned off by the unprecedented endorsement after it was announced there would be no endorsement.  We have talked to people who voted for Richard because of that fatal endorsement.

3) Voters wanted change.


Many people have grown weary of what they perceive as a "good ole boy network" when it comes to the leadership within the sheriff's department.  It's been said that power corrupts.  The best way to avoid corruption within any organization is to bring in new blood from time-to-time.  Power also breeds arrogance, and arrogant is one adjective that we've heard most often in describing Heath's attitude.

While some voters appreciated Heath's past service, many also believed it was time for him to retire since he is at an age where most people at his maturity level are enjoying retirement. 

Young Dave Heath
An older and frail looking Dave Heath

There were also rumors and complaints that Heath has not invested full-time hours at the work release center where he is director, which caused many to wonder if the rumors were true about Heath putting Major Charlie Williams in charge of the day-to-day operations should he win the election. It certainly makes sense that they would employ this type of political bait-and-switch scheme should the Old Republican Guard maintain power. 

Dave's appearance as being feeble was also a factor in the election.  In fact, many people were shocked by the change in Heath's appearance as he has been out of the public spotlight for nearly two decades.  While we want to be careful not to discriminate due to age, we also believe it is important for a sheriff to be physically able to engage in official police officer duties.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Richard is more qualified on the basis of being more physically fit for the job.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Man in Federal Custody After Issuing Death Threats to Boehner; What About the Lafayette Cops Who Did the Same to a Private Citizen?

There's a story in the news today that a man from New Castle, Indiana left voice mail death threats against Speaker of the House John Boehner and is now in federal custody.

How is that any different from what Lafayette cops did when they left death threat messages for Tim VanderPlaats?  We're quite certain that Tim considers his life to be as valuable as Boehner does his.
When will Williams be criminally charged?

Why is the man from New Castle facing charges and the Lafayette cops are not?  We're one step ahead of the legal process here in Lafayette, because there have already been admissions of guilt.  So why are the officers still wearing badges and why aren't they facing criminal charges?

These double standards aren't flying with the public.  It's being talked about in every coffee shop and break room in town.  The reputation of the LPD has been seriously damaged, because the cops were given a free pass.  Many people in our community are more fearful of the cops than they are of
the criminals.

If a private citizen left a death threat message for one of the officers do you suppose he or she would get such a free pass?

No one should be above the law, and we will continue to speak out until justice is fully served.


For those who are new to this blog, you can find the details of the original story at this link.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thousand Dead Bees Discovered in Tippecanoe County: Purdue Experts Explain Why Bees Are Being Threatened


1,000 honeybees found dead in Tippecanoe County
Bees are just a nuisance, right, so what's the big deal if we're killing them off?  Think again if you like to eat since bees are much more important to the food chain than merely making honey.

It is estimated that honeybees pollinate 80 percent of the country's insect crops, which counts for over $20 billion dollars worth of crops each year.  Scientists around the globe are extremely concerned that they are dropping dead at an alarming rate while some from Purdue are sounding the alarm about it.

Purdue entomologist Greg Hunt recently told a WLFI news reporter his theory and Purdue Emeritus Professor Don Huber has graciously provided a copy of his theory and research to the LCJ after submitting it to the Center for Honeybee Research.  We hope that you will take time to read about this growing crisis that affects every American.  It should be of serious concern since it has reached our little corner of the world.

From WLFI:

Now, the lives of bees in Tippecanoe County are being threatened.

“A thousand dead bees in front of a hive, right after somebody planted corn three-tenths of a mile away,” said Purdue entomologist Greg Hunt.

It’s called neonicotinoid. Hunt said farmers are planting corn seeds treated with this pesticide, but he said it’s the process used to lubricate the seeds for easier planting that makes them a danger to bees.

“The grower needs to put talc in the hopper to make the seeds flow well, but then some of the pesticide get’s mixed in with the talc,” said Hunt.

Hunt said the contaminated talc from the seeds drifts from the fields onto other plants. Making something as small as a dandelion, toxic for bees.

“It only takes a tiny bit. I calculated that 150 acres of corn seed has enough neonicotinoid to kill every bee hive in the county,” said Hunt.

The leads to the question — Are treated seeds a must for farmers?

You can access the rest of WLFI's story at this link:

There have been discussions about neonicotinoids, poor nutrition, Nosema, and mysterious viruses. Now a soil pathologist points a finger at a suspect that's completely under our nose.

 

The following was written to the Center for Honeybee Research regarding CCD. Dr. Huber’s profile is at the end of this article. 


Dr. Don Huber, Professor Emeritus, Purdue

Is glyphosate a contributing cause of bee colony collapse disorder (CCD)?


(Submitted to the Center for Honeybee Research by Dr. Don M. Huber)

 Bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a growing threat to the efficient production of fruits, vegetables and nut crops, in addition to the critical role of bees as pollinators for numerous seed crops (Neumann and Carreck, 2009; Wines, 2013).  CCD is characterized as a loss of adult (worker) bees from the hive that leaves the queen and immature bees (brood) inadequately attended even though there is adequate honey and other food present (van Engelsdorp et al, 2006; Wikipedia, 2013).  The etiology (reason) of CCD is listed as unknown (NFIC, 2013) although neonicotinamid insecticides have been implicated in several studies through disruption of the endocrine hormone system (van Engelsdorp et al, 2006; Tapparo et al, 2012; Wikipedia, 2013) that causes bees to become disoriented and fail to return to the hive (NPIC, 2013). 

Acute poisoning and disease leaving dead bees in and around the hive can generally be ruled out, although there is sometimes an increased incidence of Nosema and European foul brood (EFB) in stressed colonies that could be contributing factors in some cases (Pettis et al, 2012). Mineral nutritional deficiency is also suspected as a contributing stress factor in CCD (Ahmed, 2012) and malnutrition is the only universal condition found in all cases of CCD even though there is honey and bee-bread generally in the hive. This could be because of toxicity to the Lactobacillus and Bifobacterium species in the honey crop that digest the nectar and render the honey and bee-bread digestible (Ahmed, 2012).

Perhaps a more problematic cause of CCD has been over looked even though it is the most indiscriminately and extensively used chemical in agriculture and the environment.  This organic phosphonate chemical that has been overlooked is the estimated 880 million pounds of the popular, broad-spectrum, systemic herbicide glyphosate (also marketed as Roundup®) used for broadcast weed control in general right-of-ways, home gardens, crop production, fallow fields, understory weed control in groves, vineyards, orchards, and parks; and for aquatic weed control in ponds and lakes. It is almost universally used on millions of acres of Roundup Ready® alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, soybeans and sugar beets.  An additional, more recent use has been as a crop desiccant prior to harvest for barley, beans, peas, peanuts, sugar cane, wheat, and for late season weed control in other crops. 

These uses have created an extensive exposure level throughout the year with especially high concentrations in plants, air, water and soil during primary bee foraging periods.  The exposure, physiological damage, and biological impact of glyphosate are consistent with all of the known conditions related to CCD as shown in Table 1.  Of all of the potential individual factors implicated in CCD, glyphosate is the only compound extensively used world-wide where CCD occurs that impacts all of them.  That compound, again, is the patented mineral chelator (USPTO, 1964), herbicide, and antibiotic (USPTO, 2000), glyphosate.  New studies refer to this compound as the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment (Samsel and Seneff, 2013). (E. Note: Samsel and Seneff is worth reading the abstract on the link. You can download the entire PDF, which goes into the modern diseases glyphosate is creating.)



Table 1. Common characteristics of glyphosate with CCD.



                     Glyphosate                                                    CCD

       

Mineral chelator, lowers nutrients in plants         Malnutrition (the only universal condition

                                                                              for all CCD!

Antibiotic to beneficial bacteria                           Loss of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria 

(esp. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria spp.)        (critical beneficial bacteria for digestion)

(Low mineral content of plants)

Neurotoxin                                                            Neurological challenge

Endocrine hormone disruption                             Disoriented

Immune suppressant                                             Suppressed immune system

Stimulates fungal pathogens                                 Nosema increased

Present throughout the foraging period                High environmental exposure

Persistent, accumulative

Present in honey, nectar and other plant products



Glyphosate

Glyphosate is an organic phosphonate compound that was first patented as a broad-spectrum, cat-ionic metal chelator by Stauffer Chemical Company in 1964 (USPTO, 1964), as an herbicide by Monsanto Company in 1974 (USPTO, 1974), and as an antibiotic by Monsanto Company in 2000 (USPTO, 2000).  All of these uses are based on its ability to ‘grab onto’ and form a chelate complex that immobilizes mineral nutrients such as Ca, Fe, Co, Cu, Mn, Mg, Ni, Zn, etc. (Glass, 1984). These metal nutrients serve as metal co-factors for various enzyme systems in plants, microorganisms, and animals. Once these metal nutrients are chelated by glyphosate in soil or plants, they become physiologically unavailable as co-factors for many enzymatic and other physiological functions.

The broad-spectrum toxicity of glyphosate to plants initially simplified weed control, especially with selectivity provided by genetically engineered glyphosate-tolerant (Roundup Ready®, RR) plants, so that glyphosate could be applied directly to the RR plants without killing them. This use has led to an estimated annual indiscriminate usage of 880 million pounds of this mineral-immobilizing herbicide and antibiotic in the US.  There is nothing in the genetic engineering process, however, that does anything to the glyphosate that is applied to these plants that are foraged by bees.

Glyphosate is systemic in plants: As a phloem mobile chemical, glyphosate from foliar, stem, or root uptake is systemic in plants where it accumulates in flower and reproductive parts, root and shoot tips, and legume nodules (Huber, 2010; Johal and Huber, 2009).  Much of the glyphosate will remain in the plant and it can accumulate over years in perennial plants such as alfalfa, vine, fruit, and nut crops and environmental perennial species. It is an active mineral chelator in the treated plant for as many as 8 to 15 days after application before becoming sequestered in flower parts, other meristematic tissues, or soil.  As little as 12 gm/acre (1/40th of herbicidal rate and well below the general 12-16 % drift rate) inhibits root uptake and translocation of Fe, Mn, Zn and other nutrients so that plants exposed to glyphosate directly or through drift in air or water have lower nutrient content (Bellaloui et al, 2009, 2011; Bott et al, 2008, 2011; Cakmak et al, 2009; Eker et al, 2006; Huber, 2010, 2012; Zobiole et al 2012).

Minerals in glyphosate-tolerant plants may be impacted even more by glyphosate than those in non-tolerant plants since there is nothing in the genetic engineering that does anything to nullify the glyphosate and its chelating effect on mineral nutrients. Since plant products are the source of essential mineral nutrients, bees may become mineral deficient, malnourished, have a weakened immune system, and be more susceptible to infections and abiotic (environmental) stresses.

Direct toxicity of glyphosate: Glyphosate is not acutely toxic to bees, but is chronically toxic to animals, and, like the neonicotinamid insecticides, glyphosate is a neurotoxin and disrupts the endocrine hormone system at very low exposure rates (Antoniou et al, 2012; Gasnier et al, 2009) that are well below levels found in air, water, and, especially, plant tissues (Benbrook, 2012; Huber, 2012).

The 880 million pounds of glyphosate indiscriminately applied throughout the environment leaves glyphosate residues in plants and the environment that can lead to chronic diseases in animals such as autism, botulism, Parkinson’s, difficale diarrhea (Clostridium difficile), immune suppression, Salmonella and numerous other diseases (Krueger et al, 2012; Shehata et al, 2012).

Disruption of the endocrine hormone system is associated with birth defects.  The wide-spread cultivation of glyphosate-tolerant crops (alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, sugar beets) since 1996 and use as a preharvest desiccant since 2000 have greatly increased the use of glyphosate (Benbrook, 2012; Yamada et al, 2009) and subsequent contamination of air, water, soil, and plant products consistent with the incidence of CCD (NPIC, 2013; Wikipedia, 2013).

Antibiotic activity of glyphosate: Glyphosate is a strong antibiotic and toxic to microorganisms possessing the Shikimate physiological pathway (Johal and Huber, 2009; Kremer and Means, 2009; Krueger et al, 2012; Shehata et al, 2012; USPTO, 2000)). Many of these sensitive microbes include beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus spp. and Bifidobacterium spp. that suppress pathogens such as Clostridium, Salmonella, E. coli, Nosema, and American (Paenibacillus larvae) and European foul brood (Ahmed, 2012; Clair et al, 2012; Krueger et al, 2012; Shehata et al, 2013).  In the absence of these beneficial protective bacteria, the pathogens increase along with the toxins they produce (Krueger et al, 2012; Shehata et al, 2012).

Various fungal pathogens are especially increased in activity and virulence by glyphosate (Johal and Huber, 2009); Kremer et al, 2009; Krueger et al, 2012).  All Apis species possess a similar Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species microbiota within the honey crop that is critical for collecting and transporting nectar to the hive as well as for the production of honey and bee-bread (Ahmed, 2012).  Glyphosate is highly toxic to both of these bacterial species that are necessary for digestion of food and protection from pathogens (Ahmed, 2012; Wikipedia, 2013).

Exposure opportunity: Glyphosate is indiscriminately applied throughout the bee foraging period and is in significant amounts in air, water, and many plant parts frequented by bees. Although not highly volatile, it becomes airborne as drift and on particulate matter with significant levels detected in rain and ground water (USGS, 2012).  It is highly water soluble and a common contaminate found in surface water from drift, run-off, or direct application to water for aquatic weed control. It is systemic and persistent in plants with as much as 80% accumulating in meristematic plant tissues such as flowers and buds frequented by bees and is found in honey collected by bees from contaminated flowers. The extensive cultivation of the many glyphosate-tolerant plants has permitted the application of glyphosate before, during, after, and throughout the foraging period of bees to greatly expand the environmental and plant exposure of bees to this organic phosphonate chemical.

This proposal is initiated to determine if glyphosate is a contributing factor in CCD by analyzing exposure of bees to this chemical and its effect on the two predominate bacteria that are essential for bee nutrition and health (Ahmed, 2012). The focus on insecticides and their acute toxicity may have resulted in over-looking the direct and indirect chronic effects of glyphosate as a contributing factor to bee colony collapse disorder.


We had a few follow up questions which Dr. Huber was gracious enough to answer:


C: Some of us may not know what use “as a crop desiccant prior to harvest” means. Could you tell us why this is a new use - and what farmers are doing when they apply it like this?

Dr. H:

L: Dr. Huber, is the spraying of glyphosate being used in addition to anhydrous ammonia (used to dry up the soil) being used in no-till farming before planting to kill weeds- and Is there a concern to the possible combination of these two chemicals?

Dr. H:


C: From what you’ve said, glyphosate builds up in the soil and in the tissues of plants which I presume are resistant enough not to die - so why are so many applications necessary? On a typical GMO crop farm, how many applications would there likely be in a year’s time?

Dr. H:


L: Dr. would you elaborate on the statement regarding mineral nutritional deficiency and toxicity to the Lactobacillus and Bifobacterium- and how that might impact honeybees?

Dr. H:


C: Dr. Huber, you mention that as little as 12 grams per acre of this chemical will affect the nutrient content of plants exposed. I wonder - if you could give us some comparative idea of what twelve grams looks like? And how much that is in comparison to a pound? You said there was more than 880 million pounds applied in the U.S. alone?

Dr. H:


L:  Can glyphosate accumulate in our bodies and over time also affect our immune systems, nervous systems, etc.?

Dr. H:


L:  Last year, one of my hives had a queen that marched across the combs for 3 months without laying one egg and acted drunk and nervous. Since I live in an area where a lot of GMO corn is being planted - could that have disrupted her egg-laying ability and made her nervous?  

Dr.:


L:  Dr. H, are you saying that in GMOs modified for glyphosate-tolerance, the blocked minerals are not getting in - as compared to plants that have not been genetically modified?

Dr.:


C: It’s scary to hear you say there are ‘significant levels detected in rain and ground water. Is glyphosate evaporating or being washed out of the sky? And could you tell us how this compares to the ‘safe’ exposure levels established by the EPA or whoever is in charge of safe-guarding the public?

Dr.:


Profile for Dr. Huber:

ü  Dr. Huber is Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Idaho (1957, 1959), a Ph-D from Michigan State University (1963), and is a graduate of the US Army Command & General Staff College and Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He was at the Department of Botany & Plant Pathology at Purdue University in 1971.


ü  His agricultural research the past 50 years has focused on the epidemiology and control of soil-borne plant pathogens with emphasis on microbial ecology, cultural and biological controls, and physiology of host-parasite relationships.


ü  He retired in 1995 as Associate Director of the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center (Colonel) after 41+ years of active and reserve military service.


ü  Dr. Huber is an active scientific reviewer; international research cooperator with projects in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and Russia


ü  He is internationally recognized for his expertise in the development of nitrification inhibitors to improve the efficiency of N fertilizers, interactions of the form of nitrogen, manganese and other nutrients in disease, herbicide-nutrient-disease interactions, techniques for rapid microbial identification, and cultural control of plant diseases.


ü  Dr. Huber teaches courses on anti-crop bioterrorism and serves as a consultant on biological weapons of mass destruction and emerging diseases.


ü  To get a more in-depth profile of Dr. Huber, visit: http://www.nvlv.nl/downloads/Dr_Huber_bio.pdf.


ü  His greatest accomplishment has been his marriage to Paula Huber and their 11 children and 42 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. 
-------------------------------------

Proposed Research (Analyses to compare healthy with CCD)



1.   Analyze for glyphosate (and AMPA) in pollen, honey (already shown), bee-bread, nectar and bees

2.   Determine toxicity of glyphosate (rates) to Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species (already shown for other animals)

3.   Endocrine hormone disrupter, neurotoxin, immune suppressant (already shown for other animals)

4.   Glyphosate in CCD compared with normal (healthy) hives

5.   Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in CCD compared with healthy hives, bees, brood (already shown absent in CCD)

---------------------------------------

References


Ahmed, N. 2012. Insect health: Lactic acid bacteria and honeybees. PLoS ONE 7(3):e33188. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033188


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