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Haagen-Dazs, which is owned by Nestle, said bees are actually responsible for 40% of its 60 flavors - such as strawberry, toasted pecan and banana split.

"These are among consumers' favorite flavors," said Katty Pien, brand director with Haagen-Dazs.

"We use 100% all natural ingredients like strawberries, raspberries and almonds which we get from California. The bee problem could badly hurt supply from the Pacific Northwest," Pien said

Pien said Haagen-Dazs is hoping scientists get a breakthrough in this mystery soon. Otherwise, she said, the company may have to "re-examine the flavors that we currently offers our customers."

And as though we did not have enough problems with the rise of gas prices, we may have to contend with a rise in food prices as well. Fewer bees means that there will be less supplies, meaning that prices will go up because the demand for food will not go away.

This is what happens when you do not fund science enough and instead fund wars of choice. Billions and billions of taxpayer dollars is going down the drain to Halliburton when it could have easily be used to identify this problem and head it off. But the failure to identify and solve problems early means that what could have been a small problem is now a huge problem that will affect our food supply.

And the kind of contempt that right-wing fundamentalists have had for science over the years is now coming home to roost. And what's more, the bill known as No Child Left Behind has led to a dumbing down of our students to where they do not learn and apply information, but they are taught that if they get the answers right, they are good while if they get them wrong, they are bad.

This dumbing down of our students over the last few decades, with ever-increasing demands for more and more test-taking, means that when major problems such as this strike, we do not have the answers. Instead, too many people are caught up in the rat race and trying to keep the bills paid instead of working to solve our country's problems.

Now, more than ever, we need answers, not more right-wing ideology. Instead of minders telling our scientists what they can and can't do, what we need is a clear set of goals for our country, like protecting our food supplies and protecting us against bird flu and other diseases.

And with all of the phony terror alerts that the Bush administration has launched over the years, we have lost a sense of proportion. We have no real sense of urgency to the global warming crisis even though an increase of 6 degrees celsius would drastically affect the way we live. And we have no real sense of urgency over this even though at least one third of our food supply will be affected by this dieoff. With the Bush administration throwing a major tantrum over the FISA act, you would think that our biggest danger is the Big Brown Scary People that will come and blow you up in your sleep in Smalltown, USA.

Originally posted to Stop the Police State! on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 11:43 AM PST.

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