Syngenta: EFSA neonicotinoid review is flawed

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Syngenta requested that the European Commission retract its proposal to restrict the use of neonicotinoid technology after revealing that the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) report on the risks to bees from their use was fundamentally flawed.

Syngenta submitted a response to the EFSA report in January. This showed that EFSA failed to consider key information proving the safety of thiamethoxam seed treatment for use on crops such as oilseed rape and sunflower.

Further review has now shown that EFSA based its assessment on unrealistic and excessive seed planting rates between two and four times higher than would be used under modern agricultural practice.

Had EFSA used normal sowing rates they would have concluded that the risk to bees is extremely low and that in reality neonicotinoid technology does not damage their health.

Syngenta’s Chief Operating Officer, John Atkin, said: “The European Commission has been using this flawed EFSA report to justify proposed restrictions on this technology. These latest findings undermine the basis for such action, which would bring considerable economic harm to growers and absolutely no benefit to bees. The European Commission must halt the current process and undertake a comprehensive review to identify the true risks to bee health.”

Syngenta has written to all EU Member States and the European Commission to inform them of these findings.

For more information on the bee health challenge go to

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USA  |  February, 16, 2013 at 02:50 PM

These agribusiness cannot be trusted no problem funding a study to figure out how much money they’re going to lose but the field studies they conducted for the effects neonicotinoids have on bees were a joke. Plant a couple of acres of canola plants treated with neonicotinoids place a couple of hives in the area and 90 days later tell us the bees are fine, While 98% of the honeybees were probably working the clover nearby. Sorry Syngenta but your field studies were flawed and your reaction is wrong!

USA  |  February, 19, 2013 at 03:39 PM

If Syngenta and Bayer are so sure of their products then they don’t have anything to worry about, Ban neonicotinoids for a few years and if the bees don’t rebound then will bring the nics back. It’s simple unless they know something we don’t which I am sure they do as they seem to be in a panic.

USA  |  February, 26, 2013 at 03:54 PM

It would appear that if Syngenta and Bayer were so sure that neonicotinoids are not the reason for the bee declines they would be spending millions of dollars trying to prove their other theories like Varroa mites, viruses etc. Instead they keep talking about what its going to cost the EU if neonicotinoids were banned which has nothing to do with the subject at hand. We want to know if your chemicals are killing our bees. The more you avoid this the guiltier you look.

USA  |  May, 04, 2013 at 09:53 PM

Sowing rates mean nothing, You can not rely on proper dosing levels of these neurotoxins to protect bees. This idea is absurd!

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