BASF lawsuit challenges EU’s insecticide use restrictions

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BASF has filed legal action with the General Court of the European Union challenging the EU Commission’s decision to restrict major seed treatment uses of the insecticide fipronil in the EU. The company remains convinced that the decline of the bee population is caused by multiple and complex factors and that the ban of fipronil uses will not contribute to protecting bees.

“Prior to the decision, we reached out to the EU Commission, but unfortunately our valid scientific studies and evidence were not properly taken into account,” said Dr. Jürgen Oldeweme, Senior Vice President, Global Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs, BASF Crop Protection. “This is why we have taken this step. Fipronil is an important technology in modern agriculture that growers count on,” he added.

BASF believes that the EU Commission’s decision to restrict specific fipronil uses is the result of a disproportionate application of the precautionary principle. In reaching its decision, the EU Commission did not rely on the entire scientific evidence available and also breached EU pesticide legislation.

BASF supports research projects investigating the causes related to the decline of bee health and aims at improving the quality of the habitat for bees, insects, and other wildlife species. BASF is also actively involved in improving bee health by developing new products to control bee pests, pathogens and diseases. Currently, the company is engaged in bringing to European markets Mite Away Quick Strips, a product that controls the Varroa destructor mite in beehives - a mite that seriously impairs bee health.

“We will continue with our efforts to ensure our technologies can protect the environment and support modern farming in Europe. Agriculture cannot exist without bees, our main pollinators. We must engage in a comprehensive action plan with all stakeholders involved to address the real root causes of the decline in bee health,” concluded Oldeweme.

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