Despite failing to achieve a qualified majority in the Appeal Committee, the European Commission has announced a restriction on the use of neonicotinoid-containing products on bee-attractive crops, a decision that Bayer CropScience considers disproportionate and one that distracts attention away from the real issues surrounding poor bee health.
Only around half of the member states voted for the proposed restrictions. The European Commission could have taken the bold decision to focus on the real issues surrounding bee health such as the Varroa mite, bee diseases and viruses, and the need to provide more nectar-rich habitats. Bayer CropScience is extremely disappointed that they, instead, took the controversial decision to restrict useful products with a long track record of safe use. European agriculture will be less sustainable as a result.
The company is concerned that restricting the use of these neonicotinoids in crops such as maize, oilseed rape and sunflowers will put at risk farmers' ability to tackle the destructive pests that can severely damage crops and restrict their capability to grow abundant, high-quality, affordable food in Europe.
Bayer CropScience remains convinced that neonicotinoids are safe for bees when used responsibly and properly according to the label instructions. The company will work together with all relevant stakeholders and authorities in the Member States to handle the complex consequences of this decision and help farmers tackle important pests that can severely impair their ability to grow high-quality food. At the same time, the company also reserves the right to review its legal options.