Bayer: Restricting neonicotinoids won’t improve bee health

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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.


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JB    
June, 18, 2013 at 09:28 AM

Systemic pesticides are taken up internally by the plants they are applied to, and distributed through the roots, leaves, stems, flowers and pollen in the plant. Bees and other pollinators collect pollen (a protein source) from a variety of plants, including those that are self-pollinated (such as corn). Brassicas (such as rape) and sunflowers are particularly attractive food sources for pollinators. Once collected, this pollen is then taken back to the hive and distributed to the thousands of workers, drones and even the queen. Pesticides damage insects, including pollinators. This ban will prove definitively whether these new classes of pesticids do in fact cause harm - either the pollinators health improves or it doesn't. No guessing, no back and forth with industry as to it's safety, just clear improvements or not. These insects are the canary in the coalmine so to speak - and it's time we started listening.

Tom    
June, 18, 2013 at 07:28 PM

To bad it's only 2 years, I was hopping for a good 5 years.

AP    
UK  |  June, 19, 2013 at 06:39 AM

"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. " Reminds me of a Bayer insecticide spray I saw at Waitrose the other day. It included a bee friendly seed packet. Crazy thinking and PR gone mad. Like giving out sweets with cigarettes The EC based their temporary restriction based on science. Too bad Bayer and Syngenta kept their science private for commercial reasons. The increasing negative field trial evidence since the decision should be more than enough to make the suspension last for a lot longer and spread to other crops.


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