"The European proposal was made by politicians, not scientists. And
the weight of scientific evidence shows no correlation between bee
health and the use of neonicotinoids. For example, in Australia, where
neonicotinoids are widely used, bees are thriving; yet in Switzerland,
where there is little use of these products, bee health is generally
Unlike Europe, regulators in the United States and Canada make
registration decisions based on a framework of sound science.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) review, on which the
proposal is based, was hurried, incomplete and failed to take
into account years of field monitoring, mitigation efforts,
real-life applications and sound scientific studies of
neonicotinoids and their impact on bees and other pollinators.
The real risks to bee health include many factors, principally the
parasitic Varroa mite, viruses carried by mites, loss of suitable
habitats and nutrition, the fungus Nosema ceranae and other
diseases. Unusual weather conditions and hive management
and other beekeeping practices also can affect bee health.
Agriculture is our business. We know how essential healthy bee
populations, and the pollination services they provide, are to a
thriving agricultural system. And the science shows clearly that
bees and other pollinators can coexist safely with modern
agricultural technology, like neonicotinoids.
Thiamethoxam and other neonicotinoid insecticides have been
used safely around the world for many years. Restricting their
use would do little to improve bee health, but could lead to
devastating crop damage, reductions in yield and force farmers
to go back to using older, less environmentally friendly insecticides."
BAYER CROPSCIENCE RESPONDS:
"Commission’s plan will not have a positive impact on bee health"
Monheim, April 29, 2013 – Bayer CropScience considers the decision
by the Commission of the European Union to restrict the use of
neonicotinoid-containing products across Europe as a set-back for
technology, innovation and sustainability. In an Appeals Committee
meeting today, only half of the EU Member States supported the
Commission’s proposal for the restrictions. The company believes
that the plan by the Commission will not have a positive impact on
The company is concerned that the restriction of these neonicotinoids
will result in crop yield losses, reduced food quality and loss of
competitiveness for European agriculture. This will have a negative
impact on farmers, R&D driven ag companies, the seed industry and
the food value chain.
As a science-based company, Bayer CropScience is disappointed that
clear scientific evidence has taken a back-seat in the decision making
process. This disproportionate decision is a missed opportunity to reach
a solution that takes into consideration all of the existing product
stewardship measures and broad stakeholder concerns. The further
reduction of effective crop protection products will put at risk farmers’
ability to tackle important pests that can severely restrict their ability
to grow high-quality food.
Bayer CropScience remains convinced that neonicotinoids are safe for
bees, when used responsibly and properly, according to 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, to further support its customers."