Bayer and Syngenta are back in the EU courts once again in an attempt to have the EC neo-nicotinoid ban overturned. The pharma and agri-chemical giants are arrogantly defending themselves for their use of these chemicals on the environment. In addition, the solicitor representing Bayer in the courts, Kristina Nordlander, stated that “there is no evidence” to determine that these neo-nicotinoids are damaging to the environment and that the court are responding to a “weight of noise rather than a weight of evidence“.
These statements made on neo-nicotinoids from Bayers legal representation are shocking with clearly very little regard for the environment and ecology, but rather regard for large-scale corporations and revenue instead.
The EC imposed the ban on three separate neo-nicotinoids; Clothianidin, Imidacloprid and Thiamethoxam after two separate reviews of the European Food and Safety Authority (ESFA) were conducted in 2013. The ban was placed due to the high risk level the chemicals posed to bees.
Scientific studies have proven that neo-nicotinoids reduce bees cognitive ability and suppress their immune system which leaves them vulnerable to infection and as a result, death. It was for these reasons the EC implemented the ban on neo-nicotinoids in 2013. If the use of neo-nicotinoids is allowed to resume bee populations in Ireland and across Europe could be seriously negatively impacted and devastating for biodiversity.
Bee populations have been continuously declining in Europe since the early 1980s. At present, there are unfortunately over 9% of all European bee species considered threatened with extinction with wild honey bees are almost non-existent in the majority of the EU.
Bees are a crucial part of both nature and our economy, providing over:
$200 billion to the world economy every single year.
In Ireland, the work bees do is worth more than
€53 million a year
to our economy. Therefore, these large chemical corporations are directly reducing our economic value through agriculture and biodiversity by utilising these destructive chemicals on crops in Europe.
What are Neo-nicotinoids?
They are synthetic chemicals that are similar to nicotine which can be used as pesticides in agricultural landscapes. These chemicals are sprayed onto crops in order to get rid of pests (insects, etc.) that pose risks to the crops by consuming them or spoiling them.
Seeds coated with these chemicals are extremely toxin to insects, but not to humans/mammals. These chemicals became extremely popular due to their availability and cheap costs as well as their effectiveness to kill off pests from crops. However, the use of these chemicals caused a huge decrease in biodiversity and a destruction of bee species across North America and Europe for almost two full decades.