Press Release: The Bee Coalition urges government to reject Syngenta bid to use banned pesticide
On the day the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides announced their report confirming the clear damaging effects of neonicotinoids on pollinators, Syngenta has asked to be allowed to use one of its currently banned neonicotinoid pesticides on 186,000 hectares of oil seed rape in the UK.
The news of this request for a derogation emerged at a Council Meeting of the National Farmers Union, which appears to support the request by Syngenta and also opposes the EC’s restriction on neonicotinoids.
Any such derogation, which has been asked for to control flea beetle, will undermine the temporary ban on the use of neonicotinoids imposed by the EU at the end of last year, making it even more difficult to assess the true impact of neonicotinoids on pollinators than was already the case.
"This is a clear attempt by Syngenta and the NFU to undermine the EU ban which they so bitterly opposed by the back door.” Nick Mole of Pesticide Action Network UK, Bee Coalition member
"In light of today's report it is imperative that the UK Government reject this request from Syngenta to use a banned pesticide which we know will be harmful to the UK's pollinators and will undermine the effective monitoring of the neonicotinoid ban in the UK." Steve Trent, EJF Executive Director
The Bee Coalition regards Syngenta’s request as a deliberate attempt to undermine the EC’s temporary restriction on three of the main neonicotinoids, does not believe there is a justification for this derogation and urgently calls on DEFRA to reject this request.
The Bee Coalition formed in 2012 when the UK’s main environmental groups joined forces to call for a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides that are toxic to bees and pollinators. Since 2012, a core group of eight organisations (Buglife, Client Earth, Environmental Justice Foundation, Friends of the Earth, Natural Beekeeping Trust, Pesticide Action Network, RSPB and Soil Association) have been working to bring attention to the plight of bees and pollinators and specifically to engage policymakers, industry and the public about their respective roles in ensuring their protection.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
- It is thought that Syngenta, supported by the NFU, is seeking a quick decision from the UK Environment Department (Defra) to allow it to derogate from current EU restriction on three of the main neonicotinoids used in farming mainly as seed treatments before seed has to be sown in the ground by 14 August 2014. The request emerged on the same day that the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides released its review of evidence of the effect of neonicotinoids on bees, wildlife, soils and water - www.tfsp.info/
- A 2014 review of US literature by the Center for Food Safety concluded that neonicotinoid seed treatments do not deliver significant yield benefits in many contexts. It concluded “In sum, we found that numerous studies show neonicotinoid seed treatments do not provide significant yield benefits in many contexts. European reports of crop yields being maintained even after regional neonicotinoid bans corroborate this finding. Opinions from several independent experts reinforce that neonicotinoids are massively overused in the US, without a corresponding yield benefit, across numerous agricultural contexts. The bottom line is that toxic insecticides are being unnecessarily applied in most cases.” Heavy Costs. Weighing the Value of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Agriculture. S Stevens & P Jenkins, Center for Food Safety, US, 2014. www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/neonic-efficacy_digital_29226.pdf
SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAILS AND STAY UP TO DATE WITH EJF'S NEWS AND EVENTS
By subscribing to our newsletter, you ensure that you will stay up-to-date with latest news on our work and our campaigns, as well as how you have been part of achieving those goals. We carefully select what goes into our emails so that you will only receive relevant and interesting news about our campaigns. We will let you know when we have exposed a critical environmental issue or uncovered human rights abuses. We will ask you to get involved when your actions can make a difference, and we look forward to inviting you to our events.