Syngenta in conjunction with Bayer is suing the European Commission. The Syngenta complaint was filed with the European Court of Justice on the 14th of August and categorically denies involvement in killing bees, due to the application of pesticides that it manufactures.
The complaint, announced separately by the companies on the 27th of August, says that the Commission took its decision based on an “inaccurate and incomplete assessment” by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and without the full support of European Union member states.
The European Commission has implemented a two year ban on the use of pesticides to begin in December 2013, due to the astronomical bee die off, witnessed in several locations. Partial bans of neonicotinoids, (the main pesticide component), are already in place in Italy, France, Germany and Slovenia, with no significant impacts on agricultural production.
The nervous system of bees and other beneficial pollinators are damaged by neonicotinoids. Other pesticides produced by Syngenta and agrochemicals companies including Bayer also pose a severe threat to bees. A Greenpeace report, Bees in Decline, identifies seven bee-killing pesticides produced by Syngenta, Bayer, BASF and other companies, four of which are not neonicotinoids.
Greenpeace spokesperson Mark Breddy reacted to the lawsuit and said: “Syngenta continues to ignore scientific evidence that clearly links thiamethoxam and other pesticides to bee-mortality. Instead of taking the Commission to court, it should act responsibly and stop marketing its bee-killing pesticides. The Commission was right to intervene and Greenpeace will continue to campaign actively for the protection of bees. The environmental risks and the threat to agricultural production posed by these pesticides far outweigh any benefits.”
Greenpeace Science Unit, April 2013, Bees in Decline