Syngenta and Bayer CropScience today proposed an action plan to help unlock the EU stalemate on bee health. This follows the failure of the European Commission to reach agreement with Member States on an appropriate response to EFSA’s report on the theoretical risk to bee health from neonicotinoid pesticides.
John Atkin, Syngenta’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “This comprehensive plan will bring valuable insights into the area of bee health, whereas a ban on neonicotinoids would simply close the door to understanding the problem. Banning these products would not save a single hive and it is time that everyone focused on addressing the real causes of declining bee populations. The plan is based on our confidence in the safety of our products and on our historical commitment to improving the environment for bees.”
Dr. Rüdiger Scheitza, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer CropScience and Head of Strategy & Business Management, said: ”Even though all the evidence points to various parasites and diseases being the true cause of poor bee health, we are keen to do everything in our power to give consumers confidence in our products. The significant lack of agreement between the European Commission and the Member States needs a bold plan so that farmers in Europe can continue to produce the high quality affordable food, in a way that promotes the health of bees and other pollinators. We believe that such a plan as this can be delivered.”
The key features of the action plan are:
NOTES TO EDITORS
In further detail, the key features of the action plan are:
Significantly scale up the provision of pollen rich flowering field margins across the EU to be sown alongside bee attractive crops treated with neonicotinoids to provide habitat and nutrition
Support for the establishment of a comprehensive field monitoring program for bee health including the detection of crop protection chemicals
Mandatory implementation of strict measures to mitigate the exposure risk to bees
Invest in and roll out new technologies which further reduce the dust emissions from the planting of seed treated with neonicotinoid crop protection chemicals
Further invest in the research and development of new solutions for the main factors impacting bee health
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