Syngenta responded to the failure of the European Commission to win support for an EU-wide ban on neonicotinoid pesticides. A majority of Member States refused to support the proposal to restrict their use on all bee attractive crops.

The Commission must now decide whether to appeal the decision or amend its proposal.

Syngenta Chief Operating Officer, John Atkin, said: "We are pleased that EU Member States did not support the European Commission's shamefully political proposal. Restricting the use of this vital crop protection technology will do nothing to help improve bee health."

(See Honey bee losses defy solitary explanations)

Syngenta has repeatedly highlighted that the European Commission tried to justify its actions on the basis of a hurried and highly theoretical review by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA). This review made fundamental mistakes which led to a serious over-estimation of the amount of pesticide bees are exposed to under field conditions. It also ignored key studies and independent monitoring by governments which prove the safety of neonicotinoid pesticides.

 

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The decline in bee health is one of the biggest challenges facing agriculture. However, even the European Commission's own data show that pesticides play a negligible role compared to diseases, viruses and loss of habitat.

Syngenta urged the European Commission to broaden efforts to tackle the real causes of the decline in bee health rather than continuing to focus on neonicotinoid pesticides, which deliver significant socio-economic and environmental benefits.

Syngenta has, for many years, supported bee health through Operation Pollinator www.operationpollinator.com. Syngenta's business is based upon biodiversity, including thriving pollinators, and the company remains committed to enhancing ecosystems wherever it operates in the world.

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