Syngenta takes legal action against EU over insecticide ban
The ban was made after a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessment deemed neonicotinoid-based chemicals, including, thiamethoxam, posed a risk to honeybee survival and development.
However, Syngenta claims this conclusion was reached from a "flawed process", an inaccurate and incomplete assessment, and without the full support of European Union member states.
"We would prefer not to take legal action but have no other choice given our firm belief that the Commission wrongly linked thiamethoxam to the decline in bee health. In suspending the product, it breached EU pesticide legislation and incorrectly applied the precautionary principle," Syngenta chief operating officer John Atkin said in a release.
"Since the EU suspension of thiamethoxam was announced, farmers and farmer organizations have expressed great concern that an extremely effective, low dose product will not be available to them and will have to be replaced by much less sustainable alternatives.
"Modern products like thiamethoxam are essential to address the challenge of increasing European food production and reducing the reliance on imports."
Syngenta called on all stakeholders to concentrate on practical solutions to bee health, which most experts agree is damaged by disease, viruses and the loss of habitat and nutrition.
Photo: Rufus Isaacs