bayer protest 1

BUND demands withdrawal of bee-harming pesticide products from the market

Berlin: The chemical company Bayer decided not to take further legal action against the environmental organization Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND). On December 23, 2014 the subsidiary Bayer CropScience went to court when the environmental organization  designated the pesticide products of the company as hazardous to bees. A judgment of the Düsseldorf District Court on March 11, 2015 finally permitted the environmentalists this position, because it was based on a “core fact” and is covered by freedom of speech, following the reasoning of the presiding judge. The time limit for appeal against the verdict has now ended, without appeal from Bayer CropScience.

Thus, the BUND may now repeat the statement that two pesticide products manufactured by Bayer are dangerous for bees. The legal dispute concerned two pesticide products containing the chemical agent Thiacloprid, belonging to the chemical category of neonicotinoids which has been assessed as toxic to bees in scientific studies. However, Bayer printed on the packaging of products containing Thiacloprid such as “Schädlingsfrei Calypso” and “Zierpflanzenspray Lizetan” a logo saying “harmless to bees”. In the meantime a study of the research group EASAC advising policy makers at EU level confirmed that neonicotinoids harm honeybees and wild bees. The study also provided evidence for negative effects on other organisms such as birds and butterflies.

“The dangers presented for bees by Bayer products with the chemical agent Thiacloprid is scientifically proven. Bayer must immediately withdraw them from the market,” demanded BUND chairman Hubert Weiger. “To protect bees and other living beings, all pesticide manufacturers as well as gardening and DIY stores must stop selling products containing neonicotinoids immediately. And Federal Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt must instruct the relevant German supervisory authority to withdraw authorization of these products.”

Friends of the Earth Germany called on farmers and orchardists to voluntarily renounce pesticides from the group of neonicotinoids. This was of special significance in the early spring, during the fruit tree blooming period because Thiacloprid is used especially in the cultivation of rapeseed and orchards.

Image: Friends of the Earth Germany/BUND