National Farmers Union to support Bayer neonicotinoid legal bid (Farmers Weekly)

December 16, 2013

From:  Farmers Weekly

The NFU has pledged its support for Bayer’s legal challenge on the restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids.

A two-year ban on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides came into force across the EU on 1 December 2013.

The European Commission announced the ban in May after European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) scientists concluded these products posed “a number of risks” to bees.

Active ingredients involved in the suspension include Bayer’s imidacloprid and clothianidin and Syngenta’s thiamethoxam.

Both Bayer CropScience and Syngenta have filed legal challenges with the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg.

NFU director general Andy Robertson said: “The NFU will support Bayer’s legal challenge of the European Commission’s restrictions on neonicotinoids, and as with the Syngenta challenge, we are planning a direct intervention to support the case.

“We are giving our support because we believe the restrictions are a clear example of poor policy making by regulators. The NFU is concerned that the restrictions were made without a clear basis in science and as a result will harm NFU members’ ability to farm productively and sustainably.

“This sustainable approach depends in part on the availability of a diverse range of pesticides, and the erosion of active ingredients on unjustifiable grounds increases the risk of pest, weed and disease resistance.”

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