Thursday, June 7, 2012

French Agriculture Minister to Ban Syngentas' Bee-Killing Pesticide, Cruiser by Phil Chandler


French Ag Minister to ban Syngentas' bee-killing pesticide, Cruiser

By Phil Chandler
Food Freedom News,  6 June 2012

The French Minister of Agriculture has announced his intention to ban Syngenta’s pesticide ‘Cruiser’ from the French market in a few weeks time; ‘Cruiser’ is largely used on oilseed rape and contains the neonicotinoid ‘Thiamethoxam’, which recent studies in ‘Science’ have revealed to be harmful to bees ability to forage and navigate.

Other studies have revealed that this pesticide affects bumblebees and other pollinators in a similar harmful manner.

Thiamethoxam was used on over 736,000 acres of crops in the UK in 2010.

Here are the most recent figures for Thiamethoxam in the UK (2010) – as you will see, the usage increased TENFOLD from 2009 to 2010.  It stood at 298,000 hectares – or 736,000 acres in 2010. We do not know what the usage was for 2011 but presumably if the rate of increase is sustained it could well be over a million hectares now?


Year    Region         Crop Group   Active Substance    Total Area Treated (ha)     Total Weight Applied (kg)

2010     Great Britain   All Crops        Thiamethoxam              298,007                                           9,105
2009     Great Britain   All Crops        Thiamethoxam                 22,567                                             938
2008     Great Britain   All Crops        Thiamethoxam                 21,909                                             940
2007     Great Britain   All Crops        Thiamethoxam                   1,333                                                 5.6
2006     Great Britain   All Crops        Thiamethoxam                   1,213                                                 5.4
2005     Great Britain   All Crops        Thiamethoxam                   1,213                                                 5.4

Given that the French are about to ban this dangerous neonicotinoid, how long before DEFRA and the other regulators here in the UK follow suit?

How long before the British Bee Keepers Association calls for a ban? Or will they do their usual trick of leaping to the defense of the pesticide industry?

From Reuters:

The decision was based on a report from French health and safety agency ANSES, which went along with recent scientific findings suggesting that a sub-lethal dose of thiamethoxam, a molecule contained in Cruiser, made bees more likely to lose their way and die….

The French ban on the pesticide will take effect before the start of the next rapeseed sowing campaign in late summer, a farm ministry official said, stressing that it would not affect versions of Cruiser used for other crops such as maize (corn)….

In a separate opinion published on Friday, the European Food Safety Authority said doses of neonicotinoids tested in the bee research were above the highest residue levels actually recorded in plant nectar, adding that more studies were needed to evaluate exposure in different field situations.

Dave Goulson of Stirling University in Scotland, who led another recent study on risks to bees from neonicotinoids, said there was growing evidence that these chemicals may play a role.

“It would be massively oversimplifying to say that these chemicals are the only cause of bee decline, although it is clear they are a part of the problem,” he told Reuters


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