Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Greenpeace: Syngenta Pesticides Kill Bees

Greenpeace Switzerland

With the help of local activists, on April 17, Greenpeace Switzerland scaled the building at Syngenta's headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, and dropped a large banner proclaiming "Syngenta Pesticides Kill Bees." The global agrochemical company consistently denies that its pesticide products kill bees. For the last 15 years, in Europe and North America bees are dying at an alarming extent. Depending on the year and region, the mortality of bee colonies is up 53 percent.

© Greenpeace 2013 / Michael Würtenberg

Syngenta's products Actara and Cruiser contain the active ingredient thiamethoxam—a neonicotinoid—one of the pesticides most harmful to bees. With an annual turnover of $14.2 billion, Syngenta is the world's biggest seller of pesticides—neonicotinoids representing around 10 percent of total sales. Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine. They are used for seed dressing or sprayed directly on the plant. Extensive studies of the European Authority for Food Safety Authority and a recently published Greenpeace study shows that a small dose means acute poisoning to bees, leading to flight and navigation problems, fertility issues and inefficient and reduced foraging—making colonies more prone to illness or parasites.

Bees are crucial for our survival. At least one-third of global food production depends on pollination by bees and other insects. In addition to parasites, diseases, climate change and a decline in natural habitats from industrial agricultural practices—the use of pesticides is responsible for the devastating decline of bee populations worldwide.

Countries across Europe have already begun implementing the prohibition against bee-killing pesticides. In France, Germany, Slovenia and Italy, these toxins have been partially banned for years and have seen evidence of recovering bee populations without yield loss. While the European Commission is apparently willing to adopt far-reaching restrictions despite massive resistance from the industry, the Swiss government remains passive as Agriculture Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann appears to be intimidated by threats from Syngenta.

"Syngenta must stop spreading untruths. Syngenta responds to profit instead of to the protection of bees," said Marianne Künzle, agricultural expert at Greenpeace Switzerland. "The dramatic death of wild bees and honey bees is a symptom of misguided industrial agriculture, which serves mainly the interests of powerful corporations like Syngenta. It must stop now. As the agriculture minister, Schneider-Ammann is required to address this issue. Protect our bees and agriculture—Prohibit bee killing pesticides!"

In February, Greenpeace Switzerland was joined by beekeepers from all over in Bern, Switzerland, and presented a petition of 80,000 signatures to protect the bees.

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Tell the FDA to Deny Approval of GE Salmon:

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less