Jan. 21, 2013
Bayer CropScience is currently evaluating the reports published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on neonicotinoids and bees. The company is ready to work with the European Commission and Member States in order to take the necessary steps to develop pragmatic solutions to address the perceived data gaps which EFSA consider to be present. Bayer said they proactively work on closing data gaps which arise and continue to be open to constructive dialogue with the competent regulatory authorities, in order to discuss all relevant points relating to the safety of their products.
Bayer CropScience has generated extensive safety data for its neonicotinoid-containing crop protection products. These have been reviewed by the competent EU and Member State authorities who have confirmed the absence of any unacceptable risk by these products. They do not believe that the new EFSA reports alter the quality and validity of these risk assessments and the underlying studies.
In reality, the main consensus reached when evaluating the scientific research in this area is that poor bee health and colony losses are caused by multiple factors, the parasitic Varroa mite being the key issue. Bayer believes it is very important that any political decision relating to registrations of neonicotinoid-containing products, following the publication of the EFSA reports, should be based on clear scientific evidence of adverse effects of the affected products under "realistic conditions of use", including the extensive stewardship measures that are in place in the field, and should not be made ad-hoc or on the basis of an over-interpretation of the precautionary principle.
Ultimately, it is important to ensure that European farmers continue to have access to crop protection products, such as those containing neonicotinoids, as key components in integrated pest management (IPM). Neonicotinoids are an important class of insecticides which underpin a farmer´s ability to grow safe, high-quality, affordable food in Europe.
Bayer CropScience is strongly committed to supporting the responsible use of neonicotinoids and invests heavily in product stewardship and research activities to minimize any impact of these products on bees.