Without bees to pollinate contributing 80% of species of flowering plants, they could not reproduce. This would alter the entire food chain.
More than one million people demanded on Friday the German giant Bayer to stop marketing agrochemical pesticides “murderers of bees” , some insects endangered and essential for global food security.
“Killing bees is not part of things truly a company that cares about the future should do,” he told AFP Anne Isakowitsch, militant Sum of Us oenegé.
Without bees, pollination contributing to 80% of species of flowering plants, they could not reproduce. And no flowers, no fruits, which would alter the whole food chain.
A situation that greatly worries Anne Isakowitsch, a Berliner who came Friday to the general meeting of shareholders of Bayer in Cologne (west) to give the group a global petition signed by 1.4 million people.
The document calls for the purpose of marketing of two substances , clothianidin and imidacloprid, the family of neonicotinoids, suspected of decimating bee colonies worldwide pesticides.
These two Bayer products are subject to a moratorium imposed by the European Union since the end of 2013 , and thiamethoxam, Swiss Syngenta, and Fipronil German BASF. In the rest of the world, these four substances, sold by brands such as Gaucho, Poncho or Cruiser, continue to be used without restrictions.
Neonicotinoids are usually applied on the seeds that farmers plant and infiltrating later in the nectar and pollen during flowering.
The substance would cause the loss of orientation of bees, which do not find their hive, a decline in fertility or less resistance to disease, according to the scientific literature. In addition, the journal Nature says that bees often prefer plants sprayed with these substances derived from nicotine.
Neonicotinoids would be “a key factor in the decline of bees” and other pollinators, according to an analysis of 800 studies conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). About a quarter of bumblebees and almost one in 10 honeybees are at risk of extinction, according to this organization.
But Bayer, which invoiced 2,500 million euros in 2015 with insecticides and seed protection products , including neonicotinoids and other items, rejects the accusations.
“The neonicotinoids do not involve any danger if used correctly , ” he said a spokesman for the company told AFP. Together with BASF and Syngenta, the group has challenged in the European courts the moratorium imposed by Brussels. The group points to other culprits for the suffering of bees: meteorology, viruses or even Varroa, a parasite.
“The decline of bee populations is multifactorial,” said Jose Tarazona, director of pesticides from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
This body ruled in 2012 that the four pesticides of the three companies assumed an “unacceptable” risk to bees , giving arguments to the EU for the moratorium. “Not yet have the means to quantify” the role of these products, acknowledged, however, Tarazona.
EFSA is carrying out an inventory on the issue with results expected by 2017 and could lead Brussels to extend the restrictions, keep them or decide to withdraw the moratorium.
“Of course, pesticides are not the only problem (..) But they are the only one that can intervene immediately,” defended Marco Contiero, in charge of agricultural policies in the Greenpeace oenegé.
Greenpeace expects the EU ban to the whole of neonicotinoids and their uses without exception , as is currently the case, and urges the industry to invest in non – chemical alternatives.
In addition, the consumer pressure is beginning to show. In Germany, Aldi supermarkets just commit not to sell more food with neonicotinoids.