Shame on the bee-killers!

Syngenta, Bayer, BASF

Vote for the Public Eye Awards 2014. Corporate Europe Observatory supports the nomination of bee-killer multinational companies Syngenta, Bayer and BASF, because of their products' terrible impact on bees and ecosystems and their aggressive lobbying and greenwash campaign to deny it.

UPDATE (January 2014): The bee-killers came second with nearly 60,000 votes. Thank you for your votes!

Introduction

Syngenta, BASF and Bayer (“the bee-killers”) are giant multinational companies that produce and sell highly toxic pesticides, called neonicotinoids, which are mass-killing bees and other pollinators essential for the environment, agriculture and global food production. Several European countries have already banned the use of some of these neonicotinoid products. However, the business of bee-killing pesticides generates huge profits  for the companies and they are lobbying hard to secure their market. Therefore the companies have largely denied that their pesticide business has negative impacts on bees and ecosystems. Instead, they turn to misleading advertising, greenwash, aggressive lobbying and pressuring of political institutions. Syngenta, BASF and Bayer are now suing the European Commission for having imposed a ban on their products to protect bees and agriculture in Europe.

Consequences

Over the past years, beekeepers all over the world have been reporting a decline of bees with annual bee colony losses of 20-50 per cent. But bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in ecosystems and the world would find it extremely difficult to survive a total bee collapse: most plants and a third of our food depends on pollination by bees. The economic value of bee-pollination is €265 billion per year. With the decline of pollinators, food will become more expensive and less diverse. In a world without bees, who would pollinate our essential crop and wild plants? The bee collapse is a challenge to mankind on the scale of climate change, ocean acidification or nuclear devastation.

“Syngenta, Bayer and BASF’s bee-killing pesticides put global bee populations at risk. But without bees, the ecosystem and global food production will be doomed.“ Francesco Panella, beekeeper and spokesman for the European Beekeeping Coordination.

Causes

Bee death is closely linked to destructive agricultural practices. Newly-developed pesticides by Syngenta, Bayer and BASF are more and more powerful and they can cause acute and chronic poisoning with deadly consequences for individual bees and entire colonies (colony collapse disorder). In addition to pesticides, bees suffer from the effects of climate change, parasites and the increasingly monotonous landscapes created by industrial agriculture that lead to a loss of biodiversity, availability of food and undisturbed habitats. However, regardless of independent scientific evidence, beekeepers' claims and civil society demands, the companies still promote these bee-killing pesticides and Syngenta, BASF and Bayer try to protect their profits. However, this can come at the cost of the bees, the environment and human food security and sovereignty. The only solution is to reduce and then eliminate such damaging pesticides by moving away from destructive industrial agriculture towards an ecological farming system.

Perpetrator: Syngenta, Bayer, BASF

Syngenta, Bayer and BASF are giant multinational companies that sell pesticides, agro-chemicals, treated seeds and various other products, paving the way for them to control much of the chain of food production. Syngenta, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, reported sales of over US$14bn and a net income of US$1.9bn in 2012. In the same year, Bayer, headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, showed sales of nearly €40bn and a net income of €2.4bn. BASF, headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany, reported sales amounting to 78.7bn and a net income of 9bn in 2012.

Accountable person

- Michael Mack, CEO of Syngenta, aggregated annual income US$5.45 million

- Marijn Dekkers, CEO of Bayer, aggregated annual income €5.06 million

- Kurt Bock,CEO ofBASF, aggregated annual income €5.286 million

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Vote now!

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Nominator: Bee Life European Beekeeping Coordination 

Bee Life European Beekeeping Coordination (www.bee-life.eu) is an association composed of European beekeeping and agricultural organisations. Bee Life’s objective isto identify and solve problems related to environmental threats affecting pollinators, especially honey bees. Facing the dramatic decline in bees, Bee Life gives special attention to environmental threats linked to intensive agriculture. Bee Life has recently established an international alliance together with more than 45 beekeeping' organisations, farmers associations, research institutes, citizen rights and environmental organisations called the “Alliance to Save the Bees and Agriculture”.

Supporting organizations

“Alliance to Save the Bees and Agriculture”:

Fédération des apiculteurs de Belgique (FAB-BBF) (www.bee-life.eu/en/who)

Fédération Française des Apiculteurs Professionnels (FFAP) (www.apipro-ffap.net)

Fédération Nationale des Organisations Sanitaires Apicoles Départementales (FNOSAD) (www.beekeeping.com/fnosad)

Fédération des unions d’apiculteurs du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg (FUAL) (www.bee-life.eu/en/who)

Syndicat National d’Apiculture (SNA) (www.snapiculture.com)

European Professional Beekeepers Association (EPBA) (www.professional-beekeepers.eu)

Union Nationale de l’Apiculture Française (UNAF) (www.unaf-apiculture.info)

Deutscher Berufs und Erwerbs Imker Bund (DBIB) (www.berufsimker.de)

Unione Nazionale Associazioni Apicoltori Italiani (Unaapi) (www.mieliditalia.it)

Confédération Paysanne (www.confederationpaysanne.fr)

Asociación Galega de Apicultura (AGA) (www.apiculturagalega.org)
Gemeinschaft der europäischen Buckfastimker (GdeB) (www.gdeb.eu)

Fundación Amigos de las Abejas (www.abejas.org)

Landesverband für Bienenzucht (www.imkereizentrum.at)

Österreichischer Erwerbsimkerbund (www.erwerbsimkerbund.at)

Associazione Italiana per l'Agricoltura Biologica (AIAB) (www.aiab.it)

Biocoop (www.biocoop.fr)

Demeter Schweiz (www.demeter.ch)

Fondazione Italiana per la Ricerca in Agricoltura Biologica e Biodinamica (FIRAB) (www.firab.it)

Unio de Llauradors i Ramaders del Pais Valencia (www.launio.org)

ARC2020 (www.arc2020.eu)

BugLife (www.buglife.org.uk)

Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz (BUND - Friends of the Earth Germany) (www.bund.net)

Coalition against BAYER-dangers (CBG) (www.cbgnetwork.org)

Confederación de Ecologistas en Acción (www.ecologistasenaccion.org)

Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) (www.corporateeurope.org)

Environmental Justice Foundation, (www.ejfoundation.org)

European Environmental Bureau (www.eeb.org)

European Green Party (www.europeangreens.eu)

Générations Futures(www.generations-futures.fr)

Global2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria) (www.global2000.at)

Greenpeace (www.greenpeace.org)

Friends of the Earth Europe (www.foeeurope.org)

Friends of the Earth EWNI (England Wales and Northern Ireland) (http://www.foei.org/en/who-we-are/member-directory/groups-by-region/europe/ewni.html)

Fundación Global Nature (www.fundacionglobalnature.org)

Lagambiente (www.legambiente.it)

Pesticide Action Network Asiapasific (www.panap.net)

Pesticide Action Network Europe (www.pan-europe.info)

Pesticide Action Network Northamerica (www.panna.org)

Pesticide Action Network Germany (www.pan-germany.org)

Pesticide Action Network UK (www.pan-uk.org)

Slow Food (www.slowfood.com)

Soil Association (www.soilassociation.org)

SumOfUs (www.sumofus.org)

Védegylet (Protect the Future) (www.vedegylet.hu)


Photo: By Cross Duck (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0), via Flickr

Comments

bees
hilmar kuhnemann

My name is Hilmar Kuhnemann
Until 2013 I worked in a conventional apiary in the Galilee with 800 hives spread over agricultural lands and uncultivated areas from central to northern Israel.
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Join the efforts to save the world’s bees population from colony collapse and study the secret world of bees.
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All the best!
Hilmar