EU top court upholds ban on Bayer pesticides linked to harming bees



By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS, May 6 (Reuters) - The European Union's top court on Thursday upheld the EU's partial ban on three insecticides linked to harming bees, preventing their use on certain crops.

The European Court of Justice dismissed an appeal by Bayer BAYGn.DE to overturn a lower EU court's 2018 decision to uphold the ban.

The ruling covers three active substances - imidacloprid developed by Bayer CropScience, clothianidin developed by Takeda Chemical Industries 4502.T and Bayer CropScience, as well as Syngenta's thiamethoxam.

A Bayer spokesperson said it was disappointed by the verdict and stood by the safety of the products, which continue to be used in other regions with appropriate risk mitigation measures applied.

"The verdict seems to allow the (European) Commission almost carte blanche to review existing approvals upon the slightest evidence, which need not even be new scientific data," the spokesperson said.

The Commission in 2013 restricted the use of the neonicotinoids, meaning they could not be used on maize, rapeseed and some spring cereals. They could still be used for other crops, such as sugar beet.

The Commission had reviewed the approvals because of the loss of bee colonies due to the misuse of pesticides.

Bayer had said there was insufficient new scientific knowledge to justify the restrictions. The EU’s highest court on Thursday dismissed that appeal and ordered Bayer to bear its own costs plus those of other parties.

"The Court of Justice has reaffirmed that protecting nature and people’s health takes precedence over the narrow economic interests of powerful multinationals," said Greenpeace legal strategist Andrea Carta.

Bayer and ChemChina-owned Syngenta had warned that banning the insecticides would mean farmers reverting to older chemicals and spraying more.

Despite the ban, 206 emergency authorisations were granted for the use of the substances in the EU between 2013 and 2019. EU auditors last year said this pesticide use, while legal, was thought to be responsible for honeybee losses.

To protect bees, the Commission has proposed targets to cut the EU's use of chemical pesticides by 50% and to reduce fertiliser use by 20% by 2030.
Reporting by Kate Abnett. Additional reporting by Ludwig Burger. Editing by Marine Strauss and Mark Potter

Disclaimer: The XM Group entities provide execution-only service and access to our Online Trading Facility, permitting a person to view and/or use the content available on or via the website, is not intended to change or expand on this, nor does it change or expand on this. Such access and use are always subject to: (i) Terms and Conditions; (ii) Risk Warnings; and (iii) Full Disclaimer. Such content is therefore provided as no more than general information. Particularly, please be aware that the contents of our Online Trading Facility are neither a solicitation, nor an offer to enter any transactions on the financial markets. Trading on any financial market involves a significant level of risk to your capital.

All material published on our Online Trading Facility is intended for educational/informational purposes only, and does not contain – nor should it be considered as containing – financial, investment tax or trading advice and recommendations; or a record of our trading prices; or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instruments; or unsolicited financial promotions to you.

Any third-party content, as well as content prepared by XM, such as: opinions, news, research, analyses, prices and other information or links to third-party sites contained on this website are provided on an “as-is” basis, as general market commentary, and do not constitute investment advice. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, it would be considered as marketing communication under the relevant laws and regulations. Please ensure that you have read and understood our Notification on Non-Independent Investment. Research and Risk Warning concerning the foregoing information, which can be accessed here.

We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Read more or change your cookie settings.

Risk Warning: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone. Please consider our Risk Disclosure.