Monday, May 26, 2008

Germany bans pesticides linked to bee deaths

After the death of millions of honeybees sprayed by a misapplied pesticide earlier this month, Germany has temporarily banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Bayer CropScience, the maker of the pesticide clothianidin which is sold in Germany and the US under the brand name Poncho, blames an application error. The pesticide, which was sprayed in the field on seeds of sweet corn that had just been planted near the Rhine river, was supposed to include a glue-like substance to make the chemical stick to the seeds. Instead the pesticide became airborne, killing the bees and presumably any other insects it came into contact with.

In a press release last week, Bayer CropScience says, "We are saddened by the loss of the bees." Bayer CropScience is a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Bayer (whose corporate motto is Science for a Better Life) with annual sales of EUR 5.8 billion (about $9.4 billion.)

No comments: