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European officials plan to ban the Bayer pesticides Calypso and Biscaya, indicating that the products may contamiante groundwater and be a threat to pollinators, such as bees.
The European Commission announced a thiacloprid ban on Monday, indicating that the they would not be renewing the approval for certain Bayer insecticides, after determining the chemical may be harmful to bees and could contaminate ground water. The commission cited recent research that has found the insecticide chemical not only kills insects but also harms bees and bumblebees, weakening their immune systems and impairing their reproduction.
Thiacloprid is an insecticide of the neonicotinoid class, which was developed by Bayer CropScience for use on agricultural crops to control of a variety of sucking and chewing insects, primarily aphids and whiteflies. The chemical is currently approved for use and sold as Bayer pesticides Calypso and Biscaya.
The chemical disrupts those types of insects’ nervous systems, but research suggests humans and bees could be also suffering negative health consequences from thiacloprid exposure .
The Commission’s decision to ban the chemical was based on findings published in January last year by the European Food Safety Agency, which found thiacloprid concentrations well over safe levels for consumption in ground water, mainly due to farm use.
According to the EU Commissions statement, thiacloprid approval would not be renewed in 2020, and farmers will not be prohibited from using the insecticide, sold under brands Calypso and Biscaya, after April 30 this year, when its current approval expires.
The action by the Commission follows France, which has already banned five neonicotinoids including acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam. In April 2018, France outlawed the insecticides and greenhouse gases due to their potential negative impact bees and other valuable pollinator insects. Currently, the banning of thiacloprid has been proposed by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Canada and is pending a decision.
Despite the growing evidence of thiacloprid and other pesticides causing harm to the environment and humans, at least 85 pesticides banned in the EU, China and Brazil are still used in the U.S., at the level of tens to hundreds of millions of pounds annually.
This is just the latest of a number of problems plaguing Bayer’s pesticide product line. Bayer’s Monsanto unit currently faces more than 45,000 product liability lawsuits involving individuals diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma following Roundup exposure, each raising similar allegations that the manufacturer has withheld known risk information and failed to provide safety instructions for the glyphosate-based weedkiller.
Despite substantial evidence linking their weedkiller to a risk of cancer, and prior statements by the World Health Organization which categorized glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, Bayer and Monsanto continued to sell Roundup without cancer warnings and defend the safety of their product.
In the first three Roundup claims to go before juries in the United States, Bayer and it’s Monsanto unit have been hit with multi-million dollar verdicts, which have raised awareness among consumers that non-Hodgkins lymphoma diagnosed in recent years may have been caused by Roundup.
Bayer is currently engaged in a court-ordered mediation process designed to explore a potential Roundup settlement or resolution for the litigation. However, the parties have yet to come to an agreement. Bayer officials have said they are open to settling Roundup claims at a price they consider reasonable, if it is a cheaper alternative to fighting every case in court.