The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 :

Environmental Groups Slam Bayer and Syngenta for Bee-Killing Pesticide Products Joins Groups Responding to Legal Action by Bayer in Defense of the European Union’s Bee-Killing Pesticide Ban


Following a major crowdsourced fundraising campaign,, a global corporate watchdog organization, is applying to intervene at the European Court of Justice to defend an EU-wide ban of three pesticides, in response to legal actions by chemical companies Syngenta and Bayer who are seeking to overturn the ban. is Bayer, and their main competitor Syngenta, have voiced major public opposition to the EU ban and are fighting in the European courts to overturn it.'s intervention in the case is crowd-funded by over 20,000 small online donations, and seeks to be recognized on behalf of the more than 450,000 people who have demanded action to stop the sale of these pesticides, including more than 140,000 EU citizens who have called on Bayer and Syngenta to drop their legal challenges. It is the first known time an organization has sought recognition from the court on this basis.


The legal action is being brought in conjunction with Buglife, ClientEarth, Greenpeace, Pesticides Action Network Europe and the Bee Life European Beekeeping Coordination.

The ban, which came into effect on December 1st of this year relates to three pesticides produced by Syngenta (thiamethoxam) and Bayer (imidacloprid and clothianidin) which belong to a class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids. The EU commission imposed a 2 year moratorium on the use of neonicotinoids in the 28 member bloc, after numerous scientific assessments identified a high risk to honeybees and other pollinators, and to gather more evidence on their environmental impacts.

"Right around the world, bees are dying off in their millions and the situation is getting worse. The response from the public has been overwhelming - tens of thousands of people have chipped in as little as a few pounds or euros each to fund this legal intervention on behalf of the bees," explained Martin Caldwell, UK campaigner for "The fight to save the bees is global but the first battle will be in Europe at the European Court."


"Bayer is using the same tried-and-true tactics of climate-change denialists and Big Tobacco. The evidence clearly points to neonics as one of the major causes of bee die-off. Instead of adjusting their product line-up to protect our food supply, Monsanto, Syngenta, and Bayer have bought up bee research labs in order to churn out their own biased studies to cloud the data. With a third of our food supply dependent on bees at risk, over 200,000 people across the globe have denounced Bayer's sham-science delay tactics and demanded the company respect sound science. It's time for Bayer and Syngenta to listen up, and respect the European Commission's decisions," added Caldwell.

Neonicotinoids have been the focus of many recent studies, which have found repeatedly that even in small amounts of the chemical have been found to have 'sub-lethal' and even deadly effects on wildlife. Studies have found that levels in water systems have been high enough to significantly reduce aquatic invertebrate numbers, small doses can increase the susceptibility of bumblebees and honeybees to diseases, and can wipe out other beneficial invertebrates, such as like beetles and ladybirds, which feed on and help control pest species found in farmland.

More than 200,000 people from around the world have signed onto a petition by, urging Bayer and Syngenta to immediately drop its lawsuit against the European Commission in defense of its bee-killing pesticide products.