Friends of the Earth | 22 October 2015
Powerful pesticide lobby attacks bee-saving regulations at Miami trade talks
An analysis released today by Friends of the Earth U.S. reveals disturbing news: U.S. and European Union trade negotiators meeting in Miami this week appear to be actively considering adopting the agenda of chemical and pesticide industry lobbyists. Under the terms of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement — or TTIP — chemical and pesticide safety standards on both sides of the Atlantic could be lowered. In particular, efforts to regulate bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides and to save these essential pollinators are at risk.
As an analysis by Friends of the Earth U.S. shows, Bayer, Syngenta and other pesticide manufacturers have lined up in full support of the TTIP agreement with Europe and are advocating for it to treat restrictions on bee-killing pesticides as non-tariff barriers to trade in violation of the Technical Barriers to Trade chapter of the TTIP agreement. Pesticide industry trade associations CropLife and the European Crop Protection Association have made it clear that they want to use TTIP to get all bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides back on the European market and forestall any similar action in the U.S. at any level of government. Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limited and inadequate moratorium on new (but not existing) neonic products and uses, as well as any local or state restrictions on these pesticides to protect bees, are potentially under attack.
Lisa Archer, director of the Food and Technology program at Friends of the Earth U.S. had this statement:
Bees are dying at alarming rates and a growing body of science has found neonicotinoid pesticides, manufactured by Bayer and Syngenta, are a leading driver in global bee declines and are harming butterflies, birds, earthworms and other wildlife, putting our food system and agricultural economy at risk. The move by pesticide manufacturers to use the U.S.-European Union trade deal to preclude regulatory action on bee-killing pesticides must be stopped.
Read the Friends of the Earth analysis on the trade deal attack on pollinators here.