Syngenta Wants to Increase ‘Bee-Killing’ Pesticide

Major seed and crop management company, Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, wants to increase the legal level of a pesticide that’s been linked to the decline of honeybees. Syngenta is one of the largest manufacturers of pesticides in the U.S.

The company petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase the legal tolerance for a neonicotinoid pesticide residue in several crops as much as 400 percent, according to E&E News. The notice was posted in the Federal Register on September 5.

Scientific research has shown that neonicotinoid pesticides are a major factor that has caused a huge decline in pollinators–insects and animals helpful in crop production that carry pollen from plant to plant. In the past decade, more than half of America’s managed honeybee colonies have been lost, according to the nonprofit Pollinator Partnership.

Syngenta asks for increased pesticide use.

The pesticides are believed to be so harmful bees’ immune systems that event the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will phase them out on wildlife refuges from January 2016, according to Wildlife Society News.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Syngenta has said that the same chemicals are used to treat crops in Western Canada where there has been no bee population decline. Syngenta said neonicotinoid pesticides were developed to replace other pesticides, which “were harmful to the broader environment.”

Dimitri Laskaris, an attorney for beekeepers who are suing Syngenta, said that the waning bee population has caused his clients to experience profit loss and far worse “environmental and social” impacts.

The EPA has also been asked by Syngenta to increase the threshold for thiamethoxam. The pesticide has been connected to the decline of honeybees and other pollinators in the past twenty to thirty years. Impacted crops would include alfalfa, barley, corn and wheat, both the crop itself and the straw and stover left over after cultivation. The largest allowed increase would be 400 times for hay that comes from wheat.

Syngenta has faced other problems unrelated to pesticides with its business practices recently.

Cargill Inc. filed a lawsuit on Friday in a Louisiana court that claims Swiss-based Syngenta cost them $90 million by pushing the sale of bio-engineered corn seeds in China, according to the Wall Street Journal-. Beijing started to reject huge shipments of U.S. corn from last November after finding they had a genetic modifier developed by Syngenta.

In its lawsuit, Cargill states that Syngenta sold the modified seeds to U.S. farmers before it got approval from China for their import. The damage to the U.S. agricultural industry by Syngenta’s actions are “significant,” according to the suit.

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