Company claims that the European commission’s two-year moratorium on neonicotinoids to protect bees was wrong

Swiss agrichemical giant Syngenta is mouting a legal challenge to the European commission’s decision to introduce a two-year ban on the use of thiamethoxam on bee-attracting crops. In April, the commission announced the moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides, including thiamethoxam which is made by Syngenta. The restrictions on neonicotinoids are due to start on 1 December.

In a statement, Syngenta’s chief operating officer, John Atkin, said that the commission had wrongly linked its product with bee deaths and ‘incorrectly applied the precautionary principle’. The company called for all those with a stake in good pollinator health to come together to tackle honeybee diseases, viruses and loss of habitat, which it claimed was the real reason behind their decline, rather than neonicotinoid pesticides.