20. March 16, 2015 : Inutiles tueurs d’abeilles

This page is a part of the corpus (Annexe 1) used to write Stéphane Foucart and neonicotinoids.

Here, I relate what the journalist said in his article “Inutiles tueurs d’abeilles”. All quotes, originally in French, were translated by me.

At the end of 2012, economists from a think tank supported by Bayer and BASF, the HFFA (Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture), studied the socio-economic value of NNIs. The study, funded by Bayer and Syngenta predicted “a form of agricultural Armageddon if the infamous neonicotinoids are suspended”, estimating losses of up to 17 billion euros and 50,000 jobs.

However, the ban on 3 NNI and fipronil has reportedly resulted in higher, if not much higher, harvests than average. This should come as no surprise, with some publications discussing the usefulness of NNIs. Thus, the Center for Food Safety (CFS), an environmental NGO, “systematically examined the scientific literature” and found only 4 studies showing gains in yields, against 19 studies finding no or insignificant gain.
Agrochemists would come to entertain the idea that NNIs are indispensable. Thus, a bill was “brushed aside by the overwhelming majority of senators.”
The journalist concludes:

“History makes it clear at least one thing: the state of our environment is often that of our democracy. “