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Bee-keepers and Environmental Groups Demand Prohibition of Pesticide "Gaucho"

By Manfred Hederer
Coalition against Bayer-dangers and the Association of German Professional Apiarists
July 21, 2004

Death of bee-populations: "German Minister Renate Kuenast has a duty to act"

Bonn/Berlin, German apiarists and environmental groups have
demanded an interim prohibition of the pesticide Gaucho as well as further
remedies containing the active agent Imidacloprid in Germany. Imidacloprid is
under serious suspicion of being responsible for the dying of bee-populations in
vast parts of Europe.

The Association of German Professional Apiarists (DBIB), the Naturschutzbund
(NABU) and the Coalition against BAYER-dangers appealed to Federal minister for
consumers Kuenast to withdraw the pesticide`s permission unless all actual
knowledge will be fully verified. "Kuenast has to follow the French government`s
example of removing from the market any pesticide which endangers
bee-populations" claims Manfred Hederer, president of the Association of German
Professional Apiarists.

The "Comité Scientifique et Technique", in charge of the French government,
lately declared that the treatment of seeds with Gaucho produces a significant
risk for bees. NABU`s agricultural expert Florian Schoene on this: "On behalf of
a provident protection of environment and consumers the admission of this
substance in Germany also has to be verified".

Imidacloprid is produced by the Leverkusen-based BAYER corporation. In Germany
it is used under the brand names Gaucho and Chinook mainly during the
cultivation of rape, sugar-beets and corn. During the last years in Germany as
well as in France almost 50 % of all bee-populations died. Also wild bees and
other insects suffered from a significant loss of population during that time.
According to BAYER a study of the French governmental department AFFSA lately
invalidated the complaints against Gaucho. This statement was refused by an
AFFSA spokesman.

"With an annual turn-over of more than half a billion Euro Imidacloprid ranges
among the most important products of BAYER. This is the reason why BAYER,
despite serious environmental damage, is leading a "tooth & claw"- fight against
any application prohibitions", said Philipp Mimkes, speaker of the Coalition
against BAYER-dangers.



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