Joint press release by the German Naturschutzbund NABU, the Coalition against BAYER-dangers and the Association of German Professional Apiarists

Bee-keepers and environmental groups demand prohibition of pesticide "Gaucho"

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

(Bonn/Berlin, July 21, 2004) 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.

Manfred Hederer:
Florian Schoene: Florian.Schö ,
Philipp Mimkes: ,