Press Release, October 29, 2010
Coalition against Bayer Dangers (Germany)

“A disaster in the making”: New book on the massive decline of bees and birds

Author demands total ban on neonicotinoids / pesticides linked to bee and bird decline in western Europe / Bayer´s best-selling substances in question / see Preface / see Review by the INDEPENDENT, the ECOLOGIST and the Huffington Post

start of sale: November 1, 2010
price: € 29.95 excluding VAT (if applicable) and shipping costs
ISBN/EAN: 978-90-79627-06-6

In a recent study the Dutch toxicologist Dr. Henk Tennekes demonstrated that the long-term risks for bees associated with the widely used insecticides imidacloprid and thiacloprid are far greater than hitherto thought. In his forthcoming book “The systemic insecticides: A disaster in the making” Tennekes now suggests that bees are not the only victims: Moths, bugs, butterflies, midges and flies have all succumbed too. And as the insects have declined, so have the birds.

Imidacloprid and thiacloprid, produced by the German company Bayer, belong to a substance class known as neonicotinoids. Dr. Tennekes: "Imidacloprid has been shown to seep out of storage or is washed out of the soil into waterways and groundwater. It is quite obvious that ground and surface water contamination with a persistent insecticide that causes irreversible and cumulative damage to aquatic and terrestrial insects must lead to an environmental catastrophe. The data presented in my book show that this catastrophe is actually taking place before our eyes, and that it must be stopped.” Since most if not all neonicotinoids are prone to cause these problems, Tennekes demands a total ban on neonicotinoids. “Bayer should finally listen to reason and stop selling these dangerous products!”, says Tennekes.

Recently Tennekes has shown that the total dose of neonicotinoid insecticides required to kill insects is smaller if administered over a longer time period - in other words, even minute amounts of these pesticides can be fatal to insects in the long run. There is no safe dose. Already in 2003 the Comité Scientifique et Technique, convened by the French government, declared that the treatment of seeds with imidacloprid leads to “significant risks for bees”. The substance is the most widely used insecticide in the world and Bayer´s best-selling pesticide (2009 sales: €606 million).

After huge bee losses in Germany in 2008 which were shown to be caused by neonicotinoid pesticides the Coalition against Bayer Dangers accused the Bayer management of downplaying the risks of neonicotinoids, submitting deficient studies to authorities and thereby accepting huge losses of honey bees in many parts of the world. At the same time, German authorities imposed a ban on the use of imidacloprid and its successor product, clothianidin, on maize. Italy and Slovenia imposed a similar ban.

=> “This is a stunning book, very powerful. The compilation of recent data regarding levels and impacts of the nicotinyls is extremely useful and convincing regarding the magnitude of risk. The art is wonderful” - Charles Benbrook, PhD, Chief Scientist, The Organic Center, Enterprise, Oregon
=> “Great great great” - Tasmanian Beekeepers Association
=> "Interspersed with beautiful artistry is a rigorously presented, chilling message that we all must heed." - Meg Sears PhD, CHEO Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada
=> “I would write a letter strongly supporting such a book” - Kevin Hansen, producer of the film "Nicotine Bees"
=> “I don't think you need my praise and esteem for your good work but you have it anyway!” - Katerina Karatasou, Veterinarian, Federation of Greek Beekeepers Associations, Larisa, Greece
=> “Depressing and alarming reading” - Phil Chandler,

contact Dr. Henk Tennekes:, Tel. +31 575 545500

more information on the campaign for a total ban of neonicotinoid pesticides


A Disaster in the Making: A new book on the hazards of imidacloprid

A Disaster in the Making, a 72-page 2010 publication raises new and troubling questions about a widely used insecticide's potential for harm to bees, beneficial insects, and bird populations.
Using imidacloprid as an example, Dutch toxicologist Dr. Henk Tennekes reports on the hazards of imidacloprid to insects and birds. Imidacloprid is a neonicotinoid chemical, and has systemic action in plants. Other European researchers have linked this insecticide to significant risks for honey bee populations, including possible links to Colony Collapse Disorder.
Dr. Tennekes' findings indicate that imidacloprid (and possibly other neonicotinoid-type insecticides) can bind irreversibly to critical receptors in an insect's nervous system. If these receptors are permanently blocked, the insecticide would not follow a typical dose-response curve. He provides evidence that long term low level to imidacloprid exposure can lead to neurological problems and eventual death of insects.
Studies have shown imidacloprid to be highly persistent in the environment (RCC Compendium of Pesticide Information). In his book, Tennekes presents data showing that imidacloprid has contaminated most of the waterways in the Netherlands.
Systemic activity in plants combined with long-term persistence in the environment and toxicity at low concentrations can be a dangerous combination. Many vulnerable species over large areas could be exposed to this insecticide on land, in surface water following runoff from treated areas and in groundwater due to its potential for leaching through certain soil types.
Several previous studies have shown that imidacloprid is highly toxic to various forms of wildlife, including honey bees, certain beneficial insects, upland game birds, and crustaceans
Tennekes further suggests that imidacloprid has led to a general decline in the insect populations in the Netherlands, and this lack of food in turn has been responsible for declines in bird populations.