Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

In whose hands is the future of bees?

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en francais / espanol abajo

 

Bees and other pollinating insect numbers are falling dramatically, putting their future survival in jeopardy with catastrophic consequences for ecosystems and agriculture. In some European countries, bees are disappearing from the environment at a shocking rate of up to 20-32% a year . A number of factors are thought to be contributing to this decline, including the emergence of new viruses and the changing climate, but there are clear indications that modern agricultural practices, particularly the dominance of monoculture farming with its reliance on pesticides could be key.

 



Scientific evidence suggests that changes in farming practice could be leaving bee populations vulnerable to disease and parasites, increasing mortality rates – and that changes in the use of pesticides may even be responsible for the collapse of whole bee colonies. Improved testing and scrutiny of pesticide use is urgently needed – but in the European Union, this process appears to have been taken over by industry. The advisory groups responsible for drafting the guidelines on pesticide use are made up of corporate ‘experts’ from the pesticide industry.

 


This article looks at the situation faced by bees, the role of industry experts in determining risk assessments and the potential consequences for our food.

 

 

Read the full article (also in French and Spanish) here:

 

Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) today criticised the plenary vote of MEPs to approve the Jean-Claude Juncker Commission.
Attac Austria and Corporate Europe Observatory are today launching new 'wanted posters' about prospective members of the new European Commission, to expose details of their corporate backgrounds or other aspects of their careers which make them unsuitable to act as commissioner and promote the interests of 500 million European citizens.
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of freezing the budgets of the Commission's problematic advisory groups, formally known as Expert Groups. Surprisingly, this is the second time in four years that the Parliament has taken such a drastic step, after the Commission failed to tackle corporate domination within these influential groups (see graph below).
As part of her inquiry into the Commission's implementation of UN tobacco lobby rules, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has asked Commission President Barroso for “a supplementary opinion” with proper answers to questions raised in her inquiry. O'Reilly took this step after having received a seriously unconvincing letter from Barroso that fails to address the specific questions and arguments put forward by CEO in the complaint that sparked the Ombudsman's inquiry.

Corporate Europe Forum