Syngenta, its research and beekeeping

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Most beekeepers and the entire raw honey sector blame large agrochemical industries and varroa for the decline of bees worldwide. The agrochemical industries prove with their own research that varroa is to blame, but that their agrochemicals are well formulated so as not to harm bees.

More information on insecticides can be found at: Environmental problems: Insecticides

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Syngenta, its research, bees and honey

The global agrochemical company Syngenta has published a new study demonstrating the low risk to bees from pesticides commonly used in agriculture. However, this study is being criticized as “misleading” as demonstrated by a new scientific study conducted by statisticians at the University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom.

Pesticides called neonicotinoids could be involved in the high mortality of bees and other pollinator species worldwide. The work done by these pollinators on pollination of commercially cultivated fields is valued at 200 million pounds, or about 240 million euros, per year in the UK alone.

This study by the Swiss agrochemical company Syngenta on the effects of neonicotinoids, exactly the “neonic thiamethoxam” and its effects on bees in the fields concluded that there was only a low risk to bees.

However, Dr Robert Schick, Professor Jeremy Greenwood and Professor Steve Buckland of the Centre for Ecological and Environmental Modelling Research (CREEM) have carried out new research where they highlight the failures of Syngenta’s research, denouncing that the important long-term effects of pesticides had not been taken into account and that all calculations were made with a very small database.

New research contradicts results

This latest publication was published today in the international journal “Environmental Sciences Europe”.

Syngenta’s study involved two experiments: an experiment carried out in two places cultivated with rapeseed and three other places cultivated with corn. At each experiment site, two fields were used, one field was treated with levels of neonicotinoids normally found in fields and another field with low levels of neonicotinoids.

The Syngenta study arrived at these results with a not very representative experiment, two studies in a rapeseed field and three in a maize field. An analysis that collected very little data, with which it is difficult to detect any effect that pesticides have over long periods of time. Therefore, this analysis carried out by Syngenta could lead to erroneous conclusions.

The St Andrews team believes that the Syngenta study has reached completely wrong conclusions, as normal statistical analyses can lead to deception when the method used is inappropriate and subjective.

Professor Greenwood said: “In order to arrive at consistent conclusions about the results of such an experiment, one needs not only to estimate the effects of the treatment but also to measure the accuracy of the estimation. This is what we have done, using standard statistical technique.

Photo: Syngenta Logo

Syngenta’s research was very inaccurate.

“What we found about that study was that the estimates of treatment effects were so imprecise that no one could say whether the effects were too low to have a problem or, conversely, too large to be a huge problem.

“Indeed, the study was conducted on such a small scale that little useful information could be drawn from the study.”

The big agrochemical industries are not interested in having their products banned, so creating confusion among the population and politicians could be a good option, to make it so. However, as all beekeepers experience every spring, many of their hives disappear, looking powerless to protect their bees.

However, European citizens and especially honey lovers should demand that our governments and authorities ban all these pesticides that are exterminating both honey bees and other pollinators



Revista científica Phys Org:

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