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Controversial study Syngenta pesticide, good or bad for bees?

The Syngenta pesticide Thiamethoxam is suspected of killing bees. A scientific study promoted by the company intends to prove that the pesticide is harmless but internationally recognised experts have their doubts. (SRF ECO/

The death of bees threatens the agricultural world. A possible cause is a neonicotinoid type of pesticide. It generate billions in worldwide sales for the chemical industry. It is also found in Thiamethoxam produced by the Basel-based agrochemical giant Syngenta. Its use is temporarily banned in Switzerland and in the EU.

A year ago, Syngenta announced the publication of a comprehensive long-term study, done on corn and rapeseed oil that allegedly proved that there was no damage to bees from the use of Thiamethoxam.

Syngenta was able to publish the study in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. The Swiss television programme Eco sought out concerns of experts in the field, like renowned Swiss bee researcher Boris Baer and Federal Institute for Technology statistician Werner Stahel. They have strong reservations about the methodology and practices behind Syngenta’s study.

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