BASF files legal action challenging EU Commission’s restriction of insecticide use
Limburgerhof, Germany – November 5, 2013 – BASF has filed legal action with the General Court of the European Union challenging the EU Commission’s decision to restrict major seed treatment uses of the insecticide fipronil in the EU. The company remains convinced that the decline of the bee population is caused by multiple and complex factors and that the ban of fipronil uses will not contribute to protecting bees.
“Prior to the decision, we reached out to the EU Commission, but unfortunately our valid scientific studies and evidence were not properly taken into account,” said Dr. Jürgen Oldeweme, Senior Vice President, Global Product Safety and Regulatory Affairs, BASF Crop Protection. “This is why we have taken this step. Fipronil is an important technology in modern agriculture that growers count on,” he added.
BASF believes that the EU Commission’s decision to restrict specific fipronil uses is the result of a disproportionate application of the precautionary principle. In reaching its decision, the EU Commission did not rely on the entire scientific evidence available and also breached EU pesticide legislation.
BASF supports research projects investigating the causes related to the decline of bee health and aims at improving the quality of the habitat for bees, insects, and other wildlife species. BASF is also actively involved in improving bee health by developing new products to control bee pests, pathogens and diseases. Currently, the company is engaged in bringing to European markets Mite Away® Quick Strips,a product that controls the Varroa destructor mite in beehives - a mite that seriously impairs bee health.
“We will continue with our efforts to ensure our technologies can protect the environment and support modern farming in Europe. Agriculture cannot exist without bees, our main pollinators. We must engage in a comprehensive action plan with all stakeholders involved to address the real root causes of the decline in bee health,” concluded Oldeweme.
About BASF’s Crop Protection division
With sales of around €4.7 billion in 2012, BASF’s Crop Protection division provides innovative solutions in crop protection, turf and ornamental plants, pest control and public health. Its portfolio also includes technologies for seed treatment and biological control as well as solutions to manage water, nutrients and plant stress. BASF’s Crop Protection division is a leading innovator that supports growers to optimize agricultural production, improve their business efficiency and enhance the quality of life for a growing world population. Further information can be found on the web at www.agro.basf.com or follow us on our social media channels.
BASF is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of €72.1 billion in 2012 and more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.