France - Cruiser OSR authorised on rape: Is it a Minister of Agriculture or chemistry?

Thursday 23 June 2011

The Minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire, has authorized the use of the pesticide Cruiser OSR for rapeseed. The product contains a mixture of thiametoxam, a systemic insecticide (Cruiser®), and two fungicides. The cultivation of rapeseed, a plant of great interest for beekeeping and the proliferation of which is dependent on bees, had so far escaped the treatments with neonicotinoid insecticides. The pollen and nectar of rapeseed extensively harvested by bees in the early season will be contaminated and will therefore increase the chronic poisoning the hives.

With this new authorization, Syngenta has the ability and the financial benefit, to spread its thiametoxam insecticide on corn, beets, peas, rapeseed and many vegetables. L'ANSES (French Agency for Food Safety) gave two positive opinions for the use of an insecticide from the same family, the clothianidin of Bayer for the treatment of sugar beet seeds, wheat and barley, in addition to uses for corn and apples.

Always of the same family of insecticides, the imidacloprid of Bayer is authorized for its use on cereals, sugar beets, fruit and forest. All these products are extremely toxic to bees, they are systemic and therefore contaminate pollen and nectar. They persist over several years in the soil and contaminate the following crops planted on the treated fields. An important part of the French territory is contaminated with these products, as was found in studies of pesticide residues carried by the AFSSA, former ANSES.

We cannot understand the behaviour of the French Minister of Agriculture, which on the one hand expressed concerned about the disappearance of bees and commits public funds to address them, and also allows the spread of pesticides greatly responsible for this situation.

Another agriculture is not only possible, but necessary to meet the health and environmental requirements set by the Ecophyto 2018. Despite of the fact that a change in such agricultural practices should be encouraged the widespread use of these insecticides shoes a totally opposite tendency.