Target: Marijn Dekkers, Chief Executive Officer of Bayer AG
Goal: Demand that Bayer, a leading pesticide company, stop misinforming the public about its dangerous pesticides while lobbying against bans on chemicals linked to bee die-offs
Although the European Commission voted to temporarily ban pesticides linked to massive bee die-offs, similar efforts have stalled in the United States. The largest producers of pesticides, including Bayer, have engaged in a campaign of disinformation and industry-funded science, claiming to care for the welfare of bees while simultaneously working to kill any legislation that would ban use of their chemicals.
A recent report from Friends of the Earth looks at the lengths companies like Bayer have gone to in order to protect profits at the cost of worldwide bee populations. “Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto make billions from bee-killing pesticide products while masquerading as champions of bee health,” according to Lisa Archer, a program director with Friends of the Earth.
The report reminds us that “Bees are essential to one out of three bites of the food we eat, and two thirds of global food crops.” Demand that Bayer end its lobbying efforts to prevent bans on pesticides linked to the epidemic of bee deaths.
Dear Mr. Dekkers,
Bayer has grown to become one of the largest producers of chemical pesticides in the world. A recent and temporary ban by the European Commission and numerous grassroots campaigns to restrict pesticide use in the United States have initiated an aggressive response by your company and others like it: increased funding for industry-friendly research and the targeting of children and legislators with disinformation meant to downplay the pesticides’ role in massive bee die-offs.
Imidacloprid is among the most widely-used industrial insecticides. Originally created by Bayer and currently used as an active ingredient in several of your products, imidacloprid is currently restricted in Europe. The Commission has raised concerns that beyond being linked to bee deaths the chemical is also potentially dangerous to humans. According to independent scientists the chemical may affect children’s neurological development, yet it is commonly sprayed on fruits and vegetables. As if this wasn’t enough Bayer and other leading pesticide companies are intent on deflecting blame for their role in the crisis affecting bees worldwide.
As Friends of the Earth noted in a recent report,”While industry attempts at spin, distraction, and the manufacture of doubt may be effective political tools in the U.S. for causing delay and inaction, they will only cause more harm in the long run.” I must insist that Bayer immediately end its campaign to prevent bans on imidacloprid and other pesticides linked to bee deaths.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Charles O’Rear via USDA