Bayer and Syndenta, two major chemical companies, are seeking to overturn a ban imposed by the European Commission earlier this year on a class of pesticides thought to play a contributing role in the global demise of bees. An online petition by Sum of Us aims to convince the companies to drop the lawsuit. At the time of publication, the petition was very close to reaching its goal of 300,000 signatures.
The type of chemical in question is a pesticide that soaks into the seeds of a plant while harming insects which happen to alight on top. The European Food Safety Authority warned that this class of chemicals, called neonics, would pose “high acute risks” to honeybees as reported by EuropeanVoice. The companies announced the lawsuits on the same day in late August.
Most countries in the European Union, or 15 out of 27 members, wanted the ban, though the vote still fell short of a qualifying majority. The European Commission then decided to unilaterally issue a two-year ban which will go into effect on December 1st and expands on similar pre-existing bans in Italy, France, Germany, and Slovenia according to EuropeanVoice.