bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Bees sound the alarm on Regent

Regent, the pesticide blamed for decimating honeybees in France and which caused an outcry by French beekeepers, now seems to be proving even more sinister, according to a fascinating report by Julio Godoy.

When French organic farmers occupied French Ministry of Agriculture premises in protest against the decision to allow the continued utilization of the existing pesticide stock, they discovered confidential documents confirming Regent's toxicity to humans.
The documents included medical reports from a health insurance company on 182 cases of people who were poisoned from contact with Regent and other insecticides. The reports documented cardiac and respiratory complications, skin and eye problems, and digestive tract dysfunction.

The protesting farmers also found a report from the ministry's legal department detailing alternatives available to the government on the insecticide question.

According to that text, the immediate halt to Regent use would have cost 360 million dollars, while permitting the use of pesticide stocks “would have comparatively lower financial consequences.”
Inter Press Service News Agency
Regent, produced by BASF, is used mainly on sunflowers and maize.


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