TTIP: Syngenta calls for harmonized safety standards

John Atkin is the Chief Operating Officer at the chemical and biotech giant Syngenta. Here’s a report showing an interview with Mr Atkin, in which he tells us how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is great news.

One of Syngenta’s products is an insecticide, a neonicotinoid called thiamethoxam, which is now under a temporary ban here in Europe along with two neonics by Bayer. Syngenta and Bayer are challenging the European neonic ban in court. If you know the final outcome of that legal challenge, please tell me. Right now (May 2014) I know that the neonic ban is in force but I think the legal wrangling isn’t over.

Meanwhile it’s worth listening to Mr Atkin. He says that without the neonics, farmers resort to more damaging pest control methods. The science, he says, doesn’t favour the neonic ban. It was done in haste without considering the bigger picture. Btw, I said it’s worth listening to Mr Atkin. I didn’t say that any of us have to agree with him!

Mr Atkin doesn’t really want to talk about bees. He wants to tell us how Syngenta is the farmers’ friend and how the TTIP is great news for trade.

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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3 Responses to TTIP: Syngenta calls for harmonized safety standards

  1. Debra says:

    TTIP is not great for consumers or trade but it will benefit multinational corporations greatly. Most of it was negotiated in secret and it was fast tracked through with little debate. Farmers do not need neonicitinoids. That whole style of agriculture has proven to be completely unsustainable and is damaging our soil, water and air. Of course he defends the practice but he is not being objective — merely ensuring the survivial of his company. These corporations need more restraints not fewer.

    • argylesock says:

      Yes I think so. Mr Atkin was being interviewed, in that film, at a conference part-organised by Syngenta.

      I’m trying to find out how the TTIP, when finalised, will affect the European neonic ban. Do you happen to know? Google found me a written question that’s been asked of the European Parliament http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=WQ&reference=E-2014-005386&format=XML&language=EN but I haven’t seen what answer was given. The cynic in me suspects that our neonic ban has been timed to expire just in time for the TTIP to come into force.

      Recently I assisted a practical class in which undergrad students learned how Bayer’s imidacloprid works. It’s a very efficient killer. In that sense, I understand its appeal as a pesticide, but it kills too many insects that aren’t pests.

  2. Debra says:

    Sorry, I do not know. But the more I follow these things the less I am inclined to give these guys the benefit of the doubt. It is almost like they speak a different language. Like, when Obama said one of his priorities was to close the Guantanamo prison I thought that meant people there would have their human rights restored and those found innocent would be freed. But what he meant was that the prison would be moved to Illinois. These gatekeepers are like fast talking used car sales people. Every word has to be parsed for the truth.

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