France to Ban Pesticide Possibly Linked to Decline of Bees

French authorities plan to ban a pesticide made by the Swiss company, Syngenta, after scientists said the pesticide’s use could be linked to a sharp decline in bee populations known as colony collapse disorder. France says it plans to withdraw the permit for farmers to spray Cruiser OSR, a pesticide used to protect rape seeds. The government took the action after the French Health and Safety Agency, ANSES, agreed with a recent scientific study suggesting that a low dose of thiamethoxam, a molecule contained in Cruiser, made bees more likely to lose their way and die. Other studies worldwide also have linked colony collapse disorder to increased pesticide use in agriculture. Syngenta has disputed the study involving thiamethoxam, saying the amounts of pesticide used in the research were far higher than the quantities used by farmers. The company has two weeks to submit its own evidence contradicting the government’s findings.