HOUSE OF COMMONS
TAKEN BEFORE THE
ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT COMMITTEE
INSECTS AND INSECTICIDES
WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2012
The full, uncorrected transcript can be accessed here.
EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
Witnesses: Dr Mike Bushell, Principal Scientific Adviser, Syngenta, Dr Fraser Lewis, Division Head, Environmental Safety, Syngenta, and Dr Julian Little, Government Affairs, Bayer CropScience, gave evidence.
Q154 Chair: I would like to welcome each of you to our session this afternoon, an inquiry that is important to this Select Committee and one that I think is of great interest to many people. For your information, we are expecting votes at 4 pm and we have three separate sessions, so we have a number of detailed questions that we wish to ask of you, if we may.
I would like to start off with a question particularly for Dr Lewis and Dr Bushell. I am referring to today’s Farmers Weekly and the quote, “Based on previous statements, we believe this committee”-the Environmental Audit Committee-“is in danger of pinpointing the bee colony decline on a single pesticide when there are other important factors at play.” On what evidence did you feel compelled to make that statement?
Dr Bushell: That statement was made by one of our Basel corporate affairs people.
Q155 Chair: Do you have the evidence for it?
Dr Bushell: That we made the statement or that you are focusing only on insecticides?
Chair: I wondered what evidence you have to cause Syngenta to make that statement.
Dr Bushell: The issue about bee health is multifactorial, as I am sure you know, and focusing only on a single one is unlikely to get a good result for bee health.
Chair: Thank you very much indeed. We must move on to detailed questions.