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Press release from PR Newswire

EFSA review of risk to bees from neonicotinoid technology is fundamentally flawed

Friday, February 15, 2013

EFSA review of risk to bees from neonicotinoid technology is fundamentally flawed01:00 EST Friday, February 15, 2013BASEL, Switzerland, Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Syngenta today requested that the European Commission retract its proposal to restrict the use of neonicotinoid technology after revealing that the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) report on the risks to bees from their use was fundamentally flawed. Syngenta submitted a response to the EFSA report in January. This showed that EFSA failed to consider key information proving the safety of thiamethoxam seed treatment for use on crops such as oilseed rape and sunflower.Further review has now shown that EFSA based its assessment on unrealistic and excessive seed planting rates between two and four times higher than would be used under modern agricultural practice.  Had EFSA used normal sowing rates they would have concluded that the risk to bees is extremely low and that in reality neonicotinoid technology does not damage their health. Syngenta's Chief Operating Officer, John Atkin, said: "The European Commission has been using this flawed EFSA report to justify proposed restrictions on this technology. These latest findings undermine the basis for such action, which would bring considerable economic harm to growers and absolutely no benefit to bees. The European Commission must halt the current process and undertake a comprehensive review to identify the true risks to bee health."Syngenta has written to all EU Member States and the European Commission to inform them of these findings. For more information on the bee health challenge go to www.plightofthebees.comSyngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 27,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsThis document contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as 'expect', 'would', 'will', 'potential', 'plans', 'prospects', 'estimated', 'aiming', 'on track' and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. We refer you to Syngenta's publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors. This document does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefor.Syngenta International AGMedia contacts:Analyst/Investor contacts:Media OfficePaul BarrettJennifer GoughCH-4002 BaselSwitzerland +41 61 323 2323Switzerland +41 61 323 5059SwitzerlandUSA +1 202 737 6521Tel: +41 61 323 2323Fax: +41 61 323 2424Daniel BraxtonLars OestergaardSwitzerland +41 61 323 2323Switzerland +41 61 323 6793www.syngenta.comUSA +1 202 737 6520SOURCE Syngenta