Bayer, Syngenta Clash With EU Over Bees Amid M&A Charm Offensive
Bayer AG and Syngenta AG, two of the agrichemical giants trying to win the European Commission’s blessing for deals reshaping the global industry, clashed with the EU over bans on insecticides that regulators blame for killing honeybees.
The EU action not only damages farmers, the agricultural industry and the environment, but throws companies into legal uncertainty, Bayer said on the first day of hearings at the EU’s General Court in Luxembourg. BASF SE is also lining up to attack 2013 bans of previously approved pesticides, based on new studies the EU said showed “unacceptable” risks to Europe’s bee population.
“The commission is asking you to give it unlimited powers to withdraw existing approvals as and when it pleases,” Kristina Nordlander, a lawyer representing Bayer, told a five-judge panel on Wednesday. The EU decision was a “disproportionate and intolerable interference” with its rights, according to Bayer.
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