Beekeepers in France aren’t happy with Bayer. Agence France Presse reported (AFP) a beekeeping cooperative in the northern part of the country filed a legal complaint against the chemical giant after the controversial herbicide glyphosate was found in honey. The complaint was filed the same day as the close of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto.
The head of the beekeeping cooperative, which represents around 200 beekeepers, detected traces of glyphosate in three batches of honey from one of the members. A lawyer for the beekeeping cooperative, Emmanuel Ludot, told AFP the member’s hives are close to beet, rapeseed and sunflower fields, “But you also can’t forget the weekend gardeners who often tend to use Roundup.” Roundup, according to the news agency, “is the most widely used in France.” President Emmanuel Macron has said he’ll outlaw the weedkiller by 2021.
It is Ludot’s hope that this legal complaint will incite an inquiry to nail down the percentage of glyphosate in the honey batches and find if there are any health ramifications for humans.
If glyphosate is detected in honey, the whole shipment is rejected, Famille Michaud president Vincent Michaud told AFP. Famille Michaud is one of France’s biggest honey marketers and Michaud said they “regularly detect foreign substances, including glyphosate.” Michaud said beekeepers usually say they’ll sell the honey at a market or roadside stand where there is no quality control if their shipments are rejected, “but this beekeeper had the courage to say, ‘I’m not going to be like everyone else; I’m going to file suit against Monsanto.'”
On the date of Monsanto’s acquisition by Bayer, June 7, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant said in a statement he was “proud of the path we have paved as Monsanto.” Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said, “Our sustainability targets are as important to us as our financial targets. We aim to live up to the heightened responsibility that a leadership position in agriculture entails and to deepen our dialogue with society.”
The AFP said some scientists suspect glyphosate of causing cancer.