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Letter to the Editor, POLITICO, 24th March 2017

To: Matthew Kaminski, POLITICO Subject: Letter to the Editor Date: 24th March 2017   With respect to Politico’s article, “Attack of the Bee Killers”, published yesterday, we would like to share with you the following thoughts: The issue of bee health in Europe is a complex one and we do indeed recognise your effort to represent the different sides of the debate. However, the article itself and the balance you try to seek is wholly undermined by your irresponsible and sensational choice of title. This does a disservice to such an important issue, and your readers. The suggestion made in the article that industry is taking advantage of a “loophole” to authorise the use of neonicotinoids is a gross misrepresentation of the truth. Member States are legally entitled to apply for emergency derogation for use of neonicotinoids. This is recognition of how necessary these substances are to agriculture in the EU. The restriction on neonicotinoid use has left a 910,000 ton hole in oil-seed rape production in the EU, as well as being responsible for 910 million euros of economic losses. ECPA values the contribution of the media to public discourse and we will always strive to maintain an open line of communication with your publication, always in good faith. You have a responsibility to have an intelligent debate on difficult issues, and in this spirit, your article’s headline remains very unfortunate. In an age of truthiness, post-truth and alternative facts where we are concerned about the over-simplification of important, complex issues, people rely on you to represent issues in a responsible and considered manner. I would be very happy to meet you to discuss our concerns further.   Yours sincerely, Graeme Taylor Director of Public Affairs