Depending on how you view things, the pesticide giants are either straight from the 7th circle of hell or they’re simply poor multinational corporations trying to do a vital job who caught by the law of unintended consequences.
I tend to view things in more shades of grey. I think that their behaviour around the revelations of problems with their products is revealing. First and foremost, they’re corporations whose entire point of existence is to make money for their shareholders. They just happen to work in the field of agricultural chemistry (often only a small part of their business), a field that also happens to be a) massively profitable and b) readily manipulated through the judicious use of what’s known as FUD in the computer world: fear, uncertainty and doubt.
To hear them tell it, the world’s food supply will collapse and we’ll all starve if they’re forced to withdraw neonicotinoid pesticides from the market. The reality is that the consequences are far from certain.
Yesterday, Friends of the Earth published a report detailing a number of different ways that three of the pesticide giants are spinning the issue in an effort to maintain their profits and still appear to be doing something to help the plight of the honeybee. It’s eye-opening reading.