Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Bayer Apologizes Over Secret List of Monsanto Critics

Business
O. Andersen / Getty Images / AFP

Germany's Bayer, which bought the U.S. agrochemical firm Monsanto, issued an apology on Sunday following reports that its American subsidiary drew up a list of those critical of the firm's practices.


"After an initial analysis, we understand that such a project raised concerns and criticism," Bayer said in a statement. "This is not the way Bayer would seek dialogue with different stakeholders and society, so we apologize."


The Leverkusen-headquartered firm said it would hire a law firm to carry out an external investigation into the matter.

The French prosecutor said Friday it had opened a probe after newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint.

The French daily alleges that Monsanto built up a file of about 200 names, including journalists and lawmakers who are skeptical about the company and its products, in the hope of influencing their positions on pesticides.

The charge is that the information was collected illegally.

Paris police are investigating the possible "collection of personal information by fraudulent, unfair or illicit means."

Naming Names

Le Monde and one of its journalists complained that they were on the list drawn up since 2016 and allegedly leaked by U.S. public relations firm FleishmanHillard.

The name of France's former Environment Minister Segolene Royal is also said to be on the list. She told AFP it "says a lot about the methods of lobbyists ... they carry out spying, infiltration, seek to influence, sometimes financially, I imagine."

PR firm FleishmanHillard said on Friday it would investigate the allegations.

French public broadcaster France Televisions announced Sunday that it would also file charges.

Monsanto's Roundup.

Lawsuits Over Monsanto's Roundup

Monsanto produces the broad-spectrum glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup. The firm and new owner Bayer deny that Roundup causes cancer.

However, last August, a U.S. jury found Bayer liable because Monsanto had not warned users of alleged cancer risks linked to Roundup.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new decision in April that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, which is made by Monsanto, does not cause cancer or other health problems if used according to instruction labels.

Bayer Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann is facing increased shareholder pressure over the litigation it inherited from Monsanto. It is the named defendant in U.S. lawsuits concerning Roundup filed by 13,400 people.

Bayer shares have fallen about 40 percent since the $63 billion (€56 billion) Monsanto purchase was completed last June.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Deutsche Welle.


EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

By Dave Cooke

So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.

Read More Show Less

By Richard Connor

A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A woman scoops water in a dry riverbed near Kataboi village in remote Turkana in northern Kenya. Marisol Grandon / Department for International Development

By Raya A. Al-Masri

Different strategies for resisting the spread of the new coronavirus have emerged in different countries. But the one that has cut through everywhere is simple and, supposedly, can be done by anyone: "Wash your hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds."

Read More Show Less
A USGS map showing the location of a 6.5 magnitude quake that shook Idaho Tuesday evening. USGS

Idaho residents were rattled Tuesday evening by the biggest earthquake to shake the state in almost 40 years.

Read More Show Less
A sign marks the ground covering TransCanada's Keystone I pipeline outside of Steele City, Nebraska on April 21, 2012. Lucas Oleniuk / Toronto Star via Getty Images

The company behind the controversial and long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline announced it would proceed with the project Tuesday, despite concerns about the climate impacts of the pipeline and the dangers of transporting construction crews during a pandemic.

Read More Show Less