Quantcast

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.


Related Articles Around the Web
From Your Site Articles

    EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


    mevans / E+ / Getty Images

    The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef issued an unprecedented statement that broke ranks with Australia's conservative government and called for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Guardian.

    Read More Show Less

    A powerful earthquake struck near Athens, Greece and shook the capital city for 15 seconds on Friday, causing people to run into the streets to escape the threat of falling buildings, NBC News reported.

    Read More Show Less
    Sponsored
    Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

    EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

    Read More Show Less
    U.S. government scientists concluded in a new report that last month was the hottest June on record. Angelo Juan Ramos / Flickr

    By Jessica Corbett

    As meteorologists warned Thursday that temperatures above 100°F are expected to impact two-thirds of the country this weekend, U.S. government scientists revealed that last month was the hottest June ever recorded — bolstering calls for radical global action on the climate emergency.

    Read More Show Less
    Rod Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0

    By John R. Platt

    For years now conservationists have warned that many of Madagascar's iconic lemur species face the risk of extinction due to rampant deforestation, the illegal pet trade and the emerging market for the primates' meat.

    Yes, people eat lemurs, and the reasons they do aren't exactly what we might expect.

    Read More Show Less
    Sponsored
    Pixnio

    By Rachael Link, MS, RD

    Many types of flour are commonly available on the shelves of your local supermarket.

    Read More Show Less
    A visitor views a digital representation of the human genome at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Mario Tama / Getty Images

    Genetics are significantly more responsible for driving autism spectrum disorders than maternal factors or environmental factors such as vaccines and chemicals, according to a massive new study involving more than 2 million people from five different countries.

    Read More Show Less
    Pixabay

    By Emilie Karrick Surrusco

    Across the globe, extreme weather is becoming the new normal.

    Read More Show Less