Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less