This company has Areas of Concern regarding Worker Rights, Human Rights, Political Influence, Environmental Issues and Business Ethics.
Bayerwerk, Gebäude W11 Kaiser-Wilhelm-Allee Leverkusen Germany
Bayer AG is a massive German based chemicals and pharmaceuticals manufacturer. It has operations in most countries worldwide and after a controversial year in 2004 posted a net loss of $1,361,000,000.00.
As a major player in 4 controversial sectors for over 125 years Bayer has a distinguished history of corporate crimes, ranging from the manufacture and sale of controversial drugs (Heroin, Ciproxin and Baycol), the development of chemical warfare agents and poisons (Chlorine Gas, Zyklon B and VX), the use of forced labour during WW2, and numerous cases of poisoning, lethal side-effects and environmental pollution connected to its chemical and pharmaceutical products.In December 2001, Multinational Monitor rated Bayer AG as one of their Top Ten Worst Companies of the year. In December 2003, Alternet ranked Bayer as one of 'The 10 Worst Corporations of 2003'.
 Corporate Facts
 Corporate History
The general partnership "Friedr. Bayer et comp." was founded on August 1, 1863 in Germany by dye salesman Friedrich Bayer (1825-1880) and master dyer Johann Friedrich Weskott (1821-1876). The object of the company was the manufacture and sale of synthetic dyestuffs.
In 1881, Bayer was transformed into a joint stock company called "Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co."
Between 1881 and 1913, Bayer developed into a chemical company with international operations. The company quickly diversified their activities into other areas of chemical manufacture, including photography and pharmaceuticals.
Early Bayer discoveries included Antinonin (synthetic pesticide, 1892), Aspirin (1897), Heroin (1898) and Buna (synthetic rubber 1915). When World War I began, Bayer was increasingly integrated into the war economy and began to produce war materials. The company claims credit for inventing modern Chemical Warfare ("moisture gas", including chlorine gas used to horrendous effect in the trenches) during this time, in addition to building up a "School for Chemical Warfare". Bayer also manufactured explosives during the war.
A community of interests had already existed between Bayer, BASF and Agfa since 1905. After Germany's defeat in World War I, these and other companies of the German tar dyes industry joined together in a larger community of interests.
In 1925, Bayer transferred its assets to I.G. Farbenindustrie (I.G. Farben Industry) and was deleted from the commercial register as a company.
There are numerous and credible allegations that Bayer and I.G. Farben conspired with Nazis to conduct human medical experiments for profit during World War II. In addition, the German Coalition Against BAYER-Dangers has accused the Bayer Corporation of purchasing and defiling a Jewish cemetary in Uerdingen, Germany, as well as manufacturing & providing the deadly Zyklon B gas, used to murder millions of Jews in concentration camps.
IG Farben was the only German company in the Third Reich that ran its own concentration camp. At least 30,000 slave workers died in this camp; many more were deported to the gas chambers. It was no coincidence when IG Farben built a giant new plant in Auschwitz, since the workforce they used (altogether about 300,000 people) were mostly slaves.
Bayer was re-established as Farbenfabriken Bayer AG in 1951, changing its name to the current Bayer AG in 1972. Although the post-WW2 Bayer is a different legal entity to the Bayer that pre-existed IG Farben, and that which formed part of IG Farben, a direct line of continuity can be traced between the personnel, infrastructure and technology of these 3 incarnations. Bayer has a very murky past that should be remembered.
 Corporate Structure, Locations, Management, Ownership
1.1. Bayer AG / The Bayer Group
Bayer AG is a health care and chemicals group represented by 350 companies on all continents employing 113,600 employees worldwide (as of August 30, 2004). The Bayer Group is led by a management holding company with subgroups and service companies operating independently under its strategic direction.
Business operations are the responsibility of the subgroups:
Central service functions are combined into three service companies:
In addition, Bayer cooperates with various companies through strategic alliances, license agreements and scientific operations.
1.2. Recent Reorganisation Process: Bayer's Corporate Shake Up
Bayer AG has transformed its organisational structure into a management holding company with independent operating subsidiaries, in order "to achieve greater flexibility for necessary strategic partnerships". The holding company's Management Board determines overall strategy, decides on the portfolio, controls resource allocation and nominates subsidiary companies' managers. The four business divisions (Health Care, Agriculture, Chemicals and Polymers) have been transferred into legally independent corporate units within the Bayer Group.
The new structure became operational effective January 1, 2003. The company's Supervisory Board at its meeting on December 6, 2001 approved plans to this effect. Then CEO Schneider was optimistic about the future of the new business units and said: "We are convinced that all the new companies will prosper and establish themselves as leaders in their respective markets. The Bayer name and trademark will continue to be of great benefit. We believe the strong cohesion provided by a holding company serves to increase the value of the entire Group." (1)
1.3. Embattled Drug Unit
Many analysts expected that Bayer would divest its Health Care Division after various major setbacks had hit Bayer's pharmaceutical segment (e.g. the Baycol and Kogenate crises). However, the company said it 'had no intention of giving up control of its drug unit'. (2) The already embattled drug unit faced another setback when Bayer's global head of pharmaceuticals David Ebsworth decided to quit unexpectedly. The company gave no explanation for the sudden departure of Ebsworth who was known to have hinted that he was dissatisfied with Bayer's efforts to revamp its structure and recover from the aforementioned serious pharmaceutical setbacks. He has said that he could find no opportunities that appealed within the new Bayer structure. (3)
Bayer completed its highly symbolic listing of its shares Wall Street on January 24 2002. By floating on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Bayer hoped to raise new capital in order to, among other things, finance its reorganisation plans. The company was forced to postpone the listing last year after its best-selling drug, the cholesterol-treatment Baycol, was linked to more than 50 deaths worldwide. (4)
The cornerstones of its business activities are in Europe, North America and the Far East. Links to all corporate sites can be found here.
The headquarters of the Bayer Group is in Leverkusen, Germany. From Leverkusen, Bayer administers and coordinates its activities throughout the world. To find out how to get to Bayer Leverkusen, click here.
Board of Management & Supervisory Board
The Board of Management, the company's highest-ranking group of individuals, leads Bayer AG. The 20-person Supervisory Board oversees the Board of Management. Employees from inside and outside the company, as well as representatives from subsidiaries, industry organisations, banks, unions and research organisations make up the Supervisory Board. Each member has one vote. (5)
3.1. Members of the Board of Management of Bayer AG:
(Chairman of the Board of Management)
Werner Wenning was appointed to the Board of Bayer AG effective February 1, 1997. Wenning holds a number of offices outside Bayer. He is, for example:
- a member of the supervisory boards of Gerling Konzern Versicherungsbeteiligungs-AG and Henkel KGaA,
- Vice President of the German Industry Association (VCI), Frankfurt.
Dr. Udo Oels
Dr. Udo Oels has been a member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG since February 1, 1996.
Dr. Oels also holds a number of offices outside of Bayer AG. He is, for example:
- Member of the Business Advisory Council of RWE AG, Essen
- Member of the Supervisory Board of ThyssenKrupp Services AG, Düsseldorf
- Member of the Business Advisory Board of the State of Saxony-Anhalt
- Member of the Board of the ICCA (International Council of Chemical Associations), Washington
- Committee member of the WCC (World Chlorine Council), Washington
- Board member of the CEFIC (European Chemical Industry Council), Brussels
- Vice Chairman of the Technology and Environment Committee of the VCI (German Chemical Industry Association), Frankfurt
- Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of German Organic Chemical Industry (FOC), Frankfurt
- Member of the Board of Trustees of the German Chemical Industry Fund, Frankfurt
- Member of the Board of German Asia-Pacific Business Association, Hamburg
Klaus Kuhn has been a member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG since May 1, 2002. He is responsible for Finance and represents the Europe, Africa and Middle East regions.
Dr. Richard Pott
Dr. Richard Pott has been a member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG since May 1, 2002. He is responsible for Strategy and Human Resources and is also the company's Labor Director. He additionally represents North, Central and South America.
3.2. Supervisory Board
The 20-person Supervisory Board oversees the Board of Management. Employees from inside and outside the company, as well as representatives from subsidiaries ('More than half of Bayer's supervisory board is made up of worker representatives'), industry organisations, banks, unions and research organisations make up the Supervisory Board. Each member has one vote.
Hermann J. Strenger
Dr. Manfred Schneider'
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board
North Rhine District Secretary of the German Mine
Chemical and Power Workers' Union.
Bayer AG is a publicly owned company and has nearly 500,000 shareholders, all having a small interest in the corporation. As a consequence, individually they exert very little influence.
In June 2001, Bayer reported that non-German investors held 39% of its capital stock. The UK and US hold the largest proportion of non-German owned stock; together investors in these countries account for 46% of the non-German stock ownership.
Stock ownership by categories of shareholders:
24% Individuals (about 12% of the individual stockholders are Bayer employees, who between them own 2.1 percent of the stock)
12% Investment funds
3% Trade and Industry
The Critical Bayer Shareholders (a project group of the Coalition Against BAYER-Dangers) are equipped with the voting rights of smaller shareholders. They have confronted company management, banks and large shareholders with the information on the real consequences of Bayer's profits since 1982. The Critical Bayer Shareholders sometimes pass shareholder entry permits on to other public interest groups in order to give them a chance to stress their concerns at Bayer shareholder meetings.
At the Bayer shareholder meeting in Cologne (27 April 2001) Dr. Korinna Horta of US-based Environmental Defense was able to enter the meeting hall and register as a speaker thanks to an entry permit passed by Coalition Against BAYER-Dangers. Dr. Korinna Horta reports that it was clear that much of what went on was staged. "Many of the "shareholders" did nothing but praise the heroic deeds of management." She explains how the "critical shareholders" got the worst slots to speak, basically only at the end of the day.
Current Price and Market Data:
listed on www.bayer.com in the upper right hand corner
Basic Data Capital Stock
The capital stock of Bayer AG, amounting to Euro 1,869,675,315.20, is divided into 730,341,920 bearer shares. Since July 1, 1998, the stock has been traded as no-par stock, which means the individual shares no longer have a nominal value. The current value of one share - the share price - is determined by the company's total value on the stock market (market capitalisation) and the number of shares in circulation.
Bayer shares have lost a third of their value since the Baycol story broke at 8 August 2001.(75) Bayer withdrew key anti-cholesterol drug Baycol on August 8 because of potentially fatal side effects, sending its stock down and raising questions about Bayer's future in drugs. In addition, investors downgraded Bayer after the Aventis CropScience deal was announced because of the company's increased debt burden. Analysts said the increase in Bayer's debt, which will reach about 14bn Euros, would also restrict Bayer's ability to make acquisitions to bolster its troubled pharmaceuticals division.
However, Bayer's stock rose slightly in response to the so-called anthrax crisis following the terrorist attacks of the 11th of September. Bayer holds the US patent on Cipro, an anthrax treatment drug.
Bayer's 24th January 2002 listing its on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) was done in order to raise new capital and boost its creditworthiness. In preparation for raising funds in the capital markets, Bayer has already expanded its existing financing operations.
Deutsche Bank is Germany's largest commercial bank.
Deutsche Bank is currently in the process of laying-off 7% (7,100 people by 2003) of its workforce. Even so, yet more could be on the way: German press reports say that total lay-offs at the bank could top 10,000. Deutsche Bank announced 2,600 job losses in January 2001, on the same day it reported a doubling of net profits for 2000.
Deutsche Bank is alleged to be involved in the shady business of gold price manipulation, labelled by Der Spiegel (7 January 2001) as 'one of the biggest scandals in economic history'. US Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan and JP Morgan were also involved.
In July 12 1999 Deutsche bank issued a report ('Ag Biotech: Thanks, But No Thanks') which reviewed the financial performance of life science companies investing in GMOs. The report has stimulated much discussion and considerable media coverage. (83) Deutsche Bank also issued other reports in 1999 (e.g. 'GMOs Are Dead' in May 1999) advising its institutional investors, including government pension funds, that "growing negative sentiment" was creating problems for the biotech companies. (84) Although the Deutsche Bank analysts advised investors that GMOs were a poor investment because of consumer resistance, they still believe in the long-term benefits of GMOs.
Allianz AG owns 5.7 percent of Bayer stock. Allianz remains the biggest single stockholder and the only one holding more than 5 percent of the capital stock.
Allianz AG is one of the world's leading insurance groups. Allianz AG took over Dresdner Bank in April 2001 and became the Allianz Group. Allianz Group rank among the world's top financial giants. Bernt Fahrholz, Dresdner Bank's chairman, said the Allianz deal was a major step towards consolidation of the German financial sector, unravelling a complex web of cross shareholdings.
A New York-based investment management firm. Tweedy Browne holds less than 1% of Bayer.
Thomas Shrager, a partner at Tweedy Browne has lobbied Bayer's management for months to free its undervalued pharmaceutical business from the rest of the conglomerate. We now know Schrager's proposal did not materialise.
 Bayer plc in the U.K.
5.1. Offices in the UK
For information on Bayer in the UK, you can contact:
Berkshire RG14 1JA
tel: +44 (0)1635 563000
fax: +44 (0)1635 563393
Other Bayer sites are located at:
Branston (W Hawley & Son Ltd),
Bridgend (Bayer Diagnostics Manufacturing Ltd)
Bromsgrove (Central Warehouse, PolymerLatex, joint venture)
Bury St Edmunds (Crop Protection and Animal Health)
Enfield (pbi Ltd --pbi Home & Garden Limited is a multi-million pound garden products business, now part of Bayer plc since 1999)
Halifax (DyStar Textilfarben GmbH)
Malvern (Microbial Developments Ltd)
Marlow (Haarman & Reimer Ltd)
Sudbury (Bayer Diagnostics Manufacturing Ltd).
Web links to these subsidiaries will provide you with the site-specific contact details.(89)
 Bayer AG: Subsidiaries & Alliances
Most of Bayer's subsidiaries carry the Bayer name. Bayer subsidiaries not carrying the Bayer name include:
Haarmann & Reimer
Flavours & fragrances for processing industries wholly owned by Bayer. Bayer has divested Haarmann & Reimer as part of their reorganisation process (see above).
Haarmann & Reimer has recently been fined by the European Commission for participating in a price-fixing and market-sharing cartel in citric acid. Citric acid is one of the most widely used additives in the food and beverage industry both as an acidulent and preservative. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM), Jungbunzlauer AG, and Cerestar Bioproducts BV were the other corporations fined. For further information click here.
Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH (RC)
The company is a specialist in additives for the rubber, lubricants and plastics industries as well as in polyurethane chemistry. Rhein Chemie Rheinau has been divested as part of the reorganisation process (see above). The company is an expanding international chemicals company with production sites in the major industrial regions of the world. Rhein Chemie has 13 production sites and sales divisions, and more than 70 agencies, mainly operated by Bayer. For further information click here.
Polymer company, a joint subsidiary of Bayer AG and Degussa AG. Bayer has sold its 50% interests in PolymerLatex as part of the reorganisation process. Since Degussa, the other joint venture partner, also wishes to sell its interest, the sale will be effected jointly by Bayer and Degussa. For further information click here.
Metal & ceramic powders.
H.C. Starck supplies Bayer with tantalum (a metal) powder, an essential input for the production of Bayer's capacitors that go into cellular telephones, personal computers and CD players. Bayer claims its close co-operation with its subsidiary H.C. Starck made the company Europe's premier supplier of tantalum capacitors. The booming mobile phone market boosted profits derived from tantalum. Nearly all mobile phones contain one of Bayer's capacitors (Bayer Annual Report 2000). (6)
Tantalum is also vital to the manufacture of advanced jet engines, air bags, night vision goggles, fiber optics and computer chips. Col-tan (short for columbite-tantalite, an ore rich in the element tantalum) is an important factor in the Congo war. Minerals have funded the two wars that have ravaged Congo for four of the last five years. Congo's eastern section is home to some of the richest col-tan ore deposits in the world. Roughly half of the tantalum that originates from Congo ends up being turned to powder by H.C. Starck (see also Corporate Crimes section). (7) For further information click here.
Chemical company. Wolff Walsrode's core competency lies in cellulose derivatives for use in a wide variety of building materials as well as in emulsion paints, printing inks, coatings, pharmaceutical products and cosmetics. (8) For further information click here.
Technical film applications. The company's global activities also include its sister company Deerfield Urethane, USA. For further information click here.
Polyurethanes Business Group (PU)
PU is a supplier of polyurethane raw materials and systems and wholly owned by Bayer AG. PU has regional centers as well as R&D and technical service centers forming a network of locations in different parts of the world. For further information click here.
A subsidiary of Rhein Chemie Rheinau GmbH in Mannheim. iSL-Chemie manufactures colour pastes for plastics and coatings. Following the company's acquisition at the end of 1997 and its integration into the Bayer Group, colour systems for thermosetting plastics - especially polyurethanes - were concentrated in iSL-Chemie. (9) For further information click here.
PUR-recycling technologies and processing of environmentally friendly blowing agents. For further information click here.
Bayer AG owns 30% of the Afga-Gevaert Group shares, Gevaert NV owns 25% and 45% floats free. Afga is well known for its photographic films, but manufactures all kinds of high-end 'imaging' solutions; hardware, software and digital imaging products. For further information click here.
W. Hawley & Son Ltd
W. Hawley & Son Ltd are a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer. Today the company stands as one of the market leaders in the manufacture of quality specialist powder and liquid pigments, and is now the largest blender and processor of these products in the United Kingdom. (10) For further information click here.
DyStar supplies dyestuffs to the textile industry. DyStar Textilfarben GmbH is a joint venture between Bayer and Hoechst, who merged their dyestuffs operations in 1995. Its main product areas are reactive dyestuffs for cotton and viscose dyeing; disperse dyestuffs for the polyester fibres market; and speciality dyestuffs, mainly for the dyeing of polyamide, polyacrylic and cotton. (11) For further information click here.
pbi Home & Garden Limited
pbi Home & Garden Limited is a multi-million pound garden products business, part of Bayer plc since 1999. Based in Enfield, Middlesex, the company's famous products include Baby Bio plant food and the Bio product range for the home garden market, available through all major UK garden centres and DIY outlets.98? The company claims that research suggests 'there's hardly a household in Britain that doesn't own a pbi Home & Garden product.' (12) For further information click here.
Bayer bought Aventis CropScience (ACS) in October 2001. Current owners of AventisCropScience are Aventis (76 percent) and Schering (24 percent).
The combined Bayer CropScience has been set up to combine the activities of Bayer's Crop Protection Business Group with those of Aventis CropScience. Bayer CropScience will have a share of more than 30% of the global insecticides market and will become number 2 in the global agrochemical market, behind Syngenta. Aventis, formed from a merger of Hoechst and Rhone-Poulenc in 1999, and Bayer said they expected the deal to close in the first quarter of 2002. (13)
Carsten Tilger, phone +33 3 8899 1114 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Friedrich von Heyl, phone +49 30 468 15296 email@example.com (14)
Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Bank of America Securities provided a 6bn euros ($5.3bn) bridging loan to finance Bayer's planned acquisition of Aventis CropScience, according to BBC News (12 December 2001). (15)
Aventis accused of violating UN Global Compact rules:
http://www.corpwatch.org/news/PND.jsp?articleid=72 (Source: CorpWatch USA)
Bayer cooperates with various independent companies through strategic alliances, license agreements and scientific operations. A few examples:
In spite of the various setbacks in Bayer's pharmaceutical division the Bayer management still expresses uncompromising confidence in the division's success and profitability. They want to give the health care division more autonomy within the new organisational structure (see above). Also, many in the industry expect Bayer to form a pharmaceutical alliance in next couple of months (BBC News, 8 January 2002).
Bayer has just started talks with Aventis, the Franco-German life sciences company, to set up a joint venture in blood products, BBC News reports (8 January 2002). A joint venture would bring together two of the largest players in the $5.8bn global market for plasma and recombinant blood products. A complete merger could face anti-trust problems. However, the companies are understood not to be talking about combining the entire operation. (17)
Bayer has signed a co-marketing deal in the US with GlaxoSmithKline for its new erectile dysfunction drug, which is seen as crucial to the German group's future. Bayer is hoping that the new treatment, Vardenafil, will fill part of the gap left by the August withdrawal of its anti-cholesterol drug Baycol. The deal with GSK will give Bayer a powerful US marketing partner to sell the drug against competition from better-known rivals such as Viagra, produced by drug giant Pfizer (Financial Times, 15 November 2001). (18)
In 2000, Bayer Corp. signed a collaborative agreement with PPL Therapeutics. PPL Therapeutics is one of the world's leading companies in the application of transgenic technology to the production of human proteins for therapeutic and nutraceutical use. PPL is also at the forefront of nuclear transfer (cloning) and gene targeting, and is known the world over for its creation of Dolly the Sheep. (19)
PPL-Bayer Partnership: In 2000, PPL and Bayer Corporation signed a collaborative agreement to develop and commercialise an aerosol formulation of PPL's transgenic AAT product. AAT (alpha-1-antitrypsin, a human blood protein) is the company's lead product which will begin Phase III clinical trials in 2001 for the treatment of hereditary emphysema. The product is also being developed for the treatment of cystic fibrosis.
PPL and Bayer will collaborate initially to conduct a Phase III efficacy study for AAT deficiency and ultimately to manufacture and commercialise an aerosol formulation of transgenically produced rAAT world wide. PPL and Bayer will also collaborate on development of aerosol rAAT in a second clinical indication, cystic fibrosis. Under the agreement, Bayer will be responsible for and bear the costs of clinical development and marketing. Bayer made an upfront investment in PPL of US$15m and PPL will receive a number of milestone payments totalling US$25m, as progress is made in gaining marketing approvals. PPL will be responsible for exclusive product manufacturing and will receive a significant percentage of Bayer's revenues from sales of rAAT.
The signing of the marketing agreement with Bayer fulfilled a precondition for the funding package for the £42m large scale production facility for AAT, the completion of which is due in 2004.
Dolly the Sheep:
The first mammal cloned from an adult cell. Born 5th July 1996 in Scotland. Produced through nuclear transfer (cloning) from a differentiated adult cell. At the end of 1997 Dolly was mated with a Welsh Mountain ram and produced a female lamb, Bonnie, on 13th April 1998. (20)
The scientists who created Dolly the Sheep have recently revealed that Dolly has developed arthritis at the relatively young age of five and a half. "The fact that Dolly has arthritis at this comparatively young age suggests there may be problems," Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute in Scotland told the BBC. But, he added: "We cannot ever know whether this is the result of cloning or just an unhappy coincidence."
'PPL Therapeutics lost 15 per cent of its share value following the news of Dolly's arthritis. But the shares had surged 40 per cent the day before after a press release announced the birth of genetically modified pig clones (see below).
In November 2001, US cloning company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) said detailed investigations of 24 surviving calf clones revealed all were normal. But overall, Wilmut pointed out at the time, 73 per cent of pregnancies ended in abortion and 20 per cent of the cloned calves died soon after birth. Evidence of severe pregnancy complications and defects caused by cloning have been widely reported by cattle cloners. There have been instances of dramatically oversized calves, enlarged tongues, intestinal blockages, immune deficiencies and diabetes.' (21)
PPL cloned 'Knock-out' pigs:
PPL Therapeutics announced (2 January 2002) it has produced 'knock-out' piglets which were born as a result of using nuclear transfer (cloning) and PPL's patented gene targeting technology. The five healthy births took place on Christmas Day, 25 December 2001. The company declares it has always been the objective of PPL's xenotransplantation programme to produce ' knock-out' pigs. In future, this step should enable organs and/or cells from such animals to be transplanted into humans and not be rejected by the human recipient. A 'knock-out' pig has the specific gene that leads to the human immune system rejecting pig organs inactivated. (Source: BioTech Analytics, date viewed: 19.01.02).
Mapping of the human genome is a high priority for Bayer. To meet this challenge, Bayer entered into various partnerships. In 1998 Bayer entered into the world's largest genome research alliance with the US company Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Since then 300 Millennium experts have been working exclusively for Bayer.
Millennium is a leading drug discovery and development company. The company focuses on three disease targets -- cancer, metabolic diseases, and inflammation -- but revenue is primarily from R&D alliances with such companies as Bayer (27%; it owns about 10% of the firm), Monsanto (22%), and American Home Products. Abbott Labs and Millennium are developing a metabolism-boosting obesity drug candidate that targets a gene that may prompt the body to store fat. (22)
To process the genetic data Bayer needs powerful computers. In other words, work in the laboratories is supplemented by bioinformatics. Bayer's partner in this field is LION Bioscience AG, based in Heidelberg, Germany (Bayer Annual Report, 2000). (23)
LION bioscience AG is a developer of enterprise-wide R&D data analysis and information management systems and solutions for the life sciences and healthcare industry, enabling the use of IT for drug discovery. (24) Deals with Bayer represent 60% of the firm's revenues. With the life sciences division of IBM, it is developing faster, more powerful drug discovery tools. (25)
A licensing agreement with biotechnology company MorphoSys AG in Munich has given Bayer access to a library containing more than one billion different human antibodies (Bayer press release, 31 January 2000). In January 2000, Bayer gained access to a database of more than 480 patented human genes for research purposes through an agreement with the US company Incyte Pharmaceuticals.
MorphoSys is a biotechnology enterprise, which develops and uses technologies for the discovery of new medicaments and illness-relevant goal molecules. The company has dozens of license and co-operation agreements with other pharmaceutical and biotechnological enterprises, such as Millennium Pharmaceuticals and CPG AG. MorphoSys has patented HuCAL, the Human Combinatorial Antibody Library. HuCAL's combination of features such as fully human composition of antibodies, high-throughput optimisation and big quantity production make it an ideal source of research and therapeutic antibodies. (26)
Incyte Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a leading provider of an integrated platform of genomic technologies designed to aid in the understanding of the molecular basis of disease. Collaborations: Abbott, ARIAD, BASF, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Genetech, Hoechst, Hoffmann La-Roche, Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Organon, Pfizer, Pharmacia & Upjohn, Rhone Poulenc, Schering AG, SmithKline Beecham, Zeneca. (27)
In March 2000, Bayer signed a research and licensing agreement with the UK company Oxford GlycoScience (OGS) in the field of proteomics technology, the comprehensive study of proteins. OGS is a spinoff of Oxford University. The collaboration is initially for two years. (28)
Avigen is engaged in the development of gene therapy products for the treatment of inherited and acquired diseases. (30)
In agrochemicals as in healthcare, Bayer claims to be assembling a cutting-edge research platform. Biotechnology plays a key role on that stage. An important aspect of Bayer's crop protection research strategy is collaboration with entrepreneurial companies. Bayer has formed alliances with Paradigm Genetics in herbicides, LION Bioscience in fungicides and with Genoptera, the joint venture between Exelixis and Bayer AG's crop protection business group. (31)
Paradigm Genetics determines the functions of specific genes (mainly for agricultural purposes). Paradigm's revenue sources include an agreement with Bayer to develop herbicides, a partnership with Monsanto focused on crop protection and nutrition, and a grant from the US Department of Energy. It is buying Celera's AgGen unit to expand its operations.
Genoptera was formed in January 2000 to discover new insecticides and nematicides. The joint venture is a continuation and expansion of a 1998 venture between Bayer and Exelixis. In addition to the $80 million in committed research funding over the course of the eight-year venture, Exelixis receives performance-based milestone and royalty payments from Bayer. Bayer has the exclusive right to commercialise insecticides based on technology developed by Genoptera. (32) Exelixis (Greek for "evolution") gathers and compares genetic data from fruit flies, roundworms, and other organisms to speed the development of drugs, insecticides, and animal health products. Exelixis bought Genomica to expand its drug discovery operations. Exelixis' partners include Pharmacia (about 40% of revenues) and Bristol-Myers Squibb. (33)
Bayer has planned to create a joint venture with Japanese companies Honshu and Mitsui. Honshu Chemical Industry will build a production facility for specialty bisphenols in Bitterfeld-Wolfen immediately adjacent to the site of Bayer Bitterfeld GmbH. These raw materials are used at Bayer for the production of highly heat-resistant Apec polycarbonate. The facility will have an annual capacity of some 5,000 tons and will cost some EUR 38 million to build. It is scheduled to go on stream at the end of 2003 and will create about 35 new jobs (Bayer press release 13 December 2001). (34)
Industrial Park Walsrode (see section on chemicals) is currently home to Bayer's units and subsidiaries in the chemical and plastics processing industry. The aim is to attract more companies to the site. For further information click here.
Bayer's Chemical Parks
Bayer sites in Brunsbuttel, Dormagen, Leverkusen and Uerdingen have evolved as chemical parks. These sites offer a total of more than 643 acres of land for use by other companies, combined with infrastructure and a network for all kinds of chemicals. (35) Particular opportunities exist for partners from the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, as well as for service companies to those industries and manufacturers which use chemical products as their raw materials. Such companies have the option of constructing their own plants or leasing facilities at the Chemical Parks, utilising the existing infrastructure and services. (36)
Ground was broken on Wednesday, October 17, 2001, for the construction of a polymer production facility for DuBay Polymer GmbH, a newly founded joint venture between DuPont and Bayer. The capital invested in the plant is over EUR 50 million, and production is due to start in 2003. "With a capacity of 80,000 metric tonnes per year," said Dr. Jürgen Dahmer, head of the Bayer Plastics Business Group, "we are setting up the world's biggest production facility for polybutylene terephthalate (PBT)." (37)
Bayer AG and Monsanto are old friends. 'In 1954 Bayer AG formed a joint venture with Monsanto Chemical Corp., which was called Mobay Chemical Corp. In 1967, Bayer acquired Monsanto's 50 percent ownership in Mobay, making it a wholly owned subsidiary. (38)
In 1995 Bayer acquired Monsanto's styrenics business. Monsanto kept managing the plastics operation under an operating agreement with Bayer. (39)
Online business-to-business (B2B) transactions (as of 2001)
Bayer is expanding its activities in electronic commerce, and within a few years the company will be doing about 5 billion Euro a year in business through Internet auctions, electronic marketplaces or interactive customer portals (Bayer Annual Report 2000). Bayer is both a participant in and co-founder of a number of large electronic B2B marketplaces, at which raw materials and products, supplies, scientific expertise and services, even complete pre-assembled systems for production facilities are traded.
 Human Rights
- Chemical Weapons in WWI Bayer is implicated in the development of chemical weapons. During WW1 Bayer was involved in the development and manufacture of a range of poisonous gases used in the trenches, including chlorine gas and mustard gas. (41). As part of IG Farben, Bayer was also involved in the development of the next generation of chemical warfare agents, toxic organophosphate compounds. Tabun was first examined for use as an insecticide in late 1936 in a program under the direction of Dr. Gerhard Schrader at the Bayer facility at Elberfeld/Wuppertal. An accidental exposure of Dr. Schrader and a laboratory assistant to Tabun vapors made it clear that this compound had potential military applications. (42) Tabun was later mass produced by IG Farben during WWII, although it was never used as a weapon. Schrader was also responsible for the discovery of related, but more toxic, nerve agents including Sarin and Soman. (43) Whilst working on chemical weapons Schrader discovered the chemical compound E 605, the principle ingredient in the pesticide parathion. After the post-war dissolution of IG Farben, Schrader continued to develop pesticides for Bayer.
- Bayer, IG Farben and Human Experiments IG Farben also conducted experiments on humans. Eva Mozes Kor, among the 1,500 sets of twins experimented on by the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele, claims that IG Farben monitored and supervised medical experiments at the Nazi concentration camp where she was interned. She claims the experiments involved toxic chemicals that IG Farben (Bayer) provided. In some of the experiments, the lawsuit states, prisoners were injected with germs known to cause diseases, "to test the effectiveness of various drugs" manufactured by IG Farben. Mengele conducted genetic experiments there in an effort to create a super race of blonde, blue-eyed Aryans who would be born in multiple births. Both Kor and her sister survived their 10-month ordeal in the concentration camp and were liberated by Soviet troops in January 1945. They were nearly 10 years old. According to Irwin Levin (Kor's Lawyer), IG Farben paid Nazi officials during World War II for access to those confined in the camps and collaborated in Nazi experiments as a form of research and development. The lawsuit sought unspecified punitive damages and the recovery of profits it maintains IG Farben (Bayer) earned as a result of such research. Eventually Eva Kor and various others were paid out of a fund put up by the German government and the companies. Bayer gave 100 million German Marks to the fund. The entire fund (totalling 10 billion German Marks) was a result of various American lawsuits - without the loss of reputation in the U.S. the companies would never have agreed.
In the Auschwitz files correspondence was discovered between the camp commander and Bayer Leverkusen. It dealt with the sale of 150 female prisoners for experimental purposes: "With a view to the planned experiments with a new sleep-inducing drug we would appreciate it if you could place a number of prisoners at our disposal (…)" – "We confirm your response, but consider the price of 200 RM per woman to be too high. We propose to pay no more than 170 RM per woman. If this is acceptable to you, the women will be placed in our possession. We need some 150 women (…)" – "We confirm your approval of the agreement. Please prepare for us 150 women in the best health possible (…)" – "Received the order for 150 women. Despite their macerated condition they were considered satisfactory. We will keep you informed of the developments regarding the experiments (…)" – "The experiments were performed. All test persons died. We will contact you shortly about a new shipment (…)."
- Bayer, IG Farben and World War II: Slave Labour and Deadly Gas Bayer (along with BASF and Hoechst) was an original member of the IG Farben group. During WWII, IG Farben built a synthetic rubber and oil plant complex called Monowitz close to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Inmates worked as slave labour for IG Farben, (46) and when they were too weak to work they were killed in the gas chambers. IG Farben subsidiary Degesch manufactured Zyklon B, the gas used in the concentration camp gas chambers. (47) Bayer head Carl Duisberg personally propagated the concept of forced labour during WW1. (48) The company placed itself under a large burden of guilt due to its heavy involvement in the planning, preparation and implementation of both world wars. The International War Crimes Tribunal pronounced the company guilty for its share of responsibility in the war and the crimes of the Nazi dictatorship.
- The Nuremberg Trials On 29 July 1948, sentences for mass murder and slavery were handed down at the Nuremberg trials to twelve Farben executives. The longest sentence of only seven years was dealt out was to Dr. Fritz ter Meer, a top executive and scientist on the IG Farben managing board. (49) After the war, IG Farben separated into three giant corporations: Bayer, Hoechst and BASF. On 1 August 1963, Bayer celebrated its 100th anniversary at the Cologne fairgrounds. The opening speech was delivered by Dr. Fritz ter Meer, not only out of prison but - a convicted mass murderer -elevated to the position of Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bayer. (50)
- David Fishel, Former Bayer Slave More than eight million people had to do slave work for the Nazi war industry, and none ever received compensation from the companies or the government. David Fishel, one of the few survivors of the camp, sued the companies for compensation. When he was 13 he was forced to work for IG Farben carrying 50-kilo bags of coal and cement when he weighed only 75 pounds. (51)
- Chemical Weapons after WWII After World War II, Bayer and other companies began to introduce a large number of organophosphorus compounds, including parathion, into the marketplace for insect control. The difficulty with organophosphates (OPs) is that they are neurotoxic due to their effects on acetycholinesterase, and unfortunately this enzyme occurs in humans as well as in insects. (44) The links between chemicals developed as pesticides with chemicals suitable for weapons has continued at Bayer. In 1989 it was revealed that Bayer held a patent for a compound chemically identical to the VX gas used by the U.S. military. The compound was discovered by Gerhard Schrader, and was patented in Germany in 1957, and in the U.S. in 1961. Bayer claim that the compound was developed as a potential pesticide and that the U.S. military application of the compound has nothing to do with them. (45)
- UN accuses Bayer of stocking Congo War A recent report commissioned by the UN Secretary General stated that the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) centred on the control of five mineral resources, including colombite-tantalite or coltan. (54) Coltan is a hardening agent for metal used in the manufacture of electrical products. In October a report listed H.C. Starck (a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer AG), as the buyer of over 80% of the coltan originating in the DRC. (55) By purchasing coltan from one or other of the warring factions in the DRC, H.C. Starck have been fuelling the two-year conflict. The fighting has killed over 250,000 people, and a million people have been displaced in East Congo. "The United Nations has accused German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer of stoking the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo with purchases of the mineral ore colombite-tantalite, or coltan." (53)
- AIDS drugs case adjourned "The pharmaceutical industry brought its action to prevent South Africa allowing imports of cheap copies of their patented anti-AIDS drugs."
- Chrome in South Africa "One of the largest chrome factories in the world began production as a joint company of Bayer and Dow Chemicals. Bayer, the second largest chrome manufacturer in the world, closed its chrome processing plant in Leverkusen, Germany. Due to the country's large chrome deposits, the company has processed this raw material in South Africa since 1973, and it even has its own mine. The idea of an apartheid government apparently did not present any problems to Bayer, as the government provided many black workers who were cheap and had no rights. The workers suffered many health risks during chrome production, including respiratory illnesses, skin tumours and even lung cancer."
 Environmental Concerns
- Methamidophos Methamidophos is manufactured by Bayer and marketed as Monitor. According to the World Health Organization, it is extremely hazardous and can be fatal if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. It is restricted in the US and New Zealand, but is widely used by Cambodian farmers. (56)
- PCBs (57) Bayer also produced polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, under the trade name 'Clophen.' During the 1970s the health risks associated with PCBs (including skin ailments, reproductive disorders and liver disease) became a major consideration due to several well-publicized incidents. In 1972, Bayer restricted their supply of PCB for use in closed systems (transformers, condensers, hydraulic fluid). Until then a total of approximately 23,000 t of PCB were used in "open systems". There was a shift in production from higher chlorinated PCB to lower chlorinated PCB between 1974 and 1983. Due to the health and environmental risks associated with PCBs, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the manufacture of PCBs and regulated their use and disposal. The organization began this regulation in 1978. The use of PCB in Germany remained more or less constant up to 1978 and then decreased continuously. In 1983, the last year of PCB production by Bayer, 90% of the PCB was exported. The production of PCB increased until 1980, with a greater proportion going into export. In 1983, the last year of PCB production by Bayer AG, 90% of the PCB produced was exported.
- Bayer Responsible in Pesticide Deaths of 24 Children in Peru "Following a nine-month investigation, a Peruvian Congressional Subcommittee has issued its final report on the poisoning deaths by the organophosphate pesticide methyl parathion of 24 children in the remote village of Tauccamarca in October 1999. The Subcommittee concluded that there is significant evidence of administrative and criminal responsibility on the part of Ministry of Agriculture, and of criminal responsibility on the part of the agrochemical company Bayer. Headquartered in Germany, Bayer has been a principle Peruvian importer and distributor of both methyl and ethyl parathion. The report recommends that the government and Bayer indemnify the families of the dead children."
- Bayer Won't Pull Poultry Antibiotics "But when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed a ban on the use of certain antibiotics to treat sick chickens and turkeys, Bayer Corporation refused to comply. Instead of removing the antibiotic, Baytril® from the market in response to the FDA's proposal, Bayer has chosen to ignore warnings by scientists and physicians alike that use of their drug in poultry poses a danger to human health."
- U.S. Rice Supply Contaminated "Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced late yesterday that U.S. commercial supplies of long-grain rice had become inadvertently contaminated with a genetically engineered variety not approved for human consumption. Johanns said the company that made the experimental rice, Bayer CropScience of Monheim, Germany, had provided information to the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration indicating that the rice poses no threats to human health or the environment."
- Bayer pesticides in toxic dump in Nepal (58) Bayer was one of several multinationals to export highly toxic obsolete pesticides to Nepal, abandoning them there after they reached their expiry date or were banned. The most dangerous substances found at the site (which were later contained by Greenpeace activists) originated from Bayer. These include highly toxic chlorinated organomercury compounds, banned for use in the European Union since 1988. The obsolete pesticides had been inadequately stored in rusting and rotting original packaging in a warehouse at the National Agricultural Research Council, located on the outskirts of Katmandu. The toxic waste threatens the health of residents, workers and livestock in the area as well as local water supplies, irrigation systems and soil. Despite requests to Bayer from the Royal Nepalese Government, the company has refused to help.
- Bayer Dumps Acid and other Wastes in the North Sea and the Rhine (59) Bayer hired big ships which they loaded with concentrated sulphuric acid (containing heavy metals) and dumped it into the North Sea. The acid was a bi-product from the manufacture of titanium dioxide. Greenpeace and the Coalition Against Bayer-Dangers blockaded the port in Leverkusen for several weeks, thereby changing legislation and forcing Bayer to "voluntarily" stop dumping the acid into the North Sea. Liquid waste containing lead, cadmium and mercury was regularly brought in barges down the Rhine from dye factories at Leverkusen, belonging to Bayer, and discharged into the sea from two ships. (60) A hundred thousand cubic meters of chemical waste were also stored only a few meters from the Rhine river and surrounding residential area, which led to harm to workers and the environment and even a few deaths. The sanitation costs were over 200 million German marks, and the taxpayers had to pay one fourth of the costs. (61)
- Poison for Latin America "200,000 people have been poisoned in Germany through the use of the wood preservative XYLADECOR. BAYER sold its shares of DESOWAG, the manufacturer of XYLADECOR, 10 years ago to cover its participation in the questionable business. We have recently discovered that BAYER and DESOWAG are still marketing XYLADECOR together in Latin America - with risky ingredients that aren't contained in the same product that is sold in Germany."
- Gaucho (62) French Farm Minister Jean Glavany suspended the use of Bayer pesticide Gaucho on sunflower seeds, due to a drop in France's bee population. Honey producers say that Gaucho has made the plants toxic, thereby damaging their bee swarms. Bayer claims that Gaucho leaves too small of a residue in nectar and pollen to have an impact on bees, but, according to the National Union of French Beekeepers, the number of hives in France dropped to 1 million from 1.45 million. "The report on bee-deaths, published by the French Comité Scientifique et Technique (CST), shows that the use of the pesticide GAUCHO is jointly responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of bee colonies. Environmental activists and beekeeper unions are calling for a ban on the agricultural toxin."
- Baygon (63) Baygon, a pesticide produced by Bayer, has been linked to child leukaemia. A study showed that pregnant women who were exposed to a substance from the same family of chemicals were 10 times more likely to have a baby which developed the deadly disease than mothers who were not exposed. Baygon is used as an insecticide and also in mosquito repellent.
- Fenthion (64) The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that previously approved uses of Bayer's organophosphate pesticide fenthion, posed unreasonable risks to human health and the environment. Fenthion can also cause cholinesterase inhibition in humans; that is, it can overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, and at high exposures respiratory paralysis and death. EPA toxicologist William Boyes is reviewing a Japanese study that found a high rate of myopia (shortsightedness) in people exposed to fenthion. Another study by Bayer itself indicates that rats that were given high doses of fenthion over a period of two years had eye problems as well. Its use has been implicated in several bird kill incidents, including recent bird kills on Marco Island, Florida, which are currently under investigation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Conservancy states that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife report documents the deaths of at least 16 species of birds caused by fenthion, including the Piping Plover. The level of concern is exceeded for endangered species of estuarine/marine invertebrates on an acute and chronic basis from the mosquito adulticide use. Fentheon is the active ingredient of pesticide Lebaycid, and there was a mass campaign in Greece to stop the use of Lebaycid.
- Baysiston (65) Bayer faced criminal charges in Brazil for poisoning coffee growers with pesticide Baysiston The pesticide is suspected to have poisoned more than 30 coffee growers, at least 12 of them fatally. Farm workers' organizations estimate the number of workers with considerable health damage to be several hundred. There are tight safety regulations in Brazil for contact with the extremely toxic pesticide (which has been banned in Germany for over 20 years), including the use of breathing devices and protective gear. However, this equipment is not affordable for poor farm workers. Were it made available to these farmers it would likely not be used due to the tropical temperatures. In addition, many of these farm workers are illiterate and therefore cannot read the instructions for use of the highly toxic pesticide. Furthermore, the risks are downplayed or ignored in advertisements for Baysiston. Many coffee growers believe Baysiston to be a fertilizer which increases yield. Bayer is in violation of the policies of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) regarding the sales of pesticides by marketing Baysiston. According to FAO policy, manufacturers, especially those in tropical countries, should avoid using pesticides that require expensive protective equipment. The company has paid 100,000 Real (approximately $80,000) into a fund that was initiated by the public prosecutor's office. According to the public prosecutor, the company wants to avoid a conviction at any price and is therefore trying to settle out of court. Although Bayer insisted that Baysiston was "well known and appreciated for its good effects," contamination with the substance leads to severe burns, muscular spasm, muscular shivering, severely impaired consciousness and muscle paralysis up to a respiratory standstill - i.e. death. Baysiston also filters through into the ground water and contaminates the nearby rivers. Bayer stated that they are aware of cases of contamination, but they were due to "inexpert use alone," rather than a lack of information.
- Methyl Parathion (66) Methyl parathion is an organophosphate pesticide that kills pests by acting as a stomach poison. It is classified as an "extremely hazardous" and acutely toxic product by the World Health Organization, is responsible for a disproportionately large share of pesticide poisonings in Latin America. It is officially banned or restricted in Cambodia, China, the US, Japan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. However, the chemical is widely used on a frequent basis in various Asian countries (such as Indonesia and Vietnam). Folidol (the Bayer brand name for methyl parathion) is one of the most popular insecticides on the Cambodian market. The application of extremely hazardous chemicals such as Methyl parathion would require protective gear that would cost farmers a yearly income, which they cannot afford. The gear is also rarely available in rural markets, and would be difficult to use in 30-40 degree Celsius tropical heat. These chemicals are not handled, stored or disposed of within even minimal international standards. Research has shown that spray equipment (such as tanks and valves) leaks onto hands and down necks and backs, and that these chemicals are often mixed with bare hands. Used bottles are often left in fields or ponds, contaminating the food and water supplies. The containers are used domestically after being washed in the nearest river or streams (which are also used for bathing). The misuse of pesticides has caused huge pest outbreaks as the chemicals kill the pests, as well as beneficial insects, but not the eggs of the pest. Incessant spraying causes pest resistance to particular chemicals, which has led to an estimated over-dosing in rice by up to 8 times the recommended rate. Water supplies become contaminated with the pesticides, impacting the safety of the drinking water as well as killing birds, aquatic life and other animals which survive on the water sources.
- TDI (67) In 1996, Bayer made plans for a giant TDI (Toluylendiisocyanat) plant in Taichung, Taiwan. The factory was supposed to produce 100, 000 metric tons of TDI per year and would have been the second biggest in the world. From the beginning there was a lot of resistance in Taiwan against this project (there were demonstrations with up to 4, 000 people), especially because of the threats of phosgene, a poisonous by-product of TDI production that was used as a chemical weapon during World War I. Bayer Taiwan Chairman Horst Mück insisted that only one thing could rupture the system: an explosion, which would in itself burn up the phosgene. Beyond 50 meters of the rupture, the gas would be below dangerous levels. In June 1997 a big accident occurred in Bayer's brand-new TDI plant in Dormagen. 12 tons of carcinogenic TDA (a by-product) exploded, burned and covered a large area. This explosion was also noted in Taiwan since it contradicted to all of Bayer's previous statements. The approval of the Taiwanese government was delayed. In December 1997 Bayer announced they would abandon their plans in Taiwan and expand their TDI plant in Baytown/Texas instead. (68)
- 24 children dead, 18 poisoned (69) Pesticides are sold among instant coffee and milk powder, medicine and vegetables in local markets. In the developing world, they are often labelled in languages not spoken in the country in which they are being sold. In October 2001, Bayer was taken to court after 24 children in the remote Andean village of Tauccamarca were killed and 18 more severely poisoned when they drank a powdered milk substitute that had been contaminated with methyl parathion. The white powder that resembles powdered milk and has no strong chemical odour was packaged in small plastic bags that provide no protection to users and give no indication of the danger of the product within. The bags were labelled in Spanish only, and carried drawings of healthy carrots and potatoes but no pictograms indicating danger or toxicity.
- Baycor and Nemacur in the Phillipines (70) Bayer's pesticides Baycor and Nemacur, labelled as "extremely hazardous," are constantly sprayed in banana plantations in the Philippine village of Kamukhaan. The strong fumes create nausea, weakness, suffocation as well as itchy skin and painful stinging eyes. Skin diseases, abnormalities and various illnesses and ailments (such as asthma, thyroid cancer, anaemia, diarrhoea and goitre) have grown in both infants and adults. Many have died from contaminated water after the pesticides seep into the soil supply. In addition the pesticides have also stopped coconut trees from bearing coconuts, and the soil has become infertile. Each time a spraying occurs, many animals die. Many people have died from drinking or playing in water, and the pesticides have also seeped the soil. In 1995, Bayer declared that they would withdraw their most dangerous pesticides. This promise, of course, has not been kept.
- Olaqunidox (71) At the request of EU agricultural commissioner Franz Fischler, the EU Commission has prohibited the sales of Bayer's growth hormone Olaquindox. Scientists consider the feed additive used in intensive livestock farming to be genetically damaging and carcinogenic.
- PPA (72) After two studies from The New England Journal of Medicine revealed that phenylpropanolamine ('PPA') could lead to strokes even in young, healthy individuals, the US Food and Drug Administration urged consumers to quit using drugs containing the substance. The FDA removed all over-the-counter products which contained PPA, including Bayer's Alka-Seltzer Plus effervescent cough/cold products. A 5-year Yale University report that indicated PPA had caused 500 strokes and four deaths; the result of this was the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) banning all over-the-counter products which contained PPA. Bayer challenged the validity of the Yale University study, stating that there have been no safety risks involved with the use of Alka Seltzer. A lawsuit is still pending involving a man who suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke, after taking Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Formula. He suffers permanent brain damage.
- PCB In Ship Paints (73) Polluted sedimnents in the Oslo harbour was found to be linked to polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) found in ship paint products sold to shipyards by two companies, including Bayer's product Clophen. An Oslo firm of lawyers, in cooperation with Friends of the Earth Norway, has stated that a lawsuit would be possible, linked to the fact that the companies have omitted to inform the recipients of the product of its PCB content and/or the possible harmful effects of this.
- PCB and Mercury (74) Greenpeace sampling results show toxic chemicals slated for ban including toxic Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) such as PCBs and heavy metals such as mercury, are being released from the Bayer plant in Rio de Janeiro. PCBs are industrial chemicals (used mostly in electrical equipment) which harm the environment and have been classified by the UN Environment Program as a persistent global pollutant. Mercury is an extremely toxic metal. It is bioaccumulative and in organic form can permanently damage the nervous system, kidneys and developing foetus.
- Toxic Dump in Pakistan (75) A toxic dump and spill in a valley in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province posed a serious health hazard for local villagers several years after it occurred. The local villagers faced intestinal, eye and lung diseases, especially severe amongst the children. 250 drums of expired pesticides loaded onto four trucks were being secretly taken to Khawara Valley when one truck overturned a few meters from its destination. Although the signs of the accident were cleared before daylight, the adverse health effects from the waste seeping into the soil lingered for years. The pesticides were imported for free distribution to farmers over 20 years previously under the so-called Green Revolution program, but the government then tried to sell it to farmers at a higher price than it was selling in the open market. The pesticides were not sold and remained at a storehouse of the Department of Plant Protection in Peshawar. Local villagers soon complained of recurring headaches, a strange taste in the water and a foul smell. According to a study by World Environmental Centre, around 5,000 tonnes of expired pesticides still remain at 1,900 warehouses across Pakistan. The United Nations Food & Agriculture Organizations estimates there are more than 100,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticide stocks in developing countries.
 Disregard of Business Ethics
 Scams, Blags and Corporate Bullying
Anthrax Drug Monopoly
Amidst anthrax attacks and widespread fears of exposure, Bayer has refused to allow other pharmaceutical firms to produce ciprofloxacin hydrochloride, so that they can profit from sales of Cipro, their patented drug that cures anthrax. (76)
Gilman and Pastor, LLP, are now prosecuting a nationwide class action lawsuit on behalf of all persons in the US who purchased or paid for Cipro, accusing Bayer AG of entering into unlawful agreements with Barr Laboratories, Inc. and Hoechst Marion Roussel, Inc. under which, in exchange for over $50 million per year, Barr and Hoechst Marion Roussel agreed not to manufacture or market a generic version of Cipro. (77)
The U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary threatened to override Bayer's patent unless they agreed to lower the price of the pill, which Bayer promptly agreed. "Activists and health officials from developing countries say it is unreasonable for a rich country to challenge patents after a handful of Anthrax cases resulted in four deaths, while its policy is to discourage poor countries from overriding patents to address the AIDS epidemic." the San Francisco Examiner reported. (78)
South Africa AIDS drugs lawsuit (79)
Nelson Mandela signed the Medicines Control Act in 1997, which allowed South Africa's health minister to override patent protections to use generic AIDS drugs if there was a need. Bayer was one of several large pharmaceutical companies that filed a joint suit in 1998 against the South African government for patent infringement, in a gross attempt to deprive victims of AIDS of desperately needed medication. After three years of international outrage, the case was withdrawn. (80)
Citric Acid Monopoly (81)
Bayer's New Jersey-based subsidiary, Haarmann and Reimer, was one of several manufacturers implicated in an international conspiracy to create a price monopoly on citric acid. Haarman and Reimer pleaded guilty to the US Department of Justice and had to pay a $50 million, while a senior executive at the German-based Haarman & Reimer was fined $150,000.
The Canadian anti-trust commission also found Haarman & Reimer and other food additives manufacturers guilty of illegal price fixing in the case of citric acid. (82)
Medicaid Scam (83)
The American unit of Bayer AG agreed to pay $14 million to settle charges of causing inflated Medicaid claims after defrauding the government by setting prices that were too high on drugs such as Kogenate and Koate-HP, used to treat haemophilia and Gamimmune, used to treat immune deficiency diseases. For at least seven years, Bayer overstated average wholesale prices for its drugs. These prices were used to set reimbursement aids under Medicaid and Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly. Bayer squeezed drug companies who followed the pricing rules out of the market, while simultaneously pocketing money at the expense of taxpayers.
Suppressing Scientific Information (84)
Bayer asks bacteriologists and scientists who want to test Bayer products for antibiotic research to sign a document stating that they will inform Bayer AG in writing of test results and will not publish or commercialise them without the written permission of Bayer. This brings up many issues of drug companies suppressing scientific information that does not suit their commercial purposes.
When large health and environmental groups which affect public policy are being funded by industries, it is possible that scientists who claim to be objective may ignore important health, safety and environmental considerations.
Bayer donates over $500,000 a year to the American Heart Association (AHA), which may explain why the AHA has endorsed only Bayer aspirin. Bayer also contributes over $500,000 a year to the American Diabetes Association, is a sustaining member of the American Medical Writer's Association, and contributes to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the Biotechnology Institute, and the Environmental Sensitivities Research Institute. Bayer also supports the Heartland Institute, an "independent research policy group". (85) Bayer is a member organisation of the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, which is supposed to maintain publicly available national databases on pesticide use, develop methods and data systems to improve the estimation of pesticide benefits and prepare reports, articles, and testimony on pesticide policy issues.
Bayer donates money to the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics, a scientific front group that also receives donations from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble Pharmaceutical and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals Inc., which may explain their watered-down web page which claims that antibiotic resistant bacteria is a natural phenomenon and that "Although the scientific evidence does indicate that antibiotic use in animals is a key factor promoting resistance, the validity and reliability of the data have been questioned." (86)
In addition, Bayer donates exorbitant amounts of money to political parties, especially in the United States. In fact, between 1 January 1999 and 30 June 2000 alone, Bayer donated $134,511 to the Republican party and $40,150 to the Democrats, for a grand total of $174,661. (87)
Bayer also admitted to supporting the "further education" of doctors in Portugal by paying for trips around the world in an attempt to influence prescription writing. (88) According to former pharmaceuticals salesman Alfredo Pequito, Bayer invested approximately DM 100,000 in the first 5 months of 1995 to promote the prescribing of Ciproxin in Portugal. He reports that amounts of up to DM 5,000 were deposited in travel agencies for various doctors. The money was not always used for conventions, but for other uses such as family trips or even exchanged for cash. The head of the Portuguese State Medical Board Carlos Ribeira believes this brings the ethical and moral ideals of the medical profession in question. He has announced that he intends to take legal action. The public prosecutors and the Ministry of Health have also begun investigations.
Unlicensed Exports (89)
Bayer received a $200,000 fine for exporting U.S-origin glucose and other reagents to seven destinations, without obtaining the required validated export licenses, even though glucose can be used for chemical and biological weapons.
Bayer Attacks Critical Coverage (90)
Bayer has forced Coordination against BAYER-Dangers (Coordination gegen BAYER-Gefahren e.V. or CBG), formerly Bayerwatch, to withdraw their domain name and trademarked group name by threatening them with heavy court costs. The CBG had already successfully registered the aforementioned name with the Munich Patent Office. The Patent Office's copyright investigation had reviewed whether there was any danger of confusion as a result of the copyrighted trademark and had determined that there was none. However, Bayer claimed that people could get confused between the site detailing their crimes, and the real Bayer website. An initial attempt by Bayer to silence the group was rejected by the Bundesverfassungsgericht (German Federal Constitutional Court) in 1992. The CBG has been campaigning against the questionable practices of Bayer's international operations for over 20 years.
"Green Revolution" or Pesticide Dependence? (91)
The IMF and World Bank convinced farmers (many in developing countries) to abandon traditional agriculture systems and getting in debt to buy 'high yield' seeds and the accompanying agrochemicals in the so-called "Green Revolution." Although yields rose for a time, the chemicals that many farmers now depend on has lead to a massive loss of biodiversity and is poisoning both the land, the water and the farmers that work on it. The Green Revolution, supported by the IMF and World Bank, has promoted higher-yielding varieties of seeds that are dependent on irrigation, fertilizers and pesticides. Corporations such as Bayer have a lot to gain from this manufactured dependence of developing countries on their products. Six companies, including Bayer, are associated with US$3 million or more in Bank-approved agrochemical sales over the three year period between 1993-95.
 Pharmaceutical Failings
Mass-Producing Heroin (92)
In 1898, Bayer trademarked the opiate diacetylmorphine, giving it the name heroin. Although the chemist C.R. Wright discovered the mixture of morphine and acetic acid, Bayer was the first company to mass-produce it. Bayer began an advertising campaign in 1900 (93), praising the product across the globe in 12 languages, and sending thousands of free samples to doctors. Bayer advertised heroin as a cough medicine for children, saying it was harmless and even that it helped cure colic. Ironically, methadone the synthetic morphine substitute commonly used to treat heroin addiction was developed by Hoescht branch of IG Farben during the WW2 as Dolophine. (94)
Ciproxin and Dangerous Human Trials (95)
Bayer placed hundreds of patients at risk of potentially fatal infections by failing to disclose crucial safety information to six hospitals at the start of a UK drug trial. Bayer's own research as early as 1989 showed that the antibiotic ciproflaxin (sold as Ciproxin) reacted badly with various opiate-based sedatives or "pre-meds" commonly given to patients ahead of surgery. Research showed that the drug was not properly absorbed by many patients, impairing its ability to kill bacteria and placing the patients at risk of sometimes fatal infections.
This information was not revealed to the hospitals before up to 650 people had undergone surgery, violating their human rights. The trials resulted in nearly half of the people at one test centre in Southampton developing potentially life-threatening infections. At least one patient died, and another developed an infection so severe that his relatives were initially told he would not survive. Nearly half the patients at Southampton Hospitals Trust developed post-operative wound infections requiring emergency therapy. Infection and mortality rates at the five other trial sites were never revealed on grounds of "confidentiality"
Stephen Karran, a retired consultant surgeon from Southhampton, was concerned about the trial. He pointed out the flaw in the earliest possible stage, and contacted the press after the trial went ahead unaltered anyway. Bayer has confirmed that it knew of absorption problems with the drug before the study began. However, they still used the dangerous drug for two years, are still keeping trial results secret, and have not paid compensation to the relatives of patients injured or killed in the course of its unapproved trials.
Meanwhile, Ciproxin has been found to lead to tendon disorders or ruptures. The FDA staff stated that the agency "will update the labeling package insert? for all marketed fluoroquinolones to include a warning about the possibility of tendon rupture." However, this has not been done. (96)
Baycol Deaths (97)
Bayer's anti-cholesterol drug, Baycol (also known as Lipobay and cerivastatin), has deadly side effects. The Food and Drug Administration received reports of 31 US deaths due to rhadomolysis, a potentially fatal adverse muscle reaction that results in muscle cell breakdown and release of the contents of muscle cells in the bloodstream. Symptoms include muscle pain, weakness, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Bayer admitted that the drug might have killed 52 people already worldwide, with another 1,100 potentially crippled. Although Bayer voluntarily recalled the drug after a large number of deaths, Germany's health minister, on 25 August 2001, accused Bayer of sitting on research documenting Baycol's lethal side-effects for nearly two months before the government in Berlin was informed.' Writing about the recall, the trade journal Chemistry and Industry stated, "The ensuing discussion over the drug safety and manufacturer's perceived willingness to overlook risks could damage the reputation of the industry at large." There have been many individual and class action law suits, including one in Pennsylvania which cited 480 cases of Baycol-related illnesses. At the time of editing (20.01.02) the number of Baycol related deaths has risen to almost 100. (98)
Metrifonate and Muscular Weakness (99)
The FDA stopped the testing of Bayer's Alzheimer preparation Metrifonate after 20 test persons complained of sudden muscular weakness. The FDA stated that they would not consider the drug until there is a change in the production methods and pharmacological effects. The company withdrew the drug's approval application in Europe on its own accord.
Aspirin and False Advertising
The Bayer Corporation launched a series of advertisements which claimed that a regular aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) regimen prevents heart attacks and strokes in the general adult population. The Federal Trade Commission pointed out that these claims were unsubstantiated and that daily doses of aspirin may be harmful to some adults. The Bayer Corporation launched a $1 million consumer education campaign to settle FTC charges. In addition to this new campaign, the settlement requires that any Bayer advertising making claims about the benefits of regular aspirin use for prevention of heart attacks or strokes contain a disclosure that states, "Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen." (100)
Bayer also continues to offer aspirin packaged specifically for children in the 3rd World, despite the fact that experts warn of the many risks involved in the use of acetylsalicylic acid for children. The safety warnings recommending limited use to children, found in Germany and other countries, are not found in developing countries. Bayer even sells "Children's Aspirin." Bayer has announced that although the claims could not be proven, they have "made changes" where the impression could be given that it is a consumer advertisement. In a letter from Bayer to the Medical Initiative in July 1997, Bayer insisted that there was no more consumer advertising for children's aspirin in South America. However, in October 1997 a one page, colour advertisement for aspirina para ninos (aspirin for children) appeared in the daily newspaper Prensa libre of Guatemala. (101)
HIV and HEP C Contaminated Blood Preparations (102)
Bayer's American subsidiary, Cutter, has been sued for infecting haemophiliacs with HIV and hepatitis C with contaminated blood preparations. The contraction of these diseases by thousands of people in the USA, Germany and Japan could have been prevented, if the companies had used precautionary tests and had heated the blood. In the US, 6200 haemophiliacs contracted HIV through contaminated blood and eventually received $100,000 each.
Bayer paid 10 Taiwanese citizens, who were infected with the HIV virus via Bayer blood products, a total of $60,000 each. 43 other victims turned down the offer with the claim that Bayer had paid higher amounts in other countries.
Many lawsuits have been filed by those who contracted hepatitis C, including the mother of a 12-year-old boy who sought $143 million in damages and alleged that the defendants knew they were providing risky coagulants to her son and other haemophiliacs more than a decade before their infections. The suit states that the defendants improperly collected plasma from groups at high risk for hepatitis C contamination, including prison inmates, drug users and gay men.
Creating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (103)
The Bayer Corporation is one of the largest producers of veterinary products in the world, including the sale of antibiotics for cattle and poultry. (An estimated 40 percent of antibiotic use is in livestock.) Bacteria killers are mixed in with the feed to accelerate the animals' growth.
Using Baytril and other fluoroquinolenes in poultry and cattle leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and pathogens in animals, making is possible for strains of resistant bacteria to enter the human body. This makes human versions of the drug ineffective in treating people infected by these bacteria, which could be life-threatening to the elderly, to children and to those with depressed immune systems or in weakened conditiones. Fluoroquinolones are commonly prescribed to treat serious gastrointestinal illness, including from the common Campylobacter and Salmonella bacterias. Campylobacter accounts for nearly two million illnesses and 100 deaths each year, and Salmonella accounts for 1.3 million illnesses and about 500 deaths annually. Very few bacteria were found resistant to fluoroquinolones until the drugs also began to be used in poultry in 1995. By 1998, 13 percent of Campylobacter tested in humans were resistant to fluoroquinolones, and by 1999, nearly 18 percent of Campylobacter were found to be resistant.
After data collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the use of fluoroquinolones in poultry was speeding up the bacteria's development of resistance to the drug, the US Food and Drug Administration concluded that the health of at least 5,000 Americans is affected each year by the use of these drugs in chickents. It also proposed to ban this use. Abbott Laboratories, one of the two producers of poultry fluoroquinolones in the US, voluntarily withdrew its product, but Bayer refused to comply with the proposed ban and instead requested a hearing on the proposal. This hearing may take years to complete, and by then the ban may be a moot point since the drug may be ineffective in humans by the time the FDA is able to issue a final ban on the use of these drugs in poultry.
Many NGOs, such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, have strongly advocated a ban for years. On 31 October 2000, Environmental Defense, the American Public Health Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest; Delmarva Poultry Justice Alliance; Food Animal Concerns Trust; Global Resources Action Center for the Environment; Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; National Catholic Rural Life Conference; Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Union of Concerned Scientists signed a letter to the Bayer Corporation asking it to comply voluntarily with the proposed ban. In November, more than 180 individual health care professionals and several medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Preventive Medicine, sent a similar letter to Bayer.
But Bayer has recently spent over 50 million US$ to build new production facilities for Baytril in Germany and the US. The company claimed that Baytril is completely harmless in a letter to veterinarians: "Bayer has and always will play a leading role in defending fluoroquinolones".
 Worker's Rights Abuses
In addition to Bayer history of using slave labour and child labour in the concentration camps, Bayer's current labour practices are absolutely egregious.
Health and Safety Violations (104)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the Bayer Corporation in Baytown, TX (USA) for safety and health violations with penalties totalling $135,900. This investigation began in July 2000 after a contract worker notified OSHA of a methylenedianiline (MDA - a regulated carcinogen) spill and clean up, and subsequent exposures. Bayer failed to alert employees who may have been exposed of an emergency, did not establish regulated areas, failed to ensure that employees use appropriate protective work and clothing, failed to place contaminated clothes and equipment in closed containers and failed to institute exposure monitoring. Bayer did not even record the incident on the log within the appropriate amount of time (six days).
Guatemala: No Employment Rights and Work Related Illness at Bayer factory
Workers in Guatemala are hired without contracts, health benefits or vacation. The workers at the pesticide plant complain about anaemia and damage to their nervous system. (105)
Violations of safety regulations in Indonesia
Kompak has reported mass violations of safety regulations in Indonesia. The ages of young workers have been altered, and often the ages of those hired were not even checked. Young workers were used in all areas of production, including those with occupational hazards. In times of high production, shifts sometimes last as long as 16 hours. Workers were consistently exposed to extreme heat and humidity as well as poisonous gases at the PT Sinar Plataco plant, and workers complained about various health problems including skin diseases, eye problems, asthma, pulmonary disease, coughing and headaches. 90% of employees surveyed considered occupational safety insufficient. Many had received no safety instructions for handling hazardous chemicals, and the few masks distributed were cloth and insufficient to protect from toxic fumes. Half of the workers received no health benefits or social security. (276)
Bayer and Apartheid-Era South Africa
One of the largest chrome factories in the world began production as a joint company of Bayer and Dow Chemicals. Bayer, the second largest chrome manufacturer in the world, closed its chrome processing plant in Leverkusen, Germany. Due to the country's large chrome deposits, the company has processed this raw material in South Africa since 1973, and it even has its own mine. The idea of an apartheid government apparently did not present any problems to Bayer, as the government provided many black workers who were cheap and had no rights. The workers suffered many health risks during chrome production, including respiratory illnesses, skin tumours and even lung cancer. (107)
Dangerous Brazilian Chemical Plant
A man employed in chrome production at the Bayer Belford Rox facility, near Rio de Janeiro, died of burns from hot gas, when production tools were restarted after repairs. Workers at Belford Rox have also complained about ruptured columns of the nose. (108)
After several accidents and subsequent complaints, the government conducted an investigation at the plant near Rio de Janeiro A district attorney at the Rio De Janeiro labour court decreed,
"The testimony and reports make evident that the company: continuously violated basic regulations on industrial health and safety; refused to recognise occupational diseases and industrial accidents, used the highest limits, and enforced working hours above the legal maximum; contracted specialised and hazardous work to third parties; and restricted inspection and monitoring by authorised commissions." (109)
Bayer Call in Brazilian Military Police
Only after prolonged protests did Bayer and BASF grant their employees in Brazil the opportunity of electing a Works Council - with minimal rights. During the strike at Bayer Belford Roxo in 1989, the military police was called onto the scene, and shortly afterwards the head of company security was decorated with a military medal, an event greatly celebrated in the company newspaper. Furthermore, the entire union leadership was fired. (110)
Tibras: No Employment Rights
Bayer's subsidiary plant, Tibras, fires employees suffering from occupational diseases immediately, although the lay-off notification period is one year. Bayer doesn't even pay their entitled one-year wage results of their company medical examinations. 280 employees and ex-employees have not received overtime bonuses and shift payments for fourteen years even after law suits were won on all levels. In addition, long-serving employees have been fired only two or three years before reaching retirement age, thereby losing a large part of their retirement entitlements. (111)
Explosion at Dormagen Plant
Three people died and 10 were critically injured at an explosion in the harbour of the Bayer subsidiary EC ERDOELCHEMIE in Dormagen, Germany. The accident occurred while filling a tanker with gasoline. Local citizens had to keep their doors and windows closed as a giant cloud of black soot filled the air. (112)
- Two chemical workers suffered on a tank truck on company premises, and were relocated to a place outside the works by Bayer officials wanting to avoid investigations and compensation claims.
- Eight people have died in the last six years in this factory with 2500 - 1600 employees, three alone as a result of sulphuric acid burns. There have also been cases of contamination with phosgene, chromium and highly toxic phosphoric esters.
In 1996 12 tons of Toluylendiamine (TDA), a carcinogenic substance, spilled out of a pipe at Bayer's Dormagen facility. Two workers were hospitalized. (113)
 Political Influence & Litigation
reprinted from Corporate Watch UK
for an in depth definition & discussion of Lobbying, click here.
1. Lobby Groups
Since Bayer has tentacles in the pharmaceutical, biotech, chemical, and polymer sectors, the company participates in an innumerable amount of lobby groups in order to safeguard its interests in all these fields. Bayer's economic and political clout enables the company to penetrate all major regulatory, standard-setting, legislative, multilateral and/or governmental institutions. In addition, the company has strong historical links with the German government (see also corporate history) and can count on the support of other governments, in particular the US government.
Even if one forgets about the high level of secrecy and commercial confidentiality (seriously restricting people's ability to gain a full insight into Bayer's or any other major multinational corporation's political practices), it is impossible to give a complete overview of all groups, deals and schemes Bayer is involved in.
Following the listing of some issues of major importance for Bayer, an (by no means complete) overview of the most important lobby groups of which Bayer is part, and of the major (mainly regulatory) bodies that are being targeted by Bayer (individually or through lobby groups) will be presented. Be aware that major corporations are often part of the institutions they target, not so much formally but informally (e.g. through participation in advisory groups, links with high-positioned bureaucrats and politicians, by drafting proposals and setting agendas, etc.).
Important issues for Bayer:
Health care reforms in the US; progression of biotechnology and mapping of the human genome; expansion of markets for genetically modified organisms (GMO's); completion of the EU Single Market; introduction of the Euro; progression of so-called free trade and the WTO agenda; liberalisation of markets; patenting of medicines (securing the big drug profits); implementation and strengthening of the TRIPs agreement (patent legislation); lowering of chemical threshold values (e.g. the allowable chemical threshold values at working places); downgrading of environmental and consumer protections (or preventing the creation of new, strict so-called social regulation); minimising liability (for their committed crimes).
1.1. Bayer's lobby activities on the global level
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) 'The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world's single largest corporate lobby group. The Paris-based ICC was founded in 1919 and has thousands of member companies in over 130 countries. Although the organisation calls itself the 'World Business Organisation', it is clearly dominated by large transnational corporations who use the influence of the ICC to promote an international political and economic climate that is favourable to their interests.' (114)
On the ICC and the Global Compact (see below) research and campaign group Corporate Europe Observatory says: 'The ICC has a long history of vigorously lobbying to weaken international environmental treaties and these efforts have continued even after the group has pledged support for the Global Compact principles. Examples include the Kyoto Protocol, the Convention on Biodiversity, and the Basel Convention against trade in toxic waste. In all of these UN negotiations, the International Chamber's obstructive lobbying is in direct opposition to the Global Compact principles it has pledged to pursue.' (115)
Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD)
Established in 1995, the TABD is undoubtedly the most far reaching international corporate-state alliance. With a mandate from the US government and the European Commission, the 150 large corporations that make up the TABD work meticulously to identify "barriers to transatlantic trade." In effect, this means any regulation or policy proposal that does not fit the corporate agenda on either side of the Atlantic. (116) The TABD fully supports the rules and principles of the World Trade Organisation.
Berlin hosted the TABD 1999 annual meeting. The meeting was attended by the chief executives of 100 companies and by WTO's general director Mike Moore. Werner Spinner, board member of Bayer was led meeting.
For more information on the TABD, visit Corporate Europe Observatory at: http://www.xs4all.nl/~ceo/tabd/index.html
Transatlantic Economic Partnership
'In response to lobbying by business leaders, the Transatlantic Economic Partnership was established with the aim of closer EU-US co-ordination on trade issues, to improve the business environment and increase trade and investment on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as co-ordinating policy with regards to multilateral fora such as the WTO. However, the areas of co-operation mainly reflect the interests of EU and US transnational corporations where 'free trade' and access to markets for trade are viewed as more important that sustainable development.' (117)
World Economic Forum or the Davos Group
The World Economic Forum (WEF) brings together 1,000 of the world's top multinational companies in an annual meeting at the luxury ski resort of Davos, Switzerland. In 2002 the Forum will moved to New York, because the costs of safeguarding security up in the Swiss mountains had grown too high. The WEF gives companies a chance to meet with many of the world's political and media leaders and Director-Generals of organisations such as the World Trade Organisation, the World Bank and the OECD. WEF homepage: http://www.weforum.org/
The Bilderberg Group
The Bilderberg Group does not publicise its activities and little is known about its influence, although it is considered by many to be one of the most powerful groupings of industry and politics. Its members appear to be individuals rather than organisations, though presumably organisations are represented. It meets at least once a year. (118)
United Nations Global Compact
'The Global Compact –a pact between the United Nations (more specifically, the UNEP) and multinational corporations-- consists of a list of very general principles for corporate social, environmental and human rights behaviour. From the day of its launch, at the 1999 World Economic Forum, the Global Compact has been criticised by many citizen organisations and movements. Its first year of existence shows that the critics were right: corporations have been given a free ride. They have been able to use the Global Compact - the UN's seal of approval - to improve their public image, without any tangible changes in their overall corporate social, environmental or human rights behaviour.' (119)
CorpWatch USA lists both Bayer and Aventis? (recently acquired by Bayer and 'one of the companies behind the $50 million per year PR campaign to gain acceptance for transgenic foods') as companies that are part of the Global Compact while having appalling human rights and environmental records. (120) Consumer and agricultural watchdog groups accused (14 June 2001) Aventis of failing to uphold a UN code of business conduct to which it had agreed. The StarLink fiasco was at the centre of the accusation.
"The company's genetically modified StarLink corn, which had been approved only for animal use but turned up (in 2000) in human foods, including taco shells. This company is in clear violation." said Gabrielle Flora of the Minnesota-based Institute for Agriculture and Food Policy (IAFP), arguing the company failed to abide by the UN's environmental standards. "This erodes the credibility of the United Nations." But UN officials said the Global Compact is a "learning forum" aimed at helping companies better their business practices - not a rigid set of guidelines.' (121)
Codex Alimentarius, which means "food code" in Latin, is the name of a United Nations commission that operates as part of the World Health Organization. The Codex Alimentarius Commission's mandate is to set international standards for trade in all kinds of food products. Its concerns include raw- and processed-food standards, pesticide and other contaminant levels, nutritional content, and labelling. Codex also is concerned with global trade rules for health supplements.
'The Codex commission meets in Rome or Geneva every two years, with smaller get-togethers in various locales all over the world at other times. While it is concerned with protecting the health of consumers, it's also a trade group, and of the international organisations that send delegates to Codex, more than 90 percent represent large multinational corporations.' (122)
Proposals to turn as many nutrients as possible into prescription drugs were originally put forward by the German delegation to the commission, a panel sponsored by three giant drug companies-Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF. In this way many supplements may cease to be reasonably priced over-the-counter-items. (123) In other words, the pharmaceutical industry attempts to increase prices of food supplements including safe natural health products, and monopolises the market. In this way the industry undermines people's freedom of choice by restricting their access to food supplements, all through a process of secretive negotiation between the industry, their allies in government and Codex.
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
Like the Codex Alimentarius (see above) the WTO is obviously not a lobby group, but a multilateral institute whose trade rules (binding for nearly all nation states) are of vital importance for multinational corporations. WTO trade rules aim to foster so-called free trade and include regulations related to intellectual property rights (the TRIPs agreement). Basically, the TRIPs agreement was drafted by the pharmaceutical industry, and as a consequence the agreement strongly supports and safeguards the industry's interests, at high social costs. You can read about this in the pharmaceutical sector overview. Other so-called innovative industries, such as the biotech and chemical industry, also benefit from the TRIPs agreement and lobby for its full implementation.
The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is an organisation of leading trade organisations representing almost 80% of chemical manufacturing worldwide (see below). ICCA's priorities for the recently launched new trade round include elimination of chemical tariffs by 2010; clarification of the relationship between trade and environment; harmonisation of anti-dumping practices; and full implementation of the TRIPs agreement. (124)
International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations (IFPMA)
IFPMA represents the research-based pharmaceutical industry and other manufacturers of prescription medicines, worldwide. IFPMA homepage: http://www.ifpma.org/
International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA)
'The International Council of Chemical Associations is a council of leading trade associations representing chemical manufacturers worldwide. The ICCA provides a forum for regular meetings of executives from the member associations to discuss policy issues of international interest to the chemical industry. In addition, the ICCA may make policy statements or develop programs where consensus is reached among the council's member associations. The purpose of the ICCA is to exchange views among members, to co-ordinate action by council members, and to present an international chemical industry view to organisations. Such organisations would primarily be inter-governmental agencies (e.g., GATT/WTO, IMO, UNEP, OECD and international private organisations (e.g., the International Standards Organization, ISO).' (125)
'Policy issues of international significance to the chemical manufacturing industry form the agenda of the ICCA. Such issues include health, safety, and the environment; international transport safety; intellectual property; trade policy; and, industry efforts to eliminate chemical weapons and diversion to illegal drugs. ICCA promotes and co-ordinates Responsible Care and other voluntary chemical industry initiatives.' (126)
Responsible Care aims to portray the chemical sector as applying uniformly high occupational health and safety and environmental standards wherever the industry operates. It has been the industry's main response to critics of its social and environmental record. Responsible Care programmes have been introduced in many parts of the world sometimes backed by lavish advertising campaigns. However, the programmes have often lacked public credibility. (127)
International Maritime Organization (IMO)
The IMO was set up in 1949 under auspices of the United Nations. The UN body deals with various safety issues related to shipping, including pollution. The adoption of maritime legislation is the IMO's most important concern. Around 40 conventions and protocols have been adopted by the Organisation. The IMO helps governments put the legislation into effect. (128)
The IMO adopted the International Convention on the control of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships on 5 October 2001. This convention prohibits the use of harmful organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships and establishes a mechanism to prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling systems. It will probably take at least a year until the new convention can be brought into force.
Anti-fouling paints are used to coat the bottoms of ships to prevent sea life such as algae and molluscs attaching themselves to the hull – thereby slowing down the ship and increasing fuel consumption. (129) Anti-fouling paints contain organotins. Their detrimental effects on the environment were first noticed in oyster farms on the Atlantic coast of France in the late 1970s. Since then, increased levels of organotins have been found world-wide in marine organisms further up the food chain, such as fish, seabirds and marine mammals. These chemicals have been shown to have hormone-disrupting properties in some species, and humans could also face health risks if they consume contaminated fish. (130) Tributyltin (TBT) is an organotic, and is the most toxic chemical ever deliberately released into the seas.
International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)
The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 140 countries, one from each country. ISO is a non-governmental organisation established in 1947. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardisation and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing co-operation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity. (131) ISO is the source of ISO 9000 (a family of standards which are referred to under this generic title for convenience) and more than 13 000 International Standards for business, government and society. (132)
International Labour Organisation (ILO)
The ILO is an UN body setting standards on, among other things, chemical safety at workplaces. ILO homepage: http://www.ilo.org/
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Multinationals such as Bayer work with UNEP because this co-operation provides them with valuable greenwash opportunities (see Global Compact above). Also, many environmental conventions setting (mainly voluntary) guidelines for industry are set up under auspices of the UNEP. Therefore it is of vital importance for multinationals to have a big finger in the UNEP pie. Generally, industry -in order to safeguard economic growth goals- tries to prevent Conventions such as those on Climate Change, Biodiversity, Ozone Depletion and Toxic Pollution from setting environmental standards which have any substance.
Stockholm POP Convention read more...
Assessment of Toxic Substances read more...
Just like the United Nations, the World Bank increasingly works with multinational corporations. The private sector is being considered as a vital part of solutions to global problems. Multinationals gladly take this opportunity to strengthen their image as 'caretakers of the world's poor', to set and influence the global agenda and policies (see next paragraph) and to safeguard their business in/trade with poor countries.
Pharmaceutical companies use aid programs to get rid of expired or banned medicines and/or to do medical experiments in developing countries. The chemical industry increasingly re-locates chemical production plants to developing countries where environmental and labour regulations are lax and bribing opportunities are affluent. Also, the chemical industry is notorious for dumping toxic chemicals -expired or banned in the west- in developing countries through developing aid.
Greenpeace recently (October 2001) cleared a contaminated site in Nepal. The deadly substances were found, including banned pesticides such as dieldrin, chlorinated organomercury compounds and DDT. They were manufactured and imported to Nepal by Western multinationals some 20 years ago. All the poisons were donated to Nepal or channelled through international aid mechanisms in order to open markets. An estimated 500,000 metric tonnes of obsolete pesticides have been abandoned worldwide, mainly in developing countries. They are usually stored in poor conditions, often in residential areas or even next to schools. (133)
Future of Agriculture
On December 5, 2000, the World Bank hosted a roundtable discussion on agricultural science and technology with 13 CEOs from major agribusiness companies (including Monsanto, BASF, DowAgroSciences, Syngenta, DuPont, Cargill, Aventis and Bayer Corporation). The goal of the meeting was to get private sector perspective on how to increase food security and agricultural productivity in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.
The following issue was one of key points discussed: 'Agricultural science and research, not limited to, but including biotechnology, is a key component in addressing food security. Presently, much of the world's agricultural research, particularly in biotechnology, is done by the private sector. In order to successfully continue working in this area, private companies must provide shareholder returns. As a result, they are not likely to meet most of the developing countries' agricultural research needs.' (134) In other words, since poor people have no money, they have no voice, and their needs are being ignored by the private sector.
The G-7 Pesticide Industry's Stake in the World Bank
The World Bank's Policy on Pest Management. Since 1982, NGOs and consumer organisations have been putting pressure on the World Bank to improve its pest management activities and reduce pesticide use. In response, the Bank has released a series of policies on pest management, beginning in 1985, and in 1988 it convened a panel of experts to advise the Bank on pesticide issues. However, the World Bank's current pest management policy is very weak and heavily focused on industrial agriculture instead of organic, farmer-led agriculture.
Companies in G-7 countries clearly profit from the World Bank's agricultural lending, as do pesticide producers in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations. The Bank claims that from January 1988 to January 1995, it financed US$250.75 million worth of pesticide purchases from around the world. The main beneficiaries in terms of sales were: Rhone Poulenc, BASF, Zeneca, Sumitomo, FMC Corp., Helm, Bayer Corporation, Roussel Uclaf, Cyanamid, Air Lloyd, and Hoechst.
This support for agrochemicals calls into question the Bank's commitment to environmentally sustainable development, which the Bank has institutionalised in part by its participation in the Global Environment Facility (GEF), a joint UN-World Bank project.
World Bank-approved contracts support many chemicals requiring the use of protective gear and separate storage facilities, yet the realities of life in developing countries mean that the poorest people don't have access to such protections. Furthermore, two of the Pesticide Action Network's "Dirty Dozen" pesticides appear in these contracts: paraquat and DDT.
1.2. Bayer's lobby activities in the United States
Bayer's largest business is in the United States. Health care reforms in the US are of vital importance for Bayer and the pharmaceutical industry in general. Last year (2000), the drug industry spent more money on lobbying in Washington than any other sector, which is not hard to explain. 'The drug industry has much to protect in Washington, mainly because the industry receives so many favours and privileges from the federal government. The government has conferred on the industry monopoly patents and patent extensions (which keep lower-priced generic drugs off the market), tax credits worth billions of dollars a year, and research subsidies for both the most medically important drugs and also the top-selling ones.'
You can read in a Public Citizens report (published July 2001) how the pharmaceutical industry fought in 2000, like never before, against the looming threat that Congress and president Clinton would provide senior citizens with drug coverage under Medicare. Medicare is the country's largest health insurance program for people 65 and over. The report claims that the drug industry launched a unprecedented blitz of lobbying, campaign contributions, and so-called 'issue' ads to help its political allies and help its enemies.
In general, the drugs industry works hard to fight off any proposals that might moderate its prices or profits. The fight is carried out by a large army of well-connected lobbyists in Washington DC. Bayer Corp. ranks number 23 in the category 'lobbying expenditures and number of lobbyists for drug companies and trade groups' in 2000. That's quite high for a multinational with its home base outside the US. Obviously Bayer's lobbying efforts are not confined to drug issues. Bayer also puts its weight behind issues of relevance to its chemical, polymer and biotech interests. The company influences the policymaking processes in these fields, e.g. by targeting relevant regulatory and policymaking/governmental bodies.
A list of major US-based business lobby groups will be presented below.
The United States Council on International Business (USCIB)
The United States Council for International Business was founded in 1945 to promote an open system of world trade, investment, and finance. It has a membership of over 300 multinational companies, law firms, and business associations. It is the US affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD and the International Organisation of Employers (UNICE). USCIB homepage: http://www.uscib.org/
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the research-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the US. Bayer Corporation Pharmaceutical Division is one of PhRMA's members. PhRMA homepage: http://www.phrma.org/
Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO)
BIO is the largest trade organisation serving and representing the emerging biotechnology industry in the US. Bayer Corporation is among BIO's members. Bayer's Wolf-Dieter Busse is member of the BIO Board of Directors 2001-2002. http://www.bio.org/
The American Medical Association (AMA)
The AMA dominates ideas within the US medical community and has, as critics claim, a bias against alternative medicine. If the AMA dislike a particular health care approach, they work to prohibit these practices in hospitals and suspend the medical licenses of any doctor who uses them. They have often been able to rely upon state licensing boards and legislatures, and even the US Congress, to pass laws outlawing natural healing methods. Many new health care discoveries have remained underground. Inexpensive, non-toxic and unpatentable natural healing methods have never been seriously or honestly evaluated by the AMA-FDA pharmaceutical-dominated medical establishment. (135) AMA homepage: www.ama-assn.org/
Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA)
The Chemical Manufacturers Association (or the American Chemistry Council) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. The business of chemistry is a $460 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is the nation's largest exporter, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in US exports. The purpose of the Association shall be the promotion of the interests of the chemical manufacturing industry of the United States of America and Canada.' (136)
In 1996, the CMA was engaged in a major lawsuit against the EPA, seeking to block the regulators' plan to increase the number of chemicals about which information must be reported to the public under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. (137)
After a strong year in 2000 the chemical industry felt the effects of both high oil prices and economic slowdown in 2001. CMA tries to hamper legislation that might worsen economic prospects even further. However, CMA foresees some positive prospects as well. It says military spending will provide a boost in engineering plastics, electronic chemicals and - unsurprisingly – explosives (Financial Times, 17 December 2001). (138) Bayer Corp. is a member of CMA CMA homepage: http://www.cmahq.com/
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
'Through the ACGIH, the Committee recommending threshold values for workplace exposure to chemicals, Bayer and other big chemical companies exert their influence on legislation. ACGIH passes resolutions on this issue and rates 30 substances per meeting and usually has to rely on individual expert opinions. But often these reports are written by toxicologists who are on the payroll of the big industry.
That is why, e.g., 40 products of Dow Chemicals were rated only by Dow- toxicologists and were classified "safe". Similar cases concerning Bayer, Exxon and DuPont have been heard of. In addition, the Committee members are influenced directly: They do not have to disclose their sources of income and thus the combines often provide Committee members with generous consultative contracts. The few independent experts complain that information is kept from them and that thorough examination is impossible because the Commission is understaffed.' (139)
Citizens for Better Medicare
CBM (the name is rather deceptive, as it insinuates that it is a genuine public interest group) was established as the lobbying and grass roots organising arm of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA). Citizens for Better Medicare was set up under Section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, which governs political activity by non-profit organisations. It does not have to report its income or divulge its spending, so long as it sticks to issue advocacy and does not advocate the election or defeat of candidates.
Such groups can accept money from any source, including foreign corporations and individuals. The majority of the group's money indeed comes from drug makers. Several of the biggest members of the pharmaceutical association are the United States subsidiaries of European pharmaceutical concerns, including Bayer AG, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., Glaxo Wellcome Plc., Hoechst Marion Roussel AG and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Inc. (140)
'During the last election cycle, CBM launched one of the most expensive political advertising campaigns in American history. In 1999 and 2000 CBM spent an estimated $65 million on so-called 'issue' ads. Some of these thinly disguised issue ads supported Republican candidates and attacked Democratic candidates. What few of the Americans who saw the ads realised was that the group was created by the industry and staffed with industry veterans. To grasp how prominent CBM was in the 2000 election, consider that in the eight months leading up to election day, CBM ran 27% of all issue ads broadcast in the country by non-party groups –by far the most of any independent non-party group.' (141)
The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA)
The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) is the national trade association that advances the use of polyisocyanurate (polyiso) insulation. Polyiso is one of the nation's most widely used and cost-effective insulation products. PIMA's membership consists of manufacturers of polyiso insulation and of suppliers to the industry. (142) Bayer is a PIMA member.
1.3. Bayer's lobby activities in Europe
Apart from being a member of the major influential business lobby groups working for a business-friendly Europe such as the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), UNICE ('The Voice of Business in Europe') and the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD), Bayer is part of innumerable lobby groups focussing on its needs in specific fields of interests. A selection of a few major ones will be listed below.
EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, represents over 40 member companies operating worldwide and 13 national biotechnology associations. (143) EuropaBio aims to be a promoting force for biotechnology.
The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries Associations (EFPIA)
The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) is the representative voice of the pharmaceutical industry in Europe. Through its membership (national pharmaceutical industry associations and major companies), EFPIA represents the common views and interests of over 3,350 pharmaceutical companies undertaking research, development and manufacturing of medicinal products for human use in Europe. Bayer Director Dr. Morich is a member of the Board of the EFPIA. EFPIA homepage: http://www.efpia.org/
Animal Cell Technology Industrial Platform (ACTIP)
ACTIP was established in November 1990 and aims to develop a common industrial view with regard to animal cell culture research and advises the European Commission on this issue. It also, among other things, informs the public of the positive contributions biotechnology makes through animal cell culture. (144) Animal cell technology is applied for the production of biopharmaceuticals, monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, gene therapy vectors and for safety testing. Members of ACTIP are European companies (including Bayer) with activities in animal cell technology. ACTIP homepage: www.actip.org/
European Life Sciences Forum (ELSF)
ELSF was established in 1999 as a joint initiative by various organisations active in the field of life sciences, including the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), the European Life Science Organisation (ELSO), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS). ELSF claims to be 'a voice for European life science organisations' and aims to ensure that there is a relevant input from the scientific community in the planning of Europe's future with regard to life sciences. (145) Although Bayer is not formally part of the Forum, it exerts influence through its many connections with research bodies. ELSF website: http://www.elsf.org/
The EU chemical industry is one of EU's most international and competitive industries embracing a wide field of processing and manufacturing activities. The EU chemical industry accounts for 29% of estimated world production (valued at 1370 billion Euro in 1999). Around 1.7 million people are employed in the 34,000 EU chemicals firms. Germany is the largest chemicals producer in Europe, followed by France, the UK and Italy. Bayer ranks number 5 among the world's biggest chemical companies, following BASF, DuPont, DowChemical and ExxonMobil. (146)
The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) reported disappointing results for 2000, but expects the chemical output growth of the EU chemical industry to recover in 2001. Industrial segments were more seriously affected than consumer related markets and pharmaceuticals, which continued to spearhead growth. (147)
According to CEFIC's latest forecast (29 November 2001) the longer term prospects of the industry remain positive. CEO of AtoFina and Chairman of the CEFIC International Trade and Competitiveness Programme Council Francois Cornelis said: "Over time the new WTO trade round, the eastward enlargement of the EU, the introduction of the Euro and the continued liberalisation of the EU gas and electricity markets should provide a solid basis to our industry, enabling it to continue playing a leading role in the world as a provider of key technology products." (148)
On the contrary, restrictive legislation can hamper the chemical industry. The EU Parliament recently (November 2001) called for more sophisticated and widespread chemical tests to assess their health and environmental impact. Unsurprisingly, Europe's chemicals industry, particularly in Germany, strongly opposes any move towards wider testing.
There are currently over 100,000 registered chemicals, 30,000 of which have an annual production of more than one tonne and are often found in products in everyday use. But of these, only 140 have been put on a priority list for testing and possible risk reduction measures in the EU. World production of chemicals has shot up to 400 million tonnes from near one million in 1930, the published Parliament report said, but it has not been followed by adequate screening for toxicity. Bertil Herrink, director of EU government affairs for CEFIC, emphasised there is no need for extra precautions and stressed his concern about the lack of workability of new, restrictive regulation. (149)
European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC)
'The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) is a major player in the EU's decision-making process, and its toxic influence is increasingly perceptible in the international arena as well. CEFIC's dual strategy involves blocking government intervention while at the same time promoting questionable self-regulation initiatives for the chemical industry.'(179)
'The Brussels-based CEFIC, founded in 1972, is a complex cocktail of national federations, individual companies, issue-based lobby organisations and 'senior advisory groups' of chemical industries which together represent 30% of global chemical production. Eleven members of the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT) also lobby with CEFIC, among them chemical giants Bayer, ICI and Rhône-Poulenc. Represented on CEFIC's board are biotech lobby group EuropaBio, APPE (Association of Petrochemical Producers in Europe) and ECPA (European Crop Protection Association). CEFIC also includes two influential senior advisory groups: SAGEP which deals with trade and economic issues, and SAGE which focuses on environment.'
Bayer Director Dr. Molnar is a member of CEFIC.
Read more about the CEFIC in Corporate Europe Observatory's newsletter. Although it is a bit out-of-date it provides a valuable insight into this Toxic Lobby: http://www.xs4all.nl/~ceo/observer1/cefic.html
European Chemical Employers Group
The formation of a new group called the European Chemical Employers Group, ECEG, to promote open dialogue between the chemical unions and the chemical industry was announced today at the 2nd "European Social Partner Conference of the Chemical Industry" in Berlin (December 2001).
The Group has been formed as a part of CEFIC to enable National Federations of the chemical industry and Chemical Employer's Associations to meet and talk in a structured way at the European level with social partners. (150)
2. Influencing Research and Education
This section presents a few examples of Bayer's interference with research and education. Obviously Bayer aims to contribute to the creation of a knowledge framework and workforce beneficial and suited to its own corporate, profit-driven needs. The company hereby seriously endangers the (ideally) independent nature of research and education necessary to create knowledge that will benefit individual people (in the unfolding of their potentials) and human society as a whole. The examples below are categorised, but the lines between categories blur.
BAYER'S RESEARCH & EDUCATION PROJECTS
Bayer: Making Science Make Sense (MSMS)
"As a science and research-based company with major businesses in health care and life sciences and chemicals, Bayer Corporation has a solid stake in helping to ensure that today's students are well prepared for tomorrow's workplace. Educating the public about the importance of science literacy, supporting science programs for students and teachers, and encouraging employee volunteerism are at the heart of Bayer's integrated approach." Bayer Corp. about Making Science Make Sense (151)
'Bayer's Making Science Make Sense initiative advances science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education.' (152) Further details: http://www.bayerus.com/msms/index_flash.html
Bayer Institute for Health Care Communication
The mission of the Bayer Institute for Health Care Communication is 'to enhance the quality of health care by improving the communication between clinician and patient through three major activities: education, research, and advocacy.
The Institute works with health care organisations to conduct research and provides educational opportunities for clinicians so they can develop the communication skills they need to be effective.
The Institute's first efforts began in 1987. Since that time more than 3,500 workshops have been conducted for more than 40,000 clinicians and health care workers. Grants have been made to investigators to develop new knowledge about clinician-patient communication. (153) Institute's homepage: http://www.bayerinstitute.org/
Bayer's Patient Education Center
Through its Patient Education Center Bayer Diagnostics claims to be 'committed to engaging our customers in a lifetime relationship for optimal health.'http://www.bayerdiag.com/resources/pages/education.html
Bayer exclusively sponsors two continuing education meetings for veterinarians each year. Read about it at: http://www.aaep.org/education_partners.asp
PARTNERSHIPS IN HIGHER EDUCATION
The Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences offers a five year BS/MS and graduate degrees in their Environmental Science and Management Program. The Bayer School is part of the Duquesne University: Center for Environmental Education & Research, Pittsburgh. (154)
Berkeley Biotechnology Education Inc. (BBEI)
BBEI is a two-part education-to-employment program for Berkeley students housed at the Biotech Academy at Berkeley High School and Laney College's Biotech Career Institute. The program was designed as part of the development plan between Bayer and the City of Berkeley.
To initiate the program, Bayer scientists and technicians worked with teachers at Berkeley High School and Peralta Community College District to develop a curriculum that would emphasise hands-on learning and train students in the skills necessary for employment in the biotech industry. Read more: http://www.bayerpharma-na.com/community/ba04.asp
INTERFERING WITH SCHOOL CURRICULA
Operation Clean Hands
People do not wash their hands as often or as well as they think they do, risking poor health and the spread of infection. That's the finding of a recent survey of people's hand washing habits conducted in public toilets across the United States by the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) and Bayer Corporation's Pharmaceutical Division. In response to those findings, Bayer and ASM recently launched Operation Clean Hands, a campaign to educate Americans about health risks associated with poor hand washing habits. Operation Clean Hands is working its way into schools and into the school curriculum too. Read more: http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr016.shtml
Bayer $25,000 grant expands science education
Bayer Corp. has given Johnston County Schools a check for $25,000 to expand the Making Science Make Sense program (see above) from four to nine schools. Within five years, the program will be instituted in all 23 county elementary and middle schools
Public relations and marketing manager for Bayer McKernan said: "We choose this initiative because Bayer is a science-minded company, and we want to make sure through the school system that we are promoting science literacy. If they get into science when they're young, they'll stay in it."
Poland (a teacher) said it is very difficult to provide hands-on science education without the Bayer grant because there are few resources available for materials. (155)
Washington Lands Elementary School's Partners in Education
Bayer Corporation, American Electric Power (AEP), Rax Restaurant, Domino's Pizza, and the Moundsville Kroger are "Partners in Education" with Washington Lands Elementary School. The Environmental Testing Services Laboratory at Bayer Corporation developed their web site as part of this program.
"Encouraging kids to take a fresh look at science and the world around them is what the Bayer/NSF Award for Community Innovation is all about. Partnering with the National Science Foundation and other key organisations, Bayer asks teams of middle school kids to identify a problem or opportunity in their community and use the scientific process to solve it."
Bayer Rubber Corporation Award for High School Chemistry Teachers
The Diabetes Educator Section (DES) presents Awards and Grants annually
Major pharmaceutical companies sponsor the awards. Bayer sponsored an award designed to support innovative educational research. http://www.diabetes.ca/prof/des_awards.html
TEACHING FREE TRADE & BIOTECH BLESSINGS
American Soybean Association/Bayer Corporation
Soybean Trade Expansion Program (STEP) STEP aims to convince the general farm populace, as well as the general public, about the importance of and need for trade expansion/trade liberalisation for US soybeans.
'Through a series of informative articles, strides will be made in heightening awareness to these issues… ASA and Bayer will jointly determine target publications. Bayer Corporation will be formally recognised in all articles.'
Co-operation with the US government:
'Funding from United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is a key component of ASA's export promotion activities.' To ensure the continued success of US soybean export promotion activities, ASA lobbies Congress to approve certain legislation beneficial to the industry.
To motivate grassroots support for this type of legislation, producer education efforts about the opportunities for increased exports of US soybeans and soy products had to be heightened through various means. Bayer Corporation was recognised for its STEP support through all elements (156)
3. Bayer and Public Relations (PR) Companies
'The public relations (PR) business is one of the fastest growing industries in the global market economy. In order to face perils like labour unions, organised consumer activists and environmental groups, governments and corporations have come to rely more on slick PR campaigns. The peril to popular democracy posed by PR firms should not be underestimated. Using the latest communications technologies and polling techniques, as well as an array of high-level political connections, PR flacks routinely "manage" issues for government and corporate clients and "package" them for public consumption. The result is a "democracy" in which citizens are turned into passive receptacles of "disinfotainment" and "advertorials" and in which critics of the status quo are defined as ignorant meddlers and/or dangerous outsiders.' (157)
Burson-Marsteller, Edelman PR Worldwide, Shandwick International, Hill & Knowlton (UK), Weber PR Worldwide, Bell Pottinger Communications, Manning Selvage & Lee, Golin/Harris, Fleishman-Hillard and Porter Novelli are among the world's biggest PR companies.
3.1 PR Companies used by Bayer:
Edelman PR Worldwide
Edelman PR Worldwide homepage: http://www.edelman.com/
Edelman PR Worldwide profiles:
Their clients include AT&T, American Home Products, Bayer, Deutsche Bank, Eli Lilly & Co., Ericcson, General Motors, Hewlett Packard, Hoechst, Marion Roussel Inc., Hoffmann-La Roche, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Microsoft Corp., Morgan Stanley, Nike, Nissan Motor Corp., Pfizer, Pharmacia & Upjohn, Procter & Gamble, Smithkline Beecham, Starbucks, Starmedia Network, Time Warner Inc., Unilever, Visa, and Warner Lambert.
Founded in 1957, Golin/Harris International claims to be one of the world's leading public relations firms with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. As part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, the company's reach extends to more than 4,000 multinational, regional and local clients in 110 countries around the world. Golin/Harris is proud of the close relationships it has established with clients like Bayer, DaimlerChrysler, Gerber, McDonald's, Nintendo, Owens Corning and Texas Instruments, and claim to be 'their strategic partners in creating programs to increase awareness and trust in their reputations'.
Manning, Selvage & Lee (MS&L)
Manning, Selvage & Lee homepage: http://www.mslprdc.com/
Kekst & Co.
'From AOL-Time Warner to Seagram-Vivendi to Pharmacia & Upjohn-Monsanto, Kekst & Company continues to be a leading player in the mergers and acquisitions business. However, the greatest strength of the firm continues to reside in its ability to counsel management through "special situations" including restructurings, bankruptcies, management transitions, earnings disappointments, labor disputes and litigation'. (158)
Kekst & Co's major clients—who work with Kekst for ongoing investor relations and corporate positioning—include some of the biggest names in American business: Coca-Cola, General Motors?, PricewaterhouseCoopers?, Goldman Sachs?, and Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts?. As a matter of policy, Kekst does not publish a client list.
Crisis management specialist Kekst & Company is working with German pharmaceutical giant Bayer on issues arising from the focus on its anti-anthrax drug Cipro. Bayer's role as the sole supplier of Cipro that has turned the full glare of media attention on the company, which previously had maintained a low profile in the US. "We've worked with Kekst for a number of years on different issues," Mark Ryan, senior VP of corporate communications for Bayer, told O'Dwyers PR Daily (PR News). The firm has "been excellent with strategic advice and is a terrific collaborator."
Kekst has also worked with Bayer on other issues, including the company's negotiations with Holocaust survivors and their families, who claimed it was one of many German companies to exploit workers during the Nazi era, and more recently on its voluntary withdrawal of the cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol, which has been linked to more than 30 deaths. (see the main Bayer page for more on these issues) (159)
Kekst & Co. homepage:
Kekst & Co profile:
'Fleishman-Hillard leapfrogged Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton, Weber Shandwick and Porter Novelli last year to become the world's highest-grossing PR company with a worldwide income of £240m. The company is owned by the US marketing and advertising giant, Omnicom, and clients including Reebok and ExxonMobil.'
Fleishman-Hillard employees working for Bayer
Rissig Licha (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) joined Fleishman-Hillard after having held a high position at Burson-Marsteller for many years. He has earned a reputation as a leading authority on public relations in the emerging markets of Latin America. Within the region he has led the communications teams for such textbook projects as the Bayer aspirin/Reyes Syndrome crisis, the introduction of American Airlines in 20 markets, the DuPont Hotel fire in Puerto Rico, etc. Other clients Rissig has worked for include Coca-Cola, Philip Morris, Imperial Chemical Industries, DuPont, Enron, Texaco, Wal-Mart, and the governments of Puerto Rico, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
Paul Blackburn joined Fleishman-Hillard UK in April 2000. A graduate in economics, Paul Blackburn gained a solid grounding in marketing in the pharmaceutical industry at both Merck and Abbott Laboratories during the first five and a half years of his career. Before joining Ketchum, he spent four years at the international communications agency Edelman (both major PR companies). Much of Blackburn's work has involved international brand marketing and corporate issues for clients such as Astra Zeneca, Alcon, Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, Novartis, Pfizer, Pharmacia & Upjohn, Procter & Gamble, Roche, SmithKline Beecham, Unilever, and Warner Lambert. Fleishman-Hillard homepage: http://www.fleishman.com/
'During the recent reign of England's Conservative Party, Peter Gummer's (Shandwick's founder) brother John served as a government minister. Peter Gummer himself was knighted in 1996 and is now known as Lord Chadlington. He is pragmatic, however, about his conservatism, as Shandwick counts Tony Blair's Labour Party among its clients.'
Some of Shandwick's current or recent clients include:
US: Aerospatiale, Bayer, Ciba-Geigy, Coca-Cola, Compaq, Dun & Bradstreet, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, General Motors, General Mills, Global Climate Information Project, IBM, Kraft, Lever Brothers, Mastercard International, Michelin, Monsanto, Microsoft, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, and Shell. Europe: Anglian Water, Corporation of London, ICI Paints, Mercedes-Benz, Nestle, P&O Cruises, Reckitt & Coleman, Shell International, Tesco, Unilever.
The world's biggest PR company, which has a frightening influence on politics, specialises in what it calls 'perception management'. B-M has in the last couple of years been responsible for developing the PR strategy of the European biotech industry, aimed at allaying public fears about biotechnology and at manipulating political sympathies in Brussels. B-M works for industry lobby group EuropaBio.
EuropaBio is made up of some 600 companies, ranging from the largest bioindustry companies in Europe (including the European offices of US companies such as Monsanto) to national biotech federations representing small and medium-sized enterprises. Member companies include all of the major European multinationals interested in biotechnology, such as Bayer, the Danône Group?, Novartis?, Monsanto Europe?, Nestlé?, Novo Nordisk?, Rhône-Poulenc?, Solvay? and Unilever?.
A leaked Burson-Marsteller plan to sell biotech to consumers (dated 1997) can be found at: http://www.organicconsumers.org/bmplan.html
The Guardian (15 June 2001) reported that Burson Marsteller, which has done the corporate PR for Monsanto and Shell in Britain, was one of the main sponsors of Bio2001, the largest annual gathering of the world's biotech industry, held in San Diego on June 25. Bio2001 was organised by the Biotechnology Industry Organisation, which promotes GM foods. Other sponsors included the world's leading GM food manufacturers such Monsanto, Aventis, Dow AgroSciences, Astra Zeneca and also Merck and Bayer, two of the corporations who had recently tried to stop via the courts the South African government distributing cheap generic Aids drugs (The Guardian, Friday June 15, 2001).
For years B-M has been involved in major environmental issues all over the world, not hesitating to give polluters a helping hand when confronted by activist groups and/or government regulations. Many transnational corporations have turned to B-M for help in the creation of a pedantic, elitist and corporate-oriented brand of environmentalism. One of B-M's most powerful and an influential 'environmental' client is the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The WBCSD's original task was to act behind the scenes at the 1992 Earth Summit to neutralise and silence any voices critical of the irresponsible behaviour of polluting corporations. Nowadays WBCSD is advocating free markets and unfettered corporate activity as the only salvation of the environment.
The WBCSD is a coalition of 150 international companies (including Bayer) 'united by a shared commitment to sustainable development via the three pillars of economic growth, ecological balance and social progress'.(206) (See also section on lobby groups) WBCSD homepage: www.wbcsd.ch/
Burson-Marsteller homepage: http://www.bm.com/
3.2. PR stories involving Bayer:
Former Edelman PR senior VP joins Bayer
Ellena Friedman, who was senior VP in Edelman PR Worldwide's healthcare group, joined Bayer Corp., as communications director at the firm's West Haven, Conn., North American pharmaceutical headquarters in August 2001. Friedman, who also did a stint at Hill and Knowlton, is to enhance the image of Bayer, which has more than 2,100 employees at West Haven.(207)
Bayer needs help to cover up Baycol fiasco (11 September 2001)
Bayer AG said it expected to make a decision on PR counsel as the company faced a financial backlash from its decision to pull a popular cholesterol-reducing drug (Baycol) in August 2001. "We're considering our PR counsel but haven't made a definite decision yet," said Ellena Friedman, communications director for Bayer. So far, Bayer has used Edelman PR Worldwide, and Manning, Selvage & Lee.(208)
The Bayer identity campaign: The Bayer Voice
Bayer has been operating for decades in the United States, but it wasn't until 1995 that US operations were finally consolidated under the global Bayer brand. Until then, Bayer in the US had been operating under various subsidiary names. As the Bayer brand unfolded throughout Bayer US operations, it became clear that the Bayer name and Bayer Cross logo was synonymous with—and limited to—the Bayer Aspirin brand. Corporate communications in the US were emanating from many sources without a single direction, identity or vision. As a result, Bayer's face to the world was fragmented and unclear.
To address this problem, in 1997 Bayer US undertook a strategic, holistic branding and positioning renewal. After completing internal and external research, Bayer US composed a positioning statement that has faithfully guided its sweeping identity campaign. The centrepiece of the campaign—both for internal and external communications—is a concept called 'The Bayer Voice'.
The strategy for launching the Bayer Voice was two-pronged. It would be circulated externally in print and television advertising, but also adopted internally for corporate communications across all business units. The external print and television advertising was placed in media likely to be seen by senior level management, customers and investors. There were four television spots and a series of print ads that ran over a six-month period starting in 1999. Three new television spots were developed and run in 2000.
The Bayer Voice was launched internally with a corporate film and collateral materials designed to create excitement and immerse the organisation with the new branding. Following, the Bayer Voice was systematically and faithfully applied to all new employee communications. Finally, in order to assist communications managers across the organisation, the Bayer Voice was codified and disseminated through an electronic, interactive style guide that helps communications managers fully understand and produce quality branded materials.
From an external perspective, corporate awareness of Bayer as a result of the Bayer Voice campaign has been steadily gaining ground. Russell Marketing Research Inc. reported that awareness in the opinion leader category rose from 10% in August of 1999 to 24% by the end of the year 2000.(209)
Bayer's $1 million consumer education campaign
The Bayer Corporation launched a $1 million consumer education campaign to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it had made unsubstantiated claims in a series of aspirin ads, in violation of a previous FTC order. The Bayer ads claimed that a regular aspirin regimen is appropriate for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes in the general adult population. The FTC alleged that since some adults are less likely to benefit from a daily aspirin regime, and some may suffer adverse health effects from taking aspirin on a daily basis, the ad claims were unsubstantiated. The consumer education campaign features a brochure, "Aspirin Regimen Therapy - Is It Right For You?" that Bayer will distribute free.(210) Bold text
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