Bayer

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This article is part of the Food Rights Network, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. Find out more here.

This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on global corporations.

Bayer AG is a global holding company for a number of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agrochemicals, healthcare, plastics and other materials subsidiaries.[1] The company operates in the United States through the Bayer Corporation. Bayer, also referred to as the Bayer Group, operates in some 315 companies worldwide. It is one of the "Big 6" Biotech Corporations, along with BASF, Dupont, Dow Chemical Company, Syngenta, and Monsanto (so called because they dominate the agricultural input market -- that is, they own the world’s seed, pesticide and biotechnology industries).[2][3] Bayer is in the leadership of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

In the 2010 fiscal year, the company reported sales of approximately $50.1 billion dollars and had over 100,000 employees.[4][5]

Support for the American Legislative Exchange Council

Bayer is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and is on ALEC's corporate ("Private Enterprise") Board. Sandy Oliver, who is VP of Public Policy and State Government Affairs at Bayer, is the Treasurer of the Private Enterprise Board of ALEC. [6] [7] Bayer is the ALEC State corporate co-chair of Massachusetts, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Texas.[8]

A list of ALEC Corporations can be found here.

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Joseph Cleary, the Director of State Government Affairs at Bayer,[9] represents Bayer as the Massachusetts state chair alongside Rep. Nicholas A. Boldyga (R-3) and Rep. Harriett L. Stanley (D-2).[8] Derek Naten, Director of Government Affairs at Bayer,[10] represents Bayer as the Nevada state chair[8] alongside Sen. Barbara Cegavske (R)[11] and Sen. Dennis Nolan.[8] Kevin Fuller, Senior Regional Manager of State Government Affairs at Bayer,[12] represents Bayer as the Pennsylvania state chair[8] alongside Rep. John R. Evans (R)
.[11] Craig Mischo, Senior Regional Manager of State Governmental Affairs at Bayer,[13] represents Bayer as the South Dakota state chair[8] alongside Sen. Deb Peters (R) and Rep. Valentine Rausch (R)
.[11] Gary Barrett, Senior Regional Manager of State Government Affairs at Bayer,[14] represents Bayer as the Texas state chair[8] alongside Rep. Charlie Howard (R), Rep. Jim Jackson (R) and Sen. Kel Seliger (R)
.[11]

Bayer was also a "Chairman" level sponsor of the 2011 ALEC Annual Conference[15] ($50,000 in 2010).[16]

It was a "Chairman" level sponsor of 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council Annual Conference, which in 2010, equated to $50,000.[17] Bayer was also a sponsor of the Louisiana Welcome Reception at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting.[18]

Lobbying

2012 Bayer Lobbying Data:

Lobbying Firm Amount Reported Issues
Bayer Corporation $2,930,321 HR 872 Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011; (Provisions related to NPDES permits.) Agriculture Appropriations (no bill number); (All provisions related to funding of USDA agencies including APHIS and FAS.) Regulatory and Biotech Issues (no bill numbers); (Provisions in proposed regulations regarding the approval of biotech traits), HR 965/S 1211 The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to preserve the effectiveness of medically important antibiotics used in the treatment of human and animal diseases; (Title II. General provision in the bill.) S 1053 Veterinary Services Investment Act; (General support of the bill.), S 518 Veterinary Loan Repayment Program; (In support for legislation.) HR 1406 Fairness to Pet Owners Act 2011; (General provisions requiring veterinary prescribing.) HR 1733/S 886 Interstate Horseracing Act 2011; (Definition of performance medicines in Sec. 9.), HR 658/ S 223 FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act; (Provisions related to transportation of lithium batteries.)
Bergeson and Campbell $20,000 Issues relating to the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.
Cassidy & Associates $60,000 Energy research and development tax credit
Conrad Law and Policy Council $30,000 Commercial building energy efficiency
DLA Piper $120,000 Building materials technology and standards policy; Federal procurement issues.
Sidley Austin $250,000 Medicare reimbursement issues; diabetes care issues; 340B Issues;
Williams and Jensen $80,000 Drug safety and drug counterfeiting; Drug importation; 340B Program; Authorized generics; Prescription drug advertising; Federal preemption for prescription drugs; Implementation of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Reauthorization of Prescription Drug User Fee Act and drug shortages (FDA Safety and Innovation Act (S. 3187))

Bayer spent $4.2 million on lobbying in 2010 [19] and $6.7 million in 2012 [20] Bayer uses its own lobbyists, instead of other firms. The following were lobbyists in 2011: Julie Corcoran, Ronald F Docksai, Thomas B Lilburn, Jean D Reimers, Dakotah J Smith, Jennifer Spurgat, Donna Stephens, Robert D Thomas and Juliane H Van Egmond.[21]

You can see a full list of bills Bayer lobbied for for the past five years HERE.

Bayer spent $8,498,512 for lobbying in 2009 in the U.S. Seven lobbying firms were used, however, themajority was spent on in-house lobbyists. [22]

Political contributions

Open Secrets reports that in 2010, Bayer's PAC gave $479,216 to federal candidates. House Democrats received $128,000 and Republicans $151,400. Senate Democrats received $40,000 and Republicans $81,600.[23]

Bayer gave $319,482.000 to federal candidates in the 2008 election through its political action committee, which is funded through employee contributions - 42% went to Democrats and 58% went to Republicans. [24]. In the 2012 election, Bayer's PAC has raised $353,818 and spent $421,150.[25]

Overview & history (subsection)

See also History of Bayer.

Overview of products

Bayer's health care division makes pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and drugs for animals. It also makes plastics. Its agricultural products division makes agrochemicals for crops and home garden products. Besides its well-known line of Bayer aspirins, its brand names include Aleve, Alka-Seltzer and One-A-Day vitamins. Its top selling pharmaceuticals include Betaseron (multiple sclerosis) and Yasmin (birth control). [26]

Animal testing

Bayer does participate in animal testing.

Facility information, progress reports & USDA-APHIS reports

For links to copies of a facility's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Stop Animal Experimentation NOW!: Facility Reports and Information. This site contains listings for all 50 states, links to biomedical research facilities in that state and PDF copies of government documents where facilities must report their animal usage. (Search: Berkley, California; Richmond, California; West Haven, Connecticut.)

USDA AWA reports

As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.

Contract testing

Bayer contract tests out to Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS). [27] Huntingdon Life Sciences is the 3rd largest contract research organization (CRO) in the world and the largest animal testing facility in all of Europe. Firms hire CROs to conduct animal toxicity tests for agrochemicals, petrochemicals, household products, pharmaceutical drugs and toxins. HLS has a long history of gross animal welfare violations. See also Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Drug safety issues

Ambien

Ambien - is a prescription medicine prescribed for insomnia. According to research studies, side effects from Ambien are experienced by up to up to 4% of patients. The most common side effects are daytime drowsiness, diarrhea and coordination problems. Side effects range from mild to dangerous, such as vision changes, depression and hallucinations. Other of side effects of Ambien, as well as other sedative/hypnotic medicines are addiction and abuse; "sleep-driving," "sleep-eating," and rebound insomnia after discontinuing use. [28]

Sleep walking, talking, driving & eating

Of the strange nocturnal behaviors reported, sleep walking, talking and even driving, is far more common than sleep-eating. Though the side effect is rare, most sleep doctors are familiar with patient stories of night time refrigerator raids, ovens left on at night and food appearing in the bedroom. While many sleep-eating patients were prescribed Ambien, it is not clear whether it is more likely to cause sleep eating than other sleep medications. [29]

In some states, Ambien has made it onto the lists of the top ten drugs found in impaired motorists. Motorists driving under the influence of Ambien have smashed into parked cars; driven the wrong way down busy highway and woven in between lanes. According to reports, the drivers sometimes have no recollection of getting behind the wheel, after being pulled over. According to Laura Liddicoat, a toxicologist at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene in a March of 2006 interview on Good Morning America:

"It certainly seems to me that the warnings are not sufficiently clear to the general public."

According to a report on drivers arrested in Wisconsin in the previous 5 years, 187 had Ambien in their bloodstream. [30]

Baycol

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pulled Baycol (cerivastatin) off the market after the drug was linked to at least 100 fatal adverse drug reactions (ADS). Baycol was a cholesterol-lowering drug, purported to reduce the risk of heart attacks. The drug was prescribed to approximately 700,000 Americans. FDA physicians linked the drug to a rare muscle side effect which destroyed tissue and released it into the blood stream. Patients commonly suffered severe muscle pain in the lower back and calf muscles. In the most severe cases, condition led to kidney failure and death. [31]

The drug was pulled from the market in August 2001 due to its muscle-weakening side effects. In January of 2007, the Houston Business Journal reported that Bayer would pay out 8 million dollars spread over 30 states. The settlements included $200,000 to Texas, over the companies failure to fully disclose health risks to patients with specific conditions. The terms also extended to the disclosure of clinical studies involving other Bayer drugs with possible health risks. According to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott:

"Texans deserve to be fully informed about the adverse effects of their medications. This agreement ensures that patients have access to the information they need to make educated health care decisions."

The terms required Bayer to register the results of its clinical studies on the internet. Also, that marketing, sale and promotion of Bayer pharmaceutical and biological products must comply with the law and not include false or misleading claims. In 1997, the FDA approved Baycol, which Bayer began marketing in May 1998. While patients taking statin drugs frequently experience muscle-weakening, Bayer did not disclose that the product posed significantly greater than normal side effects. Concealing risks in the name of profit, violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. [32]

Yasmin birth control

As of 2011, Yasmin is one of the only birth control pills with a class-action lawsuit against it.[33]

Food safety issues

Lobbying Against Proposed EU Pesticide Ban

Two studies published in early 2012 in the journal Science suggested a particularly strong connection between the use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids and the decline of both bumble bee and honeybee populations.[34][35] Although neonicotinoid insecticides were initially accepted as a safer alternative for humans, livestock, and birds, and have been used for years on corn, soy, wheat, and canola (called rapeseed in Canada and Europe), these and other studies led the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to recommend a two-year ban of the most controversial neonicotinoids by the European Commission: thiamethoxam, manufactured by Swiss company Syngenta; and imidacloprid and clothianidin, manufactured by German company Bayer.[36] Private letters obtained and released by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) reveal that Bayer and Syngenta have engaged in intensive lobbying against these measures, sending letters to the food safety agency and the European Commission, which were followed later by threatened litigation.[37]

Dave Goulson, professor of biology at the University of Sussex, was one of the authors of the spring 2012 Science study on neonicotinoids and bumble bees. In the study, scientists exposed bumble bee colonies to the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. According to Goulson, compared to control colonies, treated colonies "had a significantly reduced growth rate and suffered an 85% reduction in production of queens..." Goulson goes on to say, "Exposure to these pesticides, which are essentially a neurotoxin, was affecting the ability of the bees to learn, to find their way home, to navigate, to collect food, and so on, which is hardly surprising if you realize they're neurotoxins."[38] The dangers of a shrinking bee population have led some to suggest that a significant decline in pollination may lead to agricultural crisis.[39]

Global GMO & herbicide market

The top biotechnology companies are Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Bayer. (Syngenta is a subsidiary of parent companies AstraZeneca and Novartis. Aventis' agribusiness division was bought out by Bayer.) They account for almost 100% of the genetically engineered seed and 60% of the global pesticide market. Thanks to recent acquisitions, they also own 23% of the commercial seed market. In 1999, almost 80% of total global transgenic acreage was planted in GMO soy, corn, cotton and canola. Until then, farmers could spray herbicides before planting, but not after, as herbicides would kill the intended crop. The other 20% of genetically modified acreage is planted with crops that produce pesticides. Monsanto’s "New Leaf" potato kills potato beetles, but is itself registered as a pesticide with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The five largest biotech companies in the world are also the five largest herbicide companies. GMOs ensure a continuous and ever-expanding market for their agrochemicals. [40]

GMO soy beans are altered to enable plants to withstand weedkillers, particularly Monsanto's Roundup. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tripled the allowable limit for residues of Roundup's active ingredients on harvested crops. Many scientists protested allowing increased residues to support the biotechnology industry. Even after Monsanto's own research raised safety concerns for Roundup Ready soybeans, the FDA did not call for further testing. Half the soybeans grown in the U.S. are Roundup Ready. According to Monsanto, they contain 29% less of the brain nutrient choline and 27% more trypsin inhibitor, a potential allergen. Soy is often prescribed and consumed for its phytoestrogen content; however, GMO soy beans have lower levels of phenylalanine, an essential amino acid that affects levels of phytoestrogens. Lectin levels, the usual culprit in soy allergies, are nearly double in GMO soybeans. [41]

Under current policy, the government provides large subsidies to farmers to produce grains, in particularly corn and soybeans. Livestock producers use corn and soy as a base for animal feed as they are protein rich and fatten up the animals. They are also cheap (due to government subsidies.) Livestock consumes 47% of the soy and 60% of the corn produced in the US. [42] See also FDA.

Annual Revenue

2010[43]
Net Sales: €31.2 billion
Gross Profit: €16 billion

2009[44]
Net Sales: €35.1 billion
Gross Profit: 17.9 billion

Personnel

  • Manfred Schneider - Chairman
  • Hermann Strenger - Honorary Chairman
  • Thomas de Win - Deputy Chairman [45]
  • Dr. Paul Achleitner - Member of the Supervisory Board effective April 2002
  • André Aich - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Willy Beumann - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Dr. Clemens Börsig - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Dr.-Ing. Thomas Fischer - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Peter Hausmann - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. e.h. Hans-Olaf Henkel - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Reiner Hoffmann - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Dr. rer. pol. Klaus Kleinfeld - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Petra Kronen - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Dr. rer. nat. Helmut Panke - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Hubertus Schmoldt - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Dr.-ing. Ekkehard d. Schulz - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Dr. Klaus Sturany - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Roswitha Süßelbeck - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Dipl.-ing. Dr.-ing. e.h. Jürgen Weber - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Oliver Zühlke - Member of the Supervisory Board
  • Karl-Josef Ellrich - Member of the Supervisory Board

Bayer Corporation in the U.S.

  • Gregory S. Babe, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bayer Corporation and Bayer MaterialScience LLC
  • Roland Backes, Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Lars Benecke, General Counsel, Company Secretary and Compliance Officer
  • Claus Fey, Vice President and Country Group North America HR//Business Partner
  • Stefan Hesse, Vice President, Corporate Auditing
  • Jens Lohmann, Chief Accounting Officer and Biltroller
  • Mark A. Ryan, Chief Communications Officer, Bayer Corporation and Bayer MaterialScience LLC
  • Willy Scherf, Chief Financial Officer
  • Tracy Spagnol, Vice President & Treasurer
  • Paul F. Wright, Vice President, Tax[46]

Bayer Health care

Contact

Headquarters
Bayerwerk, Gebäude W11
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Allee
51368 Leverkusen, Germany

Phone: +49-214-30-1

Fax: +49-214-30-663-28

U.S. Office
100 Bayer Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Phone: 412-777-2000

Fax: 412-777-2034

Web address: http://www.bayerus.com

Web address: http://www.bayerhealthcare.com/scripts/pages/en/index.php

Web address: Web: http://www.bayercropscienceus.com

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles

External resources

  • What´s new?, Coalition Against Bayer Dangers, accessed January 2011

References

  1. Bayer: Science for a Better Life, Bayer, accessed February 2010
  2. Pesticide Action Network of North America, Chemical Cartel, organizational website, accessed July 2012
  3. ETC Group, Who Owns Nature? Corporate Power and the Final Frontier in the Commodification of Life, international civil society organizational report, November 2008, accessed July 2012
  4. Company Description: Bayer AG, Hoovers, accessed February 2010
  5. Bayer Annual Report
  6. Private Enterprise Board, ALEC website, accessed July 8, 2011.
  7. Sandy Bayer profile, Linkedin, accessed July 8, 2011.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 American Legislative Exchange Council, "Solutions for the States," 38th Annual Meeting agenda, on file with CMD, August 3-6, 2011
  9. LinkedIn, Joe Cleary, online business profile, accessed August 11, 2011
  10. LinkedIn, Derek Naten, online business profile, accessed August 11, 2011
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC State Chairmen, organization website, accessed June 30, 2011
  12. Bayer, Bayer Representatives Attend White House Ceremony, "Bayer News Channel," corporate news site, June 10, 2011
  13. LinkedIn, Craig Mischo, online business profile, accessed August 11, 2011
  14. Gary Barrett, Texas Tribune, online Texas lobbyists directory, accessed August 11, 2011
  15. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 4, 2011
  16. American Legislative Exchange Council, Sponsorship Opportunities at ALEC's Annual Meeting, organizational website, 2010, accessed August 4, 2011
  17. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  18. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Receptions, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  19. Opensecrets: Lobbying profile on Bayer, AG. Accessed June 19th, 2012
  20. Opensecrets: Lobbying profile on Bayer, AG. Accessed June 19th, 2012.
  21. Bayer Corp Lobbyists, "Open Secrets.org"
  22. Bayer lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed February 2010
  23. Federal Contributions, "Open Secrets.org"
  24. 2008 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed February 2010
  25. Opensecrets: PACs: Bayer Corp Summary. Accessed June 19th, 2012.
  26. Company Description: Bayer AG, Hoovers, accessed February 2010
  27. Inside Customers, SHAC.net, accessed December 2009
  28. Kristi Monson, PharmD; Arthur Schoenstadt, MD Ambien Dangers, Med TV, June 2009
  29. Ambien Sleep Walking Turned Me Into a Midnight Binge Eater, Health.com, May 9, 2008
  30. Kennedy's Crash Highlights Dangers of Ambien: The Prescription Drug Often Found in Bloodstream of Disoriented Drivers, ABC News, May 5, 2006
  31. Baycol, Healthdangers.com, 2003 - 2008
  32. Bayer reaches settlement over drug disclosure, Houston Business Journal, January 23, 2007
  33. Yasmin Birth Control Pill May Increase Blood Clot Risk, Huffington Post, July 22, 2011
  34. Mickaël Henry et al., A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Bees, American Association for the Advancement of Science, March 29, 2012.
  35. Penelope R. Whitehorn et al., Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production, American Association for the Advancement of Science, March 29, 2012.
  36. Pesticide Action Network UK, What are Neonics?, organizational website, accessed May 16, 2013.
  37. Corporate Europe Observatory, Pesticides Against Pollinators,organizational report, April 11, 2013.
  38. Rebekah Wilce, Bayer and Syngenta Lobby Furiously Against EU Efforts to Limit Pesticides and Save Bees, Center for Media and Democracy, April 22, 2013.
  39. , Jill Richardson, Without Honeybees, We May Cease to Be, Salon, March 21, 2013.
  40. John Robbins Genetic Engineering, Part I, The Food Revolution, accessed December 2009
  41. John Robbins What About Soy: Frankenfood Soy?, The Food Revolution, accessed December 2009
  42. The Issues: Corn and Soy, Sustainable Table, accessed December 2009
  43. Bayer Annual Revenue
  44. Bayer Annual Revenue
  45. Company Description: Bayer AG, Hoovers, accessed February 2010
  46. Bayer U.S. Leadership