Bayer is implicated in the development of chemical weapons. During WW1 Bayer was involved in the development and manufacture of a range of poisonous gasses used in the trenches, including chlorine gas and mustard gas. As part of IG Farben, Bayer were 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 quite clear that this compound had potential military applications. Tabun was then 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. 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. 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.
The links between chemicals developed as ‘pesticides’ with chemicals suitable for weapons has continued at Bayer. In 1989 it was revealed that Bayer hold a patent for a compound chemically identical to the VX gas used by the US military. The compound was discovered by Gerhard Schrader, and was patented in Germany in 1957, and in the US in 1961. Bayer claim that the compound was developed as a potential pesticide and that the US military application of the compound has nothing to do with them.
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, 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.
Bayer head Carl Duisberg personally propagated the concept of forced labour during WW1. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 US the companies would never have agreed.
Bayer and the 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. 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. 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.
5.2. 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.
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.
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.
South Africa AIDS drugs lawsuit
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. 
Citric Acid Monopoly
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.
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
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”. 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.”
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.
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. 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.
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
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?
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.
5.3. Pharmaceutical Phailings
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, 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.
Ciproxin and Dangerous Human Trials
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.
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.
Metrifonate and Muscular Weakness
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.”
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.
HIV and HEP C Contaminated Blood Preparations 
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 
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”.
5.4. Pesticides and Poisons
Methamidophos and other toxic Pesticides
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. 
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-publicised incidents.
Because of the health and environmental risks associated with PCB’s, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the manufacture of PCB’s and regulated their use and disposal. EPA accomplished this by the issuance of regulation in 1978. 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. 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 an increased proportion going into export. In 1983, the last year of PCB production by Bayer AG, 90% of the PCB produced was exported.
Bayer pesticides in toxic dump in Nepal 
Bayer was one of several multinationals to export highly toxic obsolete pesticides to Nepal, and abandon them there after they reached their expiry date or were banned. In fact, the most dangerous substances found at the site (which was 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 
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.
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.
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.
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 repellant.
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.
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 in unaffordable for poor farm workers, and even if it were affordable it would probably not be used due to the tropical temperatures. In addition, many 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 adverts for of Baysiston. Many coffee growers even 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 not due to lack of information but to “inexpert use alone”.
Methyl Parathion 
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).
Furthermore, 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.
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.
24 children dead, 18 poisoned 
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 
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.
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.
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 whuch 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 
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 
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 
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.
5.5. Abusing Workers
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 
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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. Source