Bayer Group (Bayer AG) is a German holding company that ranks #147 on the Forbes Global 2000 and #1 on the Toxic 100 Air Polluters list:
With more than 111,000 employees and over $47 billion in annual revenues, the company’s (dirty) business operations are organized into three subgroups: HealthCare, CropScience and MaterialScience, supported by the service companies Bayer Business Services, Bayer Technology Services and Currenta. Bayer HealthCare is involved in the research, development and manufacture of health products for “people and animals”. Bayer CropScience is engaged in crop protection and “non-agricultural” pest control. Bayer MaterialScience supplies polymers for a wide range of applications. Bayer AG operates through numerous subsidiaries, affiliates and joint ventures located in Europe, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, North America as well as the Asia/Pacific region, e.g. Bayer Chemicals AG in Germany, Cotton Growers Services Pty. Limited in Australia and Polygal 1998 Ltd. in Israel, among others.
When you hear the name “Bayer” you may think immediately of their flagship product, but Aspirin is only one of many brands you’ll find on their Products A-to-Z List:
Notably missing from this list is Bisphenol-A, or “BPA”, of which Bayer is the world’s largest producer. In the U.S., the only 5 companies producing it are Bayer, Dow, Momentive Specialty Chemicals (formerly Hexion), SABIC Innovative Plastics (formerly GE Plastics), and Sunoco, “collectively bringing in $6 billion a year in revenue from BPA alone.”
And just what is BPA? Some sources define it as an “organic compound”, while others say it is “made from petroleum”. And guess what? They’re both correct! Just like Con-Agra can legally label genetically-modified foods as “All Natural” – in the United States at least – it is acceptable in many circles to refer to petroleum as “organic”. That should make it easy for Big Oil to “Go Green”, since it’s all just a matter of packaging:
And in the U.S. food and beverage industry, that’s just how Bisphenol-A is used. BPA, an estrogen-mimicking chemical, is used to make plastic containers like baby bottles and to line food and drink cans. Thousands of BPA studies have been conducted over the years, and many of them have linked the chemical to breast cancer, early puberty, infertility, obesity and a whole host of other health problems. That was enough for the Canadian government to declare Bisphenol-A to be a toxic substance last year:
That has not been enough, however, for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration or our food and beverage companies to follow suit. One reason is that some “scientific” studies of the effects of BPA exposure and consumption by people and animals have reported different results. Studies like this recent one, which concluded that “…the available evidence indicates that BPA exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population, including newborns and babies”:
And what other conclusion would one expect from such a study, when BPA producers like Bayer AG were behind it? As CaliforniaWatch.org disclosed:
“Four authors of a new report concluding that bisphenol A is safe have ties to companies and groups that benefit from the controversial chemical. Two of the researchers – Hermann Schweinfurth and Wolfgang Volkel – reported their affiliations in the report’s ‘declaration of interest.’ Two others – Werner Lilienblum and Peter-Jurgen Kramer – have professional websites linking them to the chemical industry… Schweinfurth acknowledged in his declaration that he works for Bayer Schering Pharma AG, the largest producer of bisphenol A, or BPA, in Europe. Volkel reported receiving funding from the international industry group BPA Global in the past. Lilienblum runs a ‘consultancy for the industry.’ And Kramer describes himself as a ‘leading toxicologist in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry’ who is currently ‘developing and shaping’ toxicology in Germany and throughout Europe.”
Using the tainted conclusions of Bayer-sponsored “research” like this as an excuse, profit-before-people corporations like Coca-Cola continue lining their cans with a toxic chemical that they claim to be safe while at the same time assuring the public that they are actively pursuing alternatives. The obvious inconsistency should give you pause. After all, if BPA is as safe as they say, then why are they looking for alternatives?
BPA is not the first product Bayer continued to push on the public long after they knew it was a health hazard:
“A division of the pharmaceutical company Bayer sold millions of dollars of blood-clotting medicine for hemophiliacs – medicine that carried a high risk of transmitting AIDS – to Asia and Latin America in the mid-1980′s while selling a new, safer product in the West, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.”
Actually, Bayer AG has a long history of knowingly selling chemicals that kill people. During World War II, for example, the company was “…part of IG Farben, a conglomerate of German chemical industries that formed a part of the financial core of the German Nazi regime. IG Farben owned 42.5% of the company that manufactured Zyklon B, a chemical used in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and other extermination camps.”
You can follow the more recent atrocities of the Bayer Group at the “Coalition Against Bayer Dangers” website:
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