Bayer can’t greenwash away Monsanto’s mess
As the headlines of their corporate misdeeds pile up, the Monsanto name is becoming even more synonymous with shady dealings and the obfuscation of science, all at the expense of public health. Will the company’s recent mega-merger with fellow seed and pesticide giant Bayer erase Monsanto’s track record? Bayer seems to think so, as they made the decision to drop the Monsanto name completely post-merger. But we’re not too worried.
Monsanto in the spotlight
After decades spent dodging regulators and burying scientific findings that could hurt their profits, Monsanto is finally facing their day in court. Or rather, many days in court. Earlier this summer, the company lost the first of more than 4,000 lawsuits brought against their flagship weedkiller Roundup.
The public has been paying attention, as Bayer shares plummeted following the court defeat, even though the merger process hadn’t completely wrapped up yet.
And as it turns out, Bayer and Monsanto have actually been on the same page of the industry playbook for years. In fact, Bayer deserves special recognition for their own style of spreading misinformation.
Bayer’s class-act deception
Bayer’s corporate record book definitely isn’t clean. The pharmaceutical and chemical company best known for aspirin has spent time and resources protecting their brand through “greenwashing.” Bayer and many other corporations have perfected this PR strategy, spreading misleading information to promote themselves as champions of sustainability.
Minnesota bee advocates went head-to-head with Bayer’s greenwashing efforts in June, when vigilant organizers noticed that a Pollinator Week event, hosted by local blogger The Faux Martha, was co-sponsored by Bayer’s “Feed a Bee” program.
The event centered on making wildflower boutonnieres and planting flowers to help combat pollinator declines. But Bayer is the leading producer of neonicotinoid pesticides — a key driver of pollinator declines, in addition to other factors like disease and habitat loss. Bayer hosting this pollinator party focused on a problem they’re no doubt contributing to was a prime example of greenwashing.
PAN and partners rallied to expose the event’s corporate sponsorship and shut the event down, sending Bayer a strong message that their “bee-friendly” distraction tactics aren’t welcome in our neighborhood.
Everybody’s doing it
Bayer’s not the only one selling their corporate mismanagement as leadership. A few more top greenwashing offenders:
Reported on ABC this morning, Bayer’s Australian Rep . Defending the appeals in the Higher Courts in California against the jury awarding the pay out to victims of glyphosate poisoning.