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Leverkusen, May 12, 2019 – At the end of this week, French media raised accusations that lists of supportive and critical stakeholders drawn up by Monsanto in 2016 may have violated ethical principles and legal regulations.
Following an initial review, we understand that this initiative has raised concerns and criticism. This is not the way Bayer seeks dialogue with society and stakeholders. We apologize for this behavior.
Currently, we have no indication that the preparation of the lists under discussion violated any legal provisions. Bayer will ask an external law firm to investigate the project Monsanto commissioned and evaluate the allegations. The law firm will also inform all of the persons on the lists of the information collected about them. Bayer will fully support the public prosecutor's office in France in its investigations.
Matthias Berninger, our new Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability, has been tasked with evaluating this issue internally. He will also assess the behavior of the involved internal and external parties. Our highest priority is to create transparency. As an immediate measure, we have decided to suspend our cooperation with the involved external service providers for the time being. The responsible Monsanto manager left the company shortly after the acquisition. We are also currently investigating further appropriate consequences both internally and with regard to external parties.
Bayer stands for openness and fair dealings with all interest groups. We do not tolerate unethical behavior in our company. Of course, this also applies to data protection regulations in all jurisdictions in which we operate.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to benefit people by supporting efforts to overcome the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, and the Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2018, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of 39.6 billion euros. Capital expenditures amounted to 2.6 billion euros, R&D expenses to 5.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.