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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Bayer Absolved of Criminal Responsibility for Researching Opponent in France


As a tactic to defend glyphosate after Bayer acquired Monsanto in 2018, a public relations firm was commissioned to develop a list of politicians and public figures opposing the herbicide.  The dossier on politicians, media personalities and bureaucrats included personal details. 


The law firm Sidley and Austin reviewed the list which included non-public information but determined that there was no evidence of illegal surveillance.  The list was intended to develop a public relations strategy to advocate Monsanto’s position to the public.  A similar decision was reached by the German Council for Public Relations.


In an attempt to reestablish goodwill, Bayer hired Matthais Berninger a former Green Party politician to lead its public affairs initiative.  According to an article by Ruth Bender in the September 7 edition of The Wall Street Journal Berninger publically apologized for the list of politicians and potential influencers in France before it was established that the action was legal.  Notwithstanding the opinion obtained by Bayer, the office of the French Prosecutor is apparently investigating the action by Bayer and its public relations advisor.


Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane