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posted by martyb on Tuesday June 05 2018, @07:13AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the don't-worry...-just-take-two-Bayer®-asprin-and...-oh,-wait dept.

Monsanto, a brand name activists love to hate, will disappear as Bayer takes over:

These days Monsanto is shorthand for, as NPR's Dan Charles has put it, "lots of things that some people love to hate": Genetically modified crops, which Monsanto invented. Seed patents, which Monsanto has fought to defend. Herbicides such as Monsanto's Roundup, which protesters have sharply criticized for its possible health risks. Big agriculture in general, of which Monsanto was the reviled figurehead.

And soon Monsanto will be no more. Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant and pesticide powerhouse, announced in 2016 it would be buying Monsanto in an all-cash deal for more than $60 billion. Now, as the merger approaches, Bayer has confirmed what many suspected: In the merger, the politically charged name "Monsanto" will be disappearing. The combined company will be known simply as Bayer, while product names will remain the same. The move is not exactly a surprise — it makes sense that Bayer might want to weed out some of the intense negative associations associated with the Monsanto brand. In a way, it's an indication of how successful anti-Monsanto protesters have been in shaping public perception.

In the company's latest statement, Bayer implicitly acknowledged how hostile debates over genetically modified crops and other agricultural products have become. "We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground," the chairman of Bayer's board of management, Werner Baumann, said in the statement. "Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It's the only way to build bridges."

Also at Reuters.

Previously: Bayer AG Offers to Buy Monsanto
Bayer Purchases Monsanto for Around $66 Billion

Roundup: Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93M to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens
RoundUp Glyphosate Found to Cause Kidney Failure and Elude Tests
Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate
Use of Dicamba-Resistant Monsanto Crops Leads to Soybean Death
GMO Grass That 'Escaped' Defies Eradication, Divides Grass Seed Industry
Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage


Original Submission   Alternate Submission

Related Stories

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93M to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens 21 comments

Natural Society reports

The West Virginia State Supreme Court finalized a big blow to the biotech giant Monsanto this month, finishing a settlement causing Monsanto to pay $93 million to the tiny town of Nitro, West Virginia for poisoning citizens with Agent Orange chemicals. The settlement was approved last year, but details were worked out only weeks ago as to how the funds were to be spent.

The settlement will require Monsanto to do the following:

  • $9 million will be spent to clean dioxin contaminated dust from 4500 homes.
  • $21 million will be spent to test to see if people have been poisoned with dioxin.
  • Citizens will be monitored for such poisoning for 30 years, not just a few months.
  • An additional $63 million is to be allotted if additional tests for dioxin contamination testing is necessary.
  • Anyone who lived in the Nitro area between Jan. 1, 1948, and Sept. 3, 2010 will be tested for dioxin. Although they must show proof they lived in the area, they will be eligible for testing even if they no longer live in Nitro.
  • Former or present employees of Monsanto are not eligible for any of these benefits.
  • An office will be set up to organize testing for Nitro citizens. The registration of participants is to be overlooked by Charleston attorney Thomas Flaherty, who was appointed by the court.
  • Residents have a right to file individual suits against Monsanto if medical tests show they suffered physical harm due to dioxin exposure.
RoundUp Glyphosate Found to Cause Kidney Failure and Elude Tests 39 comments

Monsanto's RoundUp, a widely used pesticide, uses the active ingredient Glyphosate and it may be up for another serious beating. Medical specialists and scientists in Sri Lanka has found that when glyphosate comes in contact with heavy metals like cadmium, arsenic, manganese and cobalt which exist naturally in the soil or fertilizer, it becomes highly toxic and has a high likelihood of causing fatal kidney disease for anyone that comes into contact with it. And because the substance binds to metals it will not show up in current tests. The report (and another one) is published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and has resulted in that the Sri Lanka president to ban glyphosate immediately.

Exposure to glyphosate causes a drop in amino acid tryptophan levels, which interrupts the necessary active signalling of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is associated with weight gain, depression, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. The report show that industry and regulators knew as long ago as the 1980's and 1990's that glyphosate causes malformation, but that information was not made public. Glyphosate is also a teratogenic.

Monsanto has been in the news quite recently.

Bayer AG Offers to Buy Monsanto 15 comments

Monsanto announced that it has received an unsolicited purchase offer from Bayer AG. The offer is under consideration by Monsanto's board of directors. The companies are both major sellers of pesticides and of seeds for crops. Monsanto's market capitalisation on 18 May was $42.43 billion.

According to Dow Jones Business News via NASDAQ:

Folding Monsanto's world-leading seed franchise and its trademark Roundup herbicide business into Bayer would create a company with a combined $68 billion in annual sales, marketing products ranging from Aspirin pain-relief pills to crop genetics that enable plants to withstand bugs and weedkillers. The combination would sell about 28% of the world's pesticides and about 36% of U.S. corn seeds and 28% of soybean seeds, according to Morgan Stanley estimates.

Coverage:

related story:
Cartoonist Fired for Criticizing Big Agriculture


Original Submission

Use of Dicamba-Resistant Monsanto Crops Leads to Soybean Death 51 comments

The early release of a variety of soybeans resistant to the herbicide dicamba has led to criminal spraying and the death of normal soybean crops:

Dicamba has been around for decades, and it is notorious for a couple of things: It vaporizes quickly and blows with the wind. And it's especially toxic to soybeans, even at ridiculously low concentrations. Damage from drifting pesticides isn't unfamiliar to farmers. But the reason for this year's plague of dicamba damage is unprecedented. "I've never seen anything like this before," says Bob Scott, a weed specialist from the University of Arkansas. "This is a unique situation that Monsanto created."

The story starts with Monsanto because the St. Louis-based biotech giant launched, this year, an updated version of its herbicide-tolerant soybean seeds. This new version, which Monsanto calls "Xtend," isn't just engineered to tolerate sprays of glyphosate, aka Roundup. It's also immune to dicamba.

Monsanto created dicamba-resistant soybeans (and cotton) in an effort to stay a step ahead of the weeds. The strategy of planting Roundup-resistant crops and spraying Roundup to kill weeds isn't working so well anymore, because weeds have evolved resistance to glyphosate. Adding genes for dicamba resistance, so the thinking went, would give farmers the option of spraying dicamba as well, which would clear out the weeds that survive glyphosate. There was just one hitch in the plan. A very big hitch, as it turned out. The Environmental Protection Agency has not yet approved the new dicamba weedkiller that Monsanto created for farmers to spray on its new dicamba-resistant crops. That new formulation of dicamba, according to Monsanto, has been formulated so that it won't vaporize as easily, and won't be as likely to harm neighboring crops. If the EPA approves the new weedkiller, it may impose restrictions on how and when the chemical may be used.

But, Monsanto went ahead and started selling its dicamba-resistant soybeans before this herbicide was approved. It gave farmers a new weed-killing tool that they couldn't legally use.


Original Submission

Bayer Purchases Monsanto for Around $66 Billion 34 comments

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-monsanto-m-a-bayer-deal-idUSKCN11K128

German drugs and crop chemicals company Bayer has won over U.S. seeds firm Monsanto with an improved takeover offer of $66 billion including debt, ending months of wrangling after increasing its bid for a third time. The $128 a share deal announced on Wednesday, up from Bayer's previous offer of $127.50 a share, is the biggest of the year so far and the largest cash bid on record.

The transaction will create a company commanding more than a quarter of the combined world market for seeds and pesticides in a fast-consolidating farm supplies industry. However, competition authorities are likely to scrutinize the tie-up closely, and some of Bayer's own shareholders have been critical of a takeover plan which they say is too expensive and risks neglecting the company's pharmaceutical business.

"Bayer's competitors are merging, so not doing this deal would mean having a competitive disadvantage," said Markus Manns, a fund manager at Union Investment, one of Bayer's top 12 investors, according to ThomsonReuters data.


Original Submission

GMO Grass That 'Escaped' Defies Eradication, Divides Grass Seed Industry 25 comments

Sometime around 2003 Scotts GMO grass crop in Idaho escaped its plot and blew across the Snake River into Oregon up to 30 miles away. The crop in question is a Roundup ready creeping bentgrass that is used for putting greens. Regulators and locals are in for a fight as Scotts is ready to abandon the ongoing approximately $250,000 per year effort to eradicate the grass in favor of running an informative website on Roundup ready bentgrass removal. Scotts canceled the development program because the golf industry is experiencing a decline, yet the company still wants the product deregulated.

Locals are left holding the bag as it threatens Oregon's international reputation as a "GMO-free" grass-grower and its seed industry. Regardless of whether direct genetic modification is bad in and of itself, grasses are an important crop for the state. Additionally, the grass has been found interbreeding with other feral grasses. Interestingly, the company has hired an attorney that specializes in bio-diversity to defend its interests.

The battle pits farmer against farmer, regulator against regulator, seller against buyer. Scotts spokesman Jim King insists the company has done its part and significantly reduced the modified grass's territory. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which for 14 years had refused to deregulate the controversial grass on environmental concerns, suddenly reversed course last fall and signaled it could grant the company's request as early as this week.

Many find the prospect alarming. The Oregon and Idaho departments of agriculture oppose deregulation, as does U.S. Fish and Wildlife, which predicted commercialization of the grass could drive endangered species to extinction.


Original Submission

Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage 32 comments

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/01/study-linking-herbicide-disease-fuels-debate-170116140401709.html

UK scientists say they have conducted an unprecedented, long-term study showing a link between Roundup - one of the most widely used herbicides in the world - and severe liver damage in test rats.

The research sparked further debate in the international scientific community over the potential health hazards to people caused by exposure to the well-known weed killer.

Scientists from King's College London, whose findings were published in the journal, Nature , earlier this month, said their tests used cutting-edge technology to demonstrate that "extremely low doses" of the herbicide administered to rats through their drinking water had caused "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)" over a two-year period.

NAFLD can lead to more serious liver disease such as cirrhosis, and increases the risk of other illnesses including diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.

"The study is unique in that it is the first to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup at a real-world environmental dose and a serious disease condition," the report said.

In recent years, there have been an increasing number of studies alleging links between herbicides - used to help grow genetically modified crops - to a wide range of health issues including birth defects, reproductive and neurological problems, cancer, and even DNA damage. Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, has repeatedly denied the accusations , insisting the product is safe for humans. A number of scientists and researchers say there has been insufficient evidence to prove herbicides cause health problems for people.

Related articles:


Original Submission

Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate 9 comments

[The WHO] and the Food and Agriculture Organization have come out with a statement that glyphosate is "unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk in humans". And this only a year after another UN agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, stated what looks like the exact opposite, that it could "probably" be a cause of cancer in humans. Later on last year, the European Food Safety Authority said that glyphosate is "unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard".

[...] the difference is that the IARC is looking at the question from a "Is there any possible way, under any conditions at all, that glyphosate could be a carcinogen?", while the FAO and WHO are giving an answer to the questions "Is glyphosate actually causing cancer in people?"

[...] "Risk", technically speaking, refers to your chances of being harmed under real-world conditions, while "hazard" refers to the potential for harm.

Under real-world conditions, eating a normal amount of bacon raise your risk of colorectal cancer by an amount too small to consider. But it does appear to be raising it by a reproducible, measurable amount, and therefore bacon (and other processed meats) are in the IARC's category 1.
[...] It's important to note that some hypothetical substance that reproducibly, in human studies, gives anyone cancer every single time they touch it would also be in category 1, the same as a hypothetical substance that reproducibly, in human studies, raises a person's risk of cancer by one millionth of a per cent. Same category. These categories are not arranged by relative risk – they're arranged by how good the evidence is. Glyphosate is in category 2A, which means that there is evidence from animal studies, but limited/insufficient evidence from humans as of yet.
[...] So yes, by the standards of the available evidence, glyphosate is in the same cancer hazard category as working the night shift, or working as a hairdresser.

TFA is interesting and worth a read, especially for its use of a shark analogy explaining the difference between risk and hazard.

Link: Glyphosate And Cancer By Derek Lowe
Additional Wired link: Does Monsanto's Roundup Herbicide Cause Cancer or Not? The Controversy, Explained


Original Submission

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million in Glyphosate Cancer Trial 49 comments

Monsanto ordered to pay $289 million in California Roundup cancer trial

A California jury on Friday found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused him cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.

The case of school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial. Monsanto, a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

The jury at San Francisco's Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers.

It awarded $39 million in compensatory and $250 million in punitive damages.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/10/monsanto-ordered-to-pay-289m-in-california-roundup-cancer-trial.html

Monsanto Ordered to Pay $289 Million to Man Who Claimed Glyphosate Caused His Cancer

Monsanto ordered to pay $289m damages in Roundup cancer trial

Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

In a landmark case, a Californian jury found that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers. It's the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer.

Monsanto denies that glyphosate causes cancer and says it intends to appeal against the ruling. "The jury got it wrong," vice-president Scott Partridge said outside the courthouse in San Francisco.

The claimant in the case, groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, is among more than 5,000 similar plaintiffs across the US.

Monsanto? Never heard of it. Did you mean Bayer AG?

Previously: Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate
Monsanto Faces First US Trial Over Roundup Cancer Link
Monsanto Cancer Trial Begins in San Francisco

Related: Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

Monsanto Cancer Trial Begins in San Francisco 72 comments

Monsanto 'bullied scientists' and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court

Monsanto has long worked to "bully scientists" and suppress evidence of the cancer risks of its popular weedkiller, a lawyer argued on Monday in a landmark lawsuit against the global chemical corporation.

"Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully ... and to fight independent researchers," said the attorney Brent Wisner, who presented internal Monsanto emails that he said showed how the agrochemical company rejected critical research and expert warnings over the years while pursuing and helping to write favorable analyses of their products. "They fought science."

Wisner, who spoke inside a crowded San Francisco courtroom, is representing DeWayne Johnson, known also as Lee, a California man whose cancer has spread through his body. The father of three and former school groundskeeper, who doctors say may have just months to live, is the first person to take Monsanto to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the Roundup brand is linked to cancer. Thousands have made similar legal claims across the US.

Monsanto? Never heard of it.

Also at the San Francisco Chronicle.


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:02AM (14 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:02AM (#688756)

    activists love to hate everything

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:16AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:16AM (#688757)

      Bayer, maker of bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticides...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:18PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:18PM (#688910)

        and (supposedly: via alejandro jones) knowingly shipped hiv infected blood to hemophiliac patients in mexico.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by FatPhil on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:16AM

      by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:16AM (#688758) Homepage
      At one point, Monsanto was the most hated brand in the whole world. That's not activists doing the hating, that's activists making people aware of Monsanto's mafia tactics, and non-activists finding their arguments compelling.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 2) by unauthorized on Tuesday June 05 2018, @01:38PM (10 children)

      by unauthorized (3776) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @01:38PM (#688838)

      It's the other way around, discontent gives rise to activism.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @03:36PM (9 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @03:36PM (#688894)

        Wake me up when it starts to effect the vote count during election season. Otherwise it's just impotent righteous indignation, absolutely meaningless. In the meantime, business is doing very well, thank you

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:49PM (8 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:49PM (#688926) Journal

          In the meantime, business is doing very well, thank you

          So well, they deep-sixed the brand.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:42PM (7 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:42PM (#689026)

            Hardly matters if the money doesn't stop flowing in. Business is still great.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:07PM (6 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:07PM (#689066) Journal
              "IF". Branding takes money. That means money flowing out rather than in.
              • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:31PM (5 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:31PM (#689371)

                Rebranding has not slowed the inflow of money one bit. Don't make shit up.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday June 07 2018, @03:34AM (4 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 07 2018, @03:34AM (#689710) Journal

                  Rebranding has not slowed the inflow of money one bit.

                  It probably has, but you wouldn't notice. My point however wasn't that money stopped flowing in, but rather that establishing a brand requires an outflow of money. Monsanto put a lot of money into its brand. Now, it's merely a liability to keep the brand going. If Bayer then keeps on doing whatever killed Monsanto, it risks trashing its own very valuable brands, some which it's put a century of work into.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08 2018, @04:32PM (3 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08 2018, @04:32PM (#690380)

                    Monsanto put a lot of money into its brand.

                    And they made tons more by selling it, like selling any other commodity. And Bayer will make plenty by simply dropping it.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday June 09 2018, @02:56AM (2 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 09 2018, @02:56AM (#690652) Journal
                      A brand isn't a commodity by definition.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 09 2018, @06:30PM (1 child)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 09 2018, @06:30PM (#690877)

                        Wall Street begs to differ

                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday June 09 2018, @11:42PM

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 09 2018, @11:42PM (#690964) Journal
                          Definitions trump AC's opinions of what nebulous categories would have an opinion of, if they could have, would have an opinion.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by aim on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:18AM (22 children)

    by aim (6322) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:18AM (#688759)

    ... the name "Bayer" will be just as reviled as "Monsanto" currently is.

    Unless they actually do change for the better, which I doubt.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by driverless on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:23AM (3 children)

      by driverless (4770) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:23AM (#688762)

      Exactly. Same shit, different assholes.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:42AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:42AM (#688773)

      Well, Bayer is German... and it's legal system has been shown not as crazy as the US one. So, will Monsantos products now start to fall under German/European law, which has been more strict regarding pesticides and GMOs? All depends on what happens with Monsanto as entity in the long term.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:43AM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:43AM (#688775)
      In 1925 Bayer became part of the IG Farben conglomerate, and this at the time largest chemical company in the world became infamous for many atrocities during the Nazi era. They produced Zyklon B for use during the Final Solution, made extensive use of slave labour, and performed human experimentation on the inmates of various concentration camps. The company was broken up by the Allies at the end of the war, and Bayer re-emerged as one of the successor companies that inherited many of its assets. For a time they had a convicted war criminal as their chairman of the board.
      • (Score: 1, Troll) by unauthorized on Tuesday June 05 2018, @01:48PM (6 children)

        by unauthorized (3776) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @01:48PM (#688843)

        194x Bayer has nothing to do with 2018 Bayer. Everyone who was involved with the Third Reich is either dead or infirm, stop guilt mongering people for something that happened before they were born.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday June 05 2018, @02:16PM (5 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @02:16PM (#688863) Homepage Journal

          So, you don't think the executives, management, and senior workers from 1945 passed on any of their culture? Interesting. I wonder where our culture came from, here in the US? Or the cultures of any large corporation?

          --
          Your private safe room in the back of your mind? Trump pooped in it.
          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:01PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:01PM (#688902)

            Like the culture of IBM helping the Nazis that rubbed off on Google pandering to repressive regimes?

            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:26PM (1 child)

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:26PM (#688913) Homepage Journal

              Not sure how serious you are. IBM's culture didn't change drastically during, or after World War Two. They remain a mercenary bunch, who will do pretty much anything for profit. They've been beaten a time or two, by someone with more foresight - such as Bill Gates. They've dropped the ball a few times, and maybe missed opportunities. But, they will do anything that makes them a profit. The culture remains.

              Google? I'm not really into prophesying, but, if I were pressed, I might predict that Google will one day replace IBM.

              And, don't forget to pick up your free copy of Google's Centennial Edition, "Google History: Do No Evil".

              --
              Your private safe room in the back of your mind? Trump pooped in it.
              • (Score: 2) by cmdrklarg on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:48PM

                by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:48PM (#688992)

                They remain a mercenary bunch, who will do pretty much anything for profit.

                That could be said about the great majority of corporations.

                --
                Answer now is don't give in; aim for a new tomorrow.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by unauthorized on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:02PM (1 child)

            by unauthorized (3776) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:02PM (#688904)

            So, you don't think the executives, management, and senior workers from 1945 passed on any of their culture?

            As much as the Nazis passed on their political culture to their successor political class. I'm sure if you look hard enough you are likely to find some influences dating back that far, but the influences of modern corporate culture and modern society in general are considerably more significant.

            Nice strawman, by the way.

            I wonder where our culture came from, here in the US?

            Home-grown, it's not like you didn't have your fair share of scumbags back in the 30s. The larger and more detached of human interaction a power structure becomes, the more amoral and oppressive it turns. This is purely a function of the accumulation of power, it has happened everywhere through human history regardless of the underlying social, political or economic structure.

            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:33PM

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:33PM (#688917) Homepage Journal

              Not entirely homegrown. We've borrowed a lot of stuff from a lot of other cultures, including Native American cultures. But, our culture is firmly rooted in 1600's - 1800's English culture. Yeah, we continue to change and grow, but - remember the "British Invasion", aka, The Beatles? We emulate them, they emulate us, etc ad nauseum. Bearing that in mind, England's culture has roots in the old nature worshipping cultures, as well as ancient Rome, and most of Europe's nations.

              America's culture didn't just spring up, out of nothing.

              --
              Your private safe room in the back of your mind? Trump pooped in it.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:37PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:37PM (#688921)

        well that's the official story anyways...

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Tuesday June 05 2018, @09:04AM (3 children)

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @09:04AM (#688781)

      They pulled that shit before. Remember, Bayer really is IG Farben [wikipedia.org], a company that everybody really, REALLY hated after WWII. From the Wikipedia page:

      During World War II, IG Farben used slave labor in factories that it built adjacent to German concentration camps, notably Auschwitz,[27] and the sub-camps of the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp.[28] IG Farben purchased prisoners for human experimentation of a sleep-inducing drug and later reported that all test subjects died.[29][30] IG Farben employees frequently said, "If you don’t work faster, you’ll be gassed."[31] IG Farben held a large investment in Degesch which produced Zyklon B used to gas and kill prisoners during the Holocaust.[32]

      After World War II, the Allies broke up IG Farben and Bayer reappeared as an individual business "inheriting" many of IG Farben's assets.[29] Fritz ter Meer, an IG Farben board member from 1926 to 1945 who directed operations at the IG Farben plant at Auschwitz, was sentenced to seven years in prison during the IG Farben Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. He was elected Bayer's supervisory board head in 1956.[33]

      In 1995, Helge Wehmeier, the head of Bayer Corporation, publicly apologized to Elie Wiesel for the company's involvement in the Holocaust at a lecture in Pittsburgh.[34]

      After the Monsanto name is buried, it'll be business as usual and people will forget - just like they forgot about IG Farben...

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Hartree on Tuesday June 05 2018, @05:39PM

        by Hartree (195) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @05:39PM (#688945)

        Beat me to it, Rosco. :)

        I was going to make a joke that in order to avoid controversy, Bayer was renaming its Monsanto Division to I.G. Farben and it's best selling insecticide to Cyclone Beta.

        (Does this count as a Godwin? Yeah, I think it does...)

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:09PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:09PM (#688968) Journal

        After the Monsanto name is buried, it'll be business as usual and people will forget - just like they forgot about IG Farben...

        This isn't some fly-by-night scam operation where it costs a few hundred dollars to move the business over to a new name. Monsanto probably spent more on branding than they ever did on fines for wrongdoing. That's all lost.

        As to these brand names, what really is the point of remembering them? It's not the brand that matters, but the activity. And the usual groups will remain focused on that for good and ill.

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:21PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:21PM (#688976) Journal

        Remember, Bayer really is IG Farben

        From the linked Wikipedia page, emphasis by me:

        Bayer became part of IG Farben, a German chemical company conglomerate, in 1925.

        Looking at the page about IG Farben [wikipedia.org] (a different page than the one you linked from that word), you'll find:

        IG Farben was founded on 9 December 1925, as a merger of the following six companies:[3]

        • BASF
        • Bayer
        • Hoechst (including Cassella and Chemische Fabrik Kalle)
        • Agfa
        • Chemische Fabrik Griesheim-Elektron
        • Chemische Fabrik vorm. Weiler Ter Meer

        And later:

        Due to the company's entanglement with the Nazi regime, it was considered by the Allies to be too morally corrupt to be allowed to continue to exist. […] In 1951, the company was split into its original constituent companies. The four largest quickly bought the smaller ones.

        So while Bayer certainly was involved in IG Farben and its crimes, it is far from accurate that it is IG Farben. And in particular it is not correct to claim in that respect that

        They pulled that shit before.

        where “that shit” refers to intentionally getting rid of a name in order to get rid of its negative connotations.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:56AM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:56AM (#688805)

      Bayer has been killing the honeybees for over a decade now...

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday June 05 2018, @05:53PM (1 child)

      by HiThere (866) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @05:53PM (#688955) Journal

      If you've been paying attention, you will already dislike and distrust anything with the brand Bayer attached to it. I won't even buy their aspirin anymore, and that's not a political protest, it's self defense. Their attitude is, broadly speaking, "We're Bayer, we don't have to care.".

      I do think that they used to make quality chemicals. These days I wouldn't trust them without a secondary analysis...which usually isn't worthwhile.
      (No they aren't the only company like that. But they're one of the larger ones.)

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:53PM

        by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:53PM (#689079)

        So they are definitely not Care Bayers.....

        Ok, I'm leaving now......please don't throw things....

        --
        Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08 2018, @04:34PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08 2018, @04:34PM (#690381)

      Oh please! Stop with the SJW crap! Watch their market price and executive pay rates and tell me how "reviled" they are.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:34AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:34AM (#688765)

    He literally said: damn your morals, we'll do as we please in the name of progress. "Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill."

    And people wonder why this specific group of individuals is reviled. They shit on everyone and everything to take for themselves, and refuse to stop slow or alter. They'll talk and conclude with "sorry we must go on." They literally ignore scientific consensus when it interferes with their interests. Disgusting.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:01PM (2 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:01PM (#689064) Journal

      He literally said: damn your morals, we'll do as we please in the name of progress. "Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill."

      What exactly is wrong with what he [chairman of Bayer's board of management, Werner Baumann] said? It's one thing to be enraged over actions and another to be enraged by mild words.

      And people wonder why this specific group of individuals is reviled. They shit on everyone and everything to take for themselves, and refuse to stop slow or alter. They'll talk and conclude with "sorry we must go on." They literally ignore scientific consensus when it interferes with their interests. Disgusting.

      If one has read the book, 1984, they wouldn't so wonder. Some belief systems require scapegoats in order to function. They have a high level of failure which is coped with by blaming external parties for all the problems.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:24AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:24AM (#689226)

        I don't think those are mild words. They're a clear directed attack on independent thought. For one, he is equating his company (Bayer) completely owns a 4,000-year old global craft (agriculture), and secondly, he is discarding concerns about the long-term ecological effects of his trade as "ideological differences".

        Let's use the same argument on different topics:

        religion is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from killing these heretics

        our country is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from building this wall

        our security is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from hoovering up all this data

        productivity is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from shipping slaves across the globe

        femininity is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from eradicating the white devil

        our future is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from exterminating this race

        (godwinning is allowed, other posters have already explained why)

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 06 2018, @10:58AM

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 06 2018, @10:58AM (#689257) Journal
          Again, you're just wrong here. Let's look at your examples, such as:

          religion is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from killing these heretics

          Note that none of these examples have anything to do with the Baumann quote. They just share a common grammatical structure. Grammar is not a source of aggression. For example, consider the mellowness of this example:

          Pub hopping is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from drinking beer.

          Crafting statements which are deliberately looking for a fight ignores that the same grammatical structure can be used to craft statements that are pretty damn innocuous. We'll just have to look at the context, the action being called for, whether it be "stop us drinking beer" or "stop us from shipping slaves across the globe".

          Here, it's "to bring progress to a standstill", which I bet the majority of people would consider a net bad thing to do. While I grant that there are parties who want to bring progress to a standstill, why should we respect them for that belief? The world isn't in a state where one can hit the pause button and not expect a few hundred million or more deaths as a result.

          Moving on, your assertions as to what Baumann said are absurd. He didn't not attack independent thought. He did not claim Bayer owns agriculture. And "concerns about the long-term ecological effects of his trade" are indeed ideologically based. That doesn't make them wrong (what makes that sort of ideology commonly wrong is indifference to context and any attempts to reduce or increase the risks of those ecological effects).

          Finally, stupidity is not morality. You need to learn some critical reasoning here. The crafting of such statements is a routine act of mild propaganda. One doesn't contest such things by blowing them way out of proportion. It just makes you look like an idiot.

          Here is a more effective strategy. You're not advocating the halting of progress in GMO foods, right? But rather that such research proceeds in a cautious and responsible manner. Thus, a sound rebuttal is to point to actual GMO work that you do support (and why you support it) as a counter. For example, "Mr. Baumann claims to support progress, so do we. But risky GMO projects that cause considerable ecological harm aren't progress. Here are some projects which we feel take the proper sort of precautions which weren't taken by Monsanto prior to this buyout..."

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:52AM (4 children)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:52AM (#688779) Homepage Journal

    This is the same company that let the trademark on Heroin -- very strong cough syrup for kids -- lapse. They could have made A MINT on that one. Because so many kids get coughs!!

    • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Tuesday June 05 2018, @09:46AM

      by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @09:46AM (#688787)

      This is the same company that let the trademark on Heroin -- very strong cough syrup for kids -- lapse. They could have made A MINT on that one. Because so many kids get coughs!!

      A mint works well for coughs too.

    • (Score: 2) by deadstick on Tuesday June 05 2018, @01:44PM

      by deadstick (5110) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @01:44PM (#688841)

      I'm an old fart, and my grandma's pharmacist used to keep some under the counter for his older customers...I may have gotten some for a cough around age 4.

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:34PM (1 child)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:34PM (#688986) Journal

      This is the same company that let the trademark on Heroin -- very strong cough syrup for kids -- lapse.

      I don't think so. On the Wikipedia page about Bayer [wikipedia.org] it is said that

      Heroin was a Bayer trademark until after World War I

      The "until after World War I" is relevant here, since we learn in a later section:

      As part of the reparations after World War I, Bayer assets, including the rights to its name and trademarks, were confiscated in the United States, Canada, and several other countries.

      I'd expect that included the trademark "Heroin".

      Looking at the Wikipedia page about Heroin [wikipedia.org] seems to confirm that suspicion, but it's marked with “citation needed”:

      Bayer lost some of its trademark rights to heroin under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles following the German defeat in World War I.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:05PM

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @08:05PM (#689018) Homepage Journal

        It's been amazing what's coming out on WikiPedia. Sometimes very hard to tell which are real and which are fake. But they say that Bayer stopped selling Heroin in 1910. Which was before the war. A little bit before, right? And possibly it's very hard to keep a trademark on something you don't sell. Or maybe they didn't keep up with the legal on that one. Because why pay the registration, why pay for lawyers, on something that you stopped selling? Money going out, no money coming in, not a smart way to do business.

        And maybe that's why they lost it, or maybe they got schlonged by the VERY UNFAIR treaty. A lot of folks got schlonged by that one. But if you noticed, they're still Bayer in Germany. And they've always been Bayer in Germany and in many places. And they kept all their trademarks in Germany and in many places.

        You've heard of the Podesta GMAIL, right? That one was hacked very badly. Well, in Germany GMAIL is something else. It's not the Google EMAIL. Because somebody had that trademark before Google thought of it.

        But I don't think they sell Heroin any more. And possibly that is a mistake. Because two things that are very annoying about kids are the diapers and the noise. The diapers they grow out of -- hopefully they grow out of those, the noise they don't. And when they have a cough, very annoying to be around that. And it spreads germs like you wouldn't believe. So a very strong cough syrup would be great to have, folks would pay a lot for that.

        And Monsanto, everybody used to know Monsanto. You buy a suit, you buy a carpet, you buy a sofa, you would ask for Wear-Dated by Monsanto. And you could throw the craziest parties. A little cleaning -- very easy -- and your suit, your carpet, your sofa were PERFECTO. No stains, no smells. It was magnificent. But, they stopped selling that. And now nobody remembers Monsanto. Our great farmers remember, they love Monsanto because it's the best seeds and the best pesticides. Trust me, we all eat them. But, can you go to a restaurant and tell the waiter, "bring me something by Monsanto"? You can't. Bayer could make Monsanto great again, they could bring back the double-knit polyester suits that we love so much. And they'd become very very rich. But, they won't. That's too bad.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @01:47PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @01:47PM (#688842)

    Change in who owns it, doesn't make the bad go away magically. Trains can't stop suddenly. Same shit, different flies.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @03:40PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @03:40PM (#688897)

      Same shit, same flies, same field, same creatures dropping said shit, they just changed the sign out front. It's time to associate with Bayer everything that was previously associated with Monsanto.

      Bayer. Fuck the bees.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:45PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 05 2018, @04:45PM (#688923)

        It's hip to fuck bees.

        • (Score: 2) by Pslytely Psycho on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:59PM

          by Pslytely Psycho (1218) on Tuesday June 05 2018, @11:59PM (#689080)

          Says Needle Dick the Bug Fucker.

          --
          Alex Jones lawyer inspires new TV series: CSI Moron Division.
  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:54PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 05 2018, @06:54PM (#688997) Homepage Journal

    Bayer also gave us heroin.

    I don't really know but speculate that a good friend of mind ODed. He and I chatted one night, then he said he'd be back in an hour. I waited three then never saw him again.

    Not long after that someone told me that Anthony used smack. I found an old mugshot for a possession arrest but none later, he's not in any of the Oregon or Washington prison rosters and the Portland Rescue Mission told me that Anthony doesn't go there anymore.

    I have dozens of photos that he took in happier times, he was clearly more muscular, posing with friends and family. I want to give those photos to one of his loved ones but I don't know any of their names and I don't know how to contact them.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
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