Bayer CropScience: champion of sustainable food production ?

16 Jul

At Davos

In January it was reported that Bayer CropScience championed sustainable agriculture at the World Economic Forum in Davos – following their “New Vision for Agriculture”, launched in 2011, led by more than 20 global companies in collaboration with governments and over 350 leaders of business, government, civil society, international organisations and academia. The press release can be read here.

In Berlin

In the Fresh Produce Journal we read that Bayer described its help for fruit growers to achieve a sustainable future, at Fruit Logistica, a fresh produce trade show, held annually in February in Berlin.

Leading British fresh fruit importer and supplier Chingford Fruit is choosing Bayer CropScience as its preferred partner as part of the Food Chain Partnership programme in which Bayer CropScience is deploying “its knowledge of good agricultural practice, food safety legislation and communications connecting the dots and working across the entire food chain from seed to shelf”.

On the other hand:

The Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parlia­ment obstructed the final addi­tion of Bayer’s GM maize Chardon LL to the UK National Seed List after it had been given limited UK Government approval in April. (Farmers Guardian 2.4.04

Allegations that Bayer’s neonicotinoid pesticide Clothianidin was killing bees peaked in 2008

In 2011 Bayer CropScience agreed to pay up to $750 million to farmers in Missouri and four other states to settle lawsuits over contamination of the U.S. rice supply by its LibertyLink genetically modified rice in 2006. Many of the 400 lawsuits representing 11,000 plaintiffs were eventually consolidated in the federal court.

This news was ‘buried’ late in the afternoon on a holiday weekend. Asked to explain the timing of the settlement, BCS spokesman Levitt declined to comment. St. Louis lawyer Don Downing, who was co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs would only say: “I can’t tell you why it ended up. You can perhaps speculate about that yourself.”

BCS left its sites in Widnes (2007) and Norwich (2011).

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