Desperate to repair its shattered image, pharma company Bayer has announced it will invest $5.6 billion for research into new weedkillers.
Since purchasing Monsanto for $63 billion in 2018, Bayer’s corporate reputation has plummeted to the extent that its market valuation is now less than it paid for the biotech company. Currently facing potential multibillion-dollar damage payments to patients who developed cancer after using Monsanto’s toxic Roundup weedkiller, its announcement about investing in research into new weedkillers is arguably just a desperate attempt to shore up its collapsing share price.
Adding further to its already considerable woes, Bayer recently admitted that Monsanto had been keeping ‘watch lists’ on influential opponents in Europe. Its statement followed prosecutors in France revealing they had opened an investigation into the company over allegations Monsanto had maintained records on 200 French people, including politicians and journalists, with the goal of influencing their positions on pesticides and GM crops.
Could we be witnessing the beginning of the end for the firm whose wartime roles in IG Farben and Auschwitz infamously led to its managers standing trial in Nuremberg for war crimes and crimes against humanity? While it’s too early to say for sure, Bayer is undoubtedly now fighting for its life.