Recognize & Avoid Counterfeits

Three men are looking at a piece of paper.

Due to the unknown compositions and the fact that they are not tested and not approved for use, counterfeit and otherwise illegal products are not safe and pose an unacceptable risk to the farmer, the consumer, and the environment.


The biological efficacy of these products is unpredictable and can result in a complete damage of the treated crop.


The use of counterfeit seeds can dramatically reduce the yield of the crop and deteriorate the quality of the produce, leading to a complete loss of the harvest.

Difference between counterfeit and otherwise illegal products

Counterfeit Products

Counterfeit crop protection products and seeds intend to mimic original products. They intend to copy the legitimate branded products and typically feature well adulterated labeling and packaging, reproducing the outer appearance of the originals.

Sophisticated counterfeits are often difficult to distinguish from originals and as a result, are unintentionally purchased by distributors and farmers.

The content of these products, be it crop protection or seeds, is always unknown. Their biological efficacy and performance are unpredictable.


Illegal Products

Illegal products other than counterfeits do not mimic original products.

The content and composition of illegal crop protection products are unknown as well, their biological efficacy is unpredictable, and they are not tested and approved by authorities.

Illegal Seeds usually don´t carry the desired characteristics, leading to lower yield and inferior quality of the produce, sometimes even to a complete loss of the harvest.

These products are mainly sold on the black market, in neutral packs with no or very limited labeling.

Counterfeit and otherwise illegal crop protection products and seeds do not only compromise sustainable agriculture, but the production of healthy and high-quality food as well as biodiversity.

What can farmers do to avoid the use of counterfeit or otherwise illegal crop protection products and/or seeds?

  • Buy crop protection products / seeds only from a known and trustworthy dealer and never buy from the “black market” (e.g., directly from a truck or from any other non-authorized dealer).
  • Ask for a correct and complete invoice, including the name of the product(s) and/or varieties purchased.
  • Be suspicious if products or varieties are offered at an unusually low price or with foreign labels.
  • Be particularly cautious with online offers.
  • Check that the packaging is originally sealed at the time of purchase.
  • Bayer Safety Seal must be entire, unbroken and with no signs of manipulation or damage.
  • For all Bayer products with Safety Seal, scan the QR-code on the Seal with the Bayer Seal Scan App to check the authenticity of the product.