Reaffirming Our Commitment to Safety, Transparency and Science
Now more than ever, we need to work together to restore public trust in the scientific experts that dedicate their lives to ensuring public health and safety.
Recently, I received a letter from foodwatch International, being critical of how Bayer and others in the industry provide crucial products and services to farmers around the world, especially in low and middle income countries. Whilst I take any criticism very seriously, I am extremely proud of the highly responsible work of Bayer and other innovation-driven companies to protect the health and safety of people and the environment as we all work to ensure a safe and affordable food supply.
At Bayer, safety is our #1 priority. It is embedded into everything we do. We are committed to developing and stewarding safe solutions for farmers to meet social, environmental and economic needs of societies around the world. Just as we do not back away from the planet’s most pressing issues, we do not shy away from questions and concerns. While you can read my more detailed reply here, I am sharing some of those commitments below.
We recognize that there is increased conversation happening on the impact of pesticides on human health and the environment. Farming communities often face many challenges, including extreme weather, weeds, insects and plant disease. Pesticides are an essential tool that helps farmers overcome these challenges to produce enough food on existing farmland, which can reduce pressure on surrounding lands – and on the biodiversity those lands support. Driven by a vision of health for all, hunger for none, we believe we can work together to address the interrelated challenges of ensuring a resilient food system and promoting safe, sustainable agriculture.
I’m honored to lead an organization firmly committed to safe products, safe use of those products, innovation and trust. These five commitments are core to our business:
Commitment to Customized Solutions for Diverse Crops and Conditions:
- We believe demanding that only products that are registered in Europe be allowed to be used outside of Europe would be irresponsible and detrimental to the global food supply and livelihoods of millions of farmers all over the world
Commitment to Safety:
- Despite the need to ensure diverse farm needs around the globe are met, we still apply globally consistent safety standards to our products, even when it means exceeding local regulations. We have also increased our support to train farmers to comply with label requirements and best management practices for safe pesticide use, including training more than one million farmers around the world in 2019.
Commitment to Transparency:
Regulatory systems for approval of crop protection products around the world aim to protect human health and the environment with thorough risk assessments and approvals. But by enabling access to our safety studies through our transparency program, we want to let society see the data from safety studies for themselves.
Commitment to Sustainability:
- Bayer’s work in sustainable agriculture is founded in a commitment to achieve a balance between production and protection – in short, how do we feed a growing population without starving the planet? We work with authorities, farmers, scientists, shareholders and other civil society members to help make agriculture a part of the solution to climate change.
Commitment to Collaboration:
- Creating a more resilient and sustainable food system requires a concerted, collaborative and global effort. No one company, organization or government can do it alone. At the most basic level, we need to help farmers with tools suited to the unique challenges they face at the local level. That can only be done with diverse and competent voices around the table.
Bayer is, and will remain, committed to developing safe, innovative and sustainable solutions for agriculture, and welcomes an open, transparent dialogue with all stakeholders involved. Because as our population continues to grow, it will take all of us collaborating and working together to feed the world without starving the planet.