[fyeg_gen-l] Bayer donates money for UNEP Youth and Env programme
ndebono at ba-malta.org
Fri Jul 30 12:51:08 CEST 2004
So what are you going to do about this ?
Where are you going to get info to counter Bayer ?
You already know they have a Bayer Youth Enviornmental Club in Asia...
What next ?
Well, the members of YEE-Youth Environment Europe will perhaps remember my
posting from 2 years ago, they can still look it up in the YEE-General
Herewith the message ... And some link that will give you info to counter
the Bayer Initiative....
Question for you remains:
What result to you want to resort: just a little personal victory ? Or do
you want to offer a serious alternative to the Bayer Youth Enviromental
What about the youngsters that are in there ? Do you want them to become
litlle cats driven into a corner or do you want them to come out of the
corner and switch ?
I leave that up to you.
In annex the mail and ... Arguments to put on the table when you meet those
former YEE member-Youth Environment Europe,
welcomes you to IUCN - The World Conservation Union,
largest and Mother of all Environmental Organisations,
founded in 1948 by UNESCO
Currently, I'm a member of the IUCN Commission on Education and
YEE=Youth organisation of IUCN
Louizalaan 223 b9, Ave. Louize
CHAT : ICQ UIN: 113835655 - YahooID: aertssven -
AOL Instant Messenger Screen Name: aertssven1 -
MSN Messenger Passport ID: sven_aerts at hotmail.com
For eco-techs & game for a better world, visit:
I hope this letter finds you well,
and I wish you a nice continuation of the day...
Message 220 of 393
From: SVEN AERTS <aertssven at mac.com>
Date: Sat Nov 2, 2002 4:28 pm
Subject: UNEP-Youth Retreat Kenya / Is BAYER over the edge by sponsoring
UNEP ? Is UNEP naïve ?
Wanna read/sea something sick ?
At our Virtual Office for Regional Coordinator we received following
From: kamontip attapumsuwan <kadib44 at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [envoys] Youth Advisory Council
"That's so great to hear from u YEE from Europe
so if u need to know more about Young Environment from
Thailand and Asia Pacific Please visit us at
Yeah, sure "see ya"...You just wait our YEE representatives at UNEP's Youth
Retreat in Kenya end Januari,'Bayer-Buddy'!
His link was dead, but he probably meant:
Where we can happily read on a logo:
"BAYER is the official partner of the United Nations Environment Programme
for Youth Education in Asia Pacific."
And he's member of the "Eco-Bayer-Youngster-club"...
YEE Youngsters, don't let yourselves be intimidated by these kind of
youngsters. Be proud of your independendness, perhaps you don't have a
portable computer... But at least you are 100% honest.
If ever you are faced with these type of things, this is how you can defend
yourselves: go to Greenpeace (more or ore less our Adult Organisation)
"Culprits of corporate crimes boast with "responsible care"
Greenpeace demands global principals for corporate responsibility"
You can download there a book in . PDF format overviewing all the
eco-catastrophies all these big boys have been responsible for... Just type
in Bayer... this is how innocent they are and what they still have to make
up for: cf. PS 2
Dear YEE reps. at the Global Youth Retreat... This message can be printed
from anywhere and any time thanks to YEE's Virtual Office... Of course the
link to this book is also posted in our YEE Virtual Office so you always
know where to go.
Have fun kicking their asses... Slap UNEP on their hands if you think you
should, demand that money and speakers time goes to YEE.
Leave a backdoor open to these youngsters, invite them to change
let them take their computers with them...they were a gift from Bayer for
ECO-activities, right ?
And what do you think ? Can Bayer sponsor events like UNEP ?
Not always so easy to answer ?
If you need to repair your motorbike and a friend brings you a spare part
...which you know was stolen... Do you accept it or do you become a
Anyway, let those brains work and let us know the outcome!
Greetings from your personal trainer,
Have a nice day...
PS 1 Thank you Greenpeace.
Revenue in Brazil: USD 180 million in 2000
Type of incident:
Contamination of soil and water
Type of damage:
In January 2001, Greenpeace released a report accusing Bayer of
contaminating the SarapuÃ river with PCBs and heavy metals, such as lead
and mercury. The chemicals were released as a result of the incineration of
chemical pollutants in its Belford Roxo plant. The samples analysed
solid wastes from the industrial landfill, industrial wastewater, and also
sediments from the SarapuÃ river, collected upstream and downstream of
the facility. The analyses were performed by Greenpeace Research
Laboratories, from the Department of Biological Sciences at the University
of Exeter, UK.
The effluent sample contained compounds such as halogenated
benzenamine, benzene and benzamide. The sediment sample contained
sediment sample from the industrial landfill was highly contaminated by
heavy metals and contained a wide range of organic pollutants, such as
PCBs, chlorinated benzenes and halogenated benzenamines. Another
sample showed high levels of mercury4.
Four years before, in 1997, FEEMA, the state environmental agency, had
already detected mercury in sediment samples collected in the SarapuÃ
river, downstream from the facility. This analysis showed that mercury was
present at 30 micrograms per gram of sediment, compared to 22
micrograms per gram detected by Greenpeace5.
Legal and/or public action taken:
On 22 January, 2001, Greenpeace carried out a direct action at Bayerâ(tm)s
facility in Belford Roxo. The state Public Prosecutor opened a public
investigation about the claims against the company6. In the second half of
2001, he sent a delegation of technicians from the state environmental
agency (FEEMA) to audit the Belford Roxo facility7. The results have yet to
Subsequent behaviour of company:
In response to Greenpeaceâ(tm)s direct action, Bayer released a statement
calling the accusations of contamination in the effluent unfounded and
asserted that all their facilities in Brazil operate within â€œthe current
state and federal regulationsâ€ 8. According to Bayer, the company carried
out three series of effluent analysis in 2001 and 2002, after Greenpeace
released the report. These analyses indicated contamination that was less
than the legal limits for PCBs and heavy metals. They were carried out by
Bayer's own laboratory and also by two independent laboratories, Tecma
and Analytical Solutions. â€œAs to PCBs, for example, the legislation
upto 50 ppb in effluents and the test results showed only 0,1 ppbâ€. Bayer
also stated that the lead levels detected were five times below legal
limits. For mercury, the levels found were 11 times below legal limits9.
company also questioned the methodology used by Greenpeace's laboratory10.
It is important to note that Bayerâ(tm)s analyses were limited to effluents,
disregarding sediment contamination. The contaminants that Greenpeace
found in sediments are toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative. Thus they
require further attention and must be linked to their source.
Legal outcome The results of the analyses required by the Public Prosecutor
have yet to be released.
Final Greenpeace statement:
Bayer could not explain the source of the contamination. The company
denies damage to the environment and does not accept responsibility for
clean up and compensation. The Bayer incinerator is still operating and
burning wastes from other companies.
Bayer AG (Peru)
Location of damage:
Remote Andean village of Tauccamarca in the province of Paucartambo (3
hours from the historic town of Cusco).
Bayer is the principle importer and manufacturer of the insecticide
methyl parathion, also known under its commercial name "Folidolâ€œ. Methyl
parathion is classified as extremely hazardous (Class 1a) by the World
Health Organisation (WHO). The pesticide was marketed specifically for use
in Andean crops1.
The pesticide, a white powder, was packaged in small plastic bags
without sufficient information about the danger of the product to human
health and the environment. The given information was written in Spanish,
which cannot be understood by the farmers who mostly speak Quechua. The
carry drawings of healthy carrots and potatoes but no pictograms indicating
danger or toxicity2.
In October 1999, a white powdered milk substitute became accidentally
contaminated with Folidol in the local school of Tauccamarca, Peru, which
had been participating for years in the government's free milk program. The
milk had probably been prepared in previously contaminated containers3.
Type of damage:
Range of damage,amount of loss:
25 children (4 to 14 years old) died and 18 were severely poisoned after
the above mentioned government donated communal breakfast.
The survivors suffered health damage that possibly will last for the rest
their lives as organophosphate compounds like methyl parathion heavily
affect the nervous system.
Who is responsible? Responsible parties include:
1. Agrochemical companies who imported and sold the product in Peru did
not take any steps to prevent the foreseeable misuse of this extremely
2. Responsible authorities, mainly the Ministry of Agriculture for failing
enforce the necessary regulations.
Legal and/or public action taken:
In 2001, the families of the poisoned children filed a lawsuit against
Bayer on the grounds that the company had not taken any steps to prevent
misuse of their product despite awareness of its extreme danger and of the
socio-economic conditions in the Peruvian countryside4. The suit also
named the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture for failure to enforce the
Current on-going case
The negligence that caused the death of these children is just the "tip
of the icebergâ€œ and is primarily visible due to its tragic dimension.
The intense use of agrotoxics causes damage worldwide and every day.
Millions of tons circulate continuously around the planet and are supposed
to be handled by well-trained users with medical care, phone and insurance
at their disposal. In reality 80 percent of the workers using pesticides
lack these facilities.
Aventis SA (USA)
Aventis Crop Science sales in 2000: â‚¬ 4,034 mio27
Aventis was created in December 1999, through the merger of Hoechst and
RhÃ´ne-Poulenc. Only in April 2002 did the European Commission approve
Bayer's EUR 7.25 billion (USD 6.38 billion) purchase of Aventis CropScience
(ACS), on the condition that Bayer divest a number of businesses.28
The core business of Aventis is the manufacturing and sale of
pharmaceutical products. Besides the corporate headquarters in Strasbourg,
France, other major sites are Bridgewater (New Jersey, USA), Paris
France), Frankfurt (Germany) and Tokyo (Japan).
Aventis CropScience produces and markets herbicides, fungicides and
insecticides as well as genetically engineered (GE) crops.
No. 3 agrochemical company in 2000, No. 10 seed company in the world2930
Type of incident Contamination of food chain with illegal GE maize.
Type of damage On 18 September, 2000, a coalition of environmental
announced that they had found an unapproved GE maize variety in a
product sold in US supermarkets. The Kraft Foods Taco Bell brand taco
shells they had analysed tested positive for GE maize variety
developed by Aventis CropScience.
This GE maize entered human food products in violation of its registered
use: in the US, StarLink has not been approved for human consumption by
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), because the Bt ( Bacillus
Thuringiensis) Cry9C gene it contains could trigger allergic reactions in
consumers31. The EPA only allowed StarLink to be grown and used in
technical processes or in animal feed.
The StarLink contamination illustrates the difficulty of keeping GE and
conventional grains separate. The reasons include cross-pollination,
contaminated machinery and commingling during processing.
Besides the possibility that StarLink might cause allergies to humans,
scientists and environmentalists have pointed out that engineering Bt into
maize, cotton and other crops and releasing them into the environment
could lead to insects developing a resistance to Bt, impacts on populations
of non-target organisms and the creation of superweeds.
The StarLink case created chaos in the US food and grain industry and hurt
American farm exports.
Range of damage,
amount of loss
A few days after the contamination was made public, tens of millions of
Taco Bell taco shells were voluntarily recalled by their manufacturer,
Foods. StarLink maize was subsequently discovered in Safeway and
Western Family brands taco shells and Kelloggâ(tm)s Morningstar brand corn
dogs, prompting more recalls from grocery stores. Altogether, 300 kinds of
taco and tostada shells, tortillas and chips have been recalled from US
grocery stores and restaurants because of StarLink contamination.
Several companies temporarily halted milling operations after StarLink was
found in their facilities. Kelloggâ(tm)s, for instance, was forced to shut
production at one of its US cereal plants.
Even though StarLink was grown on less than one percent of US maize
fields, the harvested maize was mixed with vast quantities of other maize
and millions of bushels were commingled into the food chain.
The maize also turned up in Japan â€" the top foreign buyer of US maize -
where this GE maize has no approval for use as food or animal feed. Costs
of US maize exports to Japan increased due to the additional testing and
handling costs. In 2001, Japanese imports of US maize fell by about 1.3
million metric tons due to the StarLink issue32.
The recall of StarLink GE maize cost companies all along the food chain â€"
from grain elevators and food processors to grocery stores â€" hundreds of
millions of US dollars as they attempted to find, retrieve and replace
products that contained the maize33. Aventis estimated that it would spend
from USD 100 million to USD one billion on the 25 cents-per-bushel
feeâ(tm) to buy the StarLink crop back from farmers in 2000 and channel it
Aventis has admitted it will take four years for StarLink to work its way
through the US food supply, while some industry analysts believe it will
many more years before every kernel of StarLink maize grown during three
seasons is cleared from the US system.
Who is responsible In order to get limited approval of its StarLink maize,
Aventis was required
by the EPA to act to ensure the maize did not get into the food supply.
Aventis failed to do so.
The company admitted that some of the 3,000 farmers who grew StarLink
might not have been told about restrictions on the maize's use. Some grain
elevators handling StarLink were apparently also unaware of the restriction
of its use.
It seems highly probable that this GE maize has also contaminated maize
seed, maize food ingredients and maize products such as animal feed,
which are exported from the US.
Both Aventis and the US authorities failed to ensure that the GE maize â€"
only approved for technical processes and animal feed â€" did not
contaminate food products.
Legal and/or public
Consumers claiming allergic reactions to the maize filed lawsuits against
major food companies.
Commodities companies such as Cargill and ADM said they were going to
be holding Aventis responsible and send it bills for their StarLink-related
Farmers in some states â€" backed by State legal officials â€" have brought
claims against Aventis after their maize lost value because of concerns
company and US
Initially, Aventis attempted to deny the problem and to debate claims that
StarLink had contaminated Taco Bell taco shells.
When US government test lab results confirmed the contamination of the
taco shells, Aventis fought back. In a bid to win approval for StarLink
biotech maize as a safe ingredient for human food, the company submitted
what it claimed was new scientific data to US regulators, maintaining that
StarLink maize was no different from other types of GE varieties that had
been approved for human food. Aventis also asked American regulators to
grant a four-year grace period of â€œtoleranceâ€ to allow the existing
commingled maize to work its way through the food chain.
US regulators ruled out any immediate, temporary approval to allow
StarLink in human food. The EPA appointed a panel of scientists to review
the data submitted by Aventis and the US food and biotech industry. In
December 2000, unimpressed with Aventisâ(tm) â˜new dataâ(tm), the EPA
Advisory Panel refused to recommend that EPA grant the companyâ(tm)s
request. The scientists found that the Cry9C protein in StarLink poses a
â€œmedium likelihoodâ€ of being an allergen.
Food producers also unsuccessfully lobbied the US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), which shares responsibility for gene-spliced foods,
declare StarLink an "unavoidable contaminant" in the human food supply
because it has apparently been mixed with so much other maize.34
Aventis announced that it was halting sales of StarLink maize hybrids for
200135, but it is unclear how Aventis handled farmers who had already
ordered or had 2001 contracts that involved StarLink seed. In March 2001,
the USDA said that StarLink contamination had been detected in non-
StarLink seed intended for sale in 2001.
US maize and maize products are traded globally and shipped to countries
in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe. The majority of countries
receiving or importing US maize had â€" and still have â€" no means or
to test for the presence of StarLink contamination in US shipments. The US
did not take any measures to ensure its maize exports were free of StarLink
contamination. Such a system was only set up for very few countries, such
as Japan. On 27 October, 2000, the US government lifted restrictions on
the export of StarLink maize. In a notice to US exporters, the USDA, the
FDA and the EPA said StarLink could be exported as long as it was specified
to be used for feed and industrial uses only.
Aventis agreed to stop growing StarLink maize in the US in the future by
cancelling its EPA registration for the maize. Despite the buy-back and the
recall of food products in the United States, Aventis said it still had big
plans to develop StarLink in other maize-growing countries36.
Legal outcome In March 2002, a federal judge said he would approve a USD 9
settlement of a class- action lawsuit filed by consumers against several
major food companies that sold products containing StarLink maize. The
lawsuit also includes Aventis and Garst Seed, which sold seed contaminated
with StarLink maize. A settlement in this class-action lawsuit has Aventis
apparently paying the full amount of USD 9 million. Aventis said that while
it denies any liability for the claims made in the suit, it believes the
settlement is the best possible way to move forward37.
Further legal wrangling is expected over responsibility for unauthorised
of StarLink maize. Government officials said Aventis failed to make sure
that the maize was grown with buffers that would prevent cross-pollination
and other restrictions that were conditions of StarLinkâ(tm)s approval.
officials insisted that seed companies licensed to incorporate the maize
their own products were responsible for notifying farmers about the
Itâ(tm)s not clear how costs will be divided between Aventis, the seed
companies who licensed the StarLink technology and insurers for everybody
In October 2001, Aventis announced plans to divest its CropScience Division
and to sell it to Bayer. The deal was approved by the European Commission
in April 2002.38
Companies, farmers and consumers outside the USA have not been
compensated. It is impossible now for non-OECD countries (e.g. in Africa or
Asia) to make Aventis liable for any harm caused by the StarLink maize.
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