Press Release, 13 April 2016
Countermotion to BAYER shareholder meeting on 29 April 2016:
GM Soy threatening Health and Environment
BAYER is heavily marketing soybean seed in South America. A large proportion of the Latin American soybean harvest is then exported to Europe and North America for use in factory farming.
BAYER is particularly advertising the Credenz product line. This genetically modified variety is resistant to two herbicides at once - glyphosate and glufosinate. BAYER sells the seed and the corresponding pesticides as a package. However, both substances are extremely harmful to health. In the E.U., for example, glufosinate will be withdrawn from the market in the coming year because of mutagenic effects. Glyphosate was last year classified by the WHO as “probably carcinogenic.” Despite these health hazards, the volume of pesticides used in South America is growing at a fast pace. Especially in soybean-growing regions, the incidence of poisoning and malformations is increasing dramatically.
In the USA, BAYER also intends to market soybean seed named Balance Bean from 2017. This is resistant to glyphosate and isoxaflutole. In a further step, additional glufosinate resistance is to be incorporated.
Philipp Mimkes from the Coalition against Bayer Dangers: “Credenz and Balance Bean are prime examples of the wrong course being taken in agrochemicals as propagated by BAYER. The massive use of herbicides is leading to the creation of resistant superweeds, which must be controlled with ever increasing amounts of increasingly toxic pesticides.” The Coalition against BAYER-Dangers demands that this vicious circle be broken. Hazardous herbicides like glyphosate and glufosinate must be banned. Agriculture must be converted to agroecological processes. This would increase food security and reduce the use of fossil raw materials.
The vast monocultures not only threaten the rainforests and biodiversity, but also food security. The massive expansion of soybean cultivation is displacing a growing number of small farmers. Native crops are disappearing, which is resulting in food shortages in many regions. Traditional seeds adapted to local conditions are hardly used anymore. Despite the risks to the environment and health, BAYER last year applied for an E.U. import license for several genetically modified soybean varieties. The E.U. parliament opposed approval. Nevertheless, BAYER is maintaining the application. The Coalition against Bayer Dangers therefore has introduced a countermotion to the upcoming Bayer Shareholder Meeting.