Bayer to join Monsanto in unholy wedlock; and, somewhere, Hitler’s smiling on it….

The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light — but farmers are terrified

 

From Bob Klein:


Friends,
 
Bayer is the direct descendant of IG Farben, the giant German Nazi-era pharmaceutical. Their factories, which used slave labor, were never bombed; and after the war they just changed their name and carried on. They made much more than Zyklon-b.  They also invented heroin and patented aspirin, the world’s first pharmaceutical.  Much more below.  
 
Merger info:
 
History of Bayer/IG Farben:
 
In 1946 the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal concluded that without IG Farben the Second World War would simply not have been possible. The Chief Prosecutor, Telford Taylor, warned: “These companies, not the lunatic Nazi fanatics, are the main war criminals. If the guilt of these criminals is not brought to daylight and if they are not punished, they will pose a much greater threat to the future peace of the world than Hitler if he were still alive.” Their indictment stated that due to the activities of IG Farben “the life and happiness of all peoples in the world were adversely affected.”Charges as grave as fomenting war and killing slave labourers were also added. In his opening statement the Nuremberg Chief Prosecutor pointed out that, “The indictment accuses these men of major responsibility for visiting upon mankind the most searing and catastrophic war inhuman history. It accuses them of wholesale enslavement, plunder and murder.
 
 

Although the Nuremberg Tribunal indicted 24 IG Farben board members and executives on the basis of crimes against humanity, only 13 received prison sentences. And the sentences they received were described by the Nuremberg Chief Prosecutoras “light enough to pleasea chicken thief”. Bythe early 1950sa number of those convicted of slavery, looting and mass murder were back at the helm of the very companies – Bayer, Hoechstand BASF, formed out of the assets of IG Farben in 1952.The owners of these “new” companies were also the shareholders of IG Farben. Thus, although the gravity of the crimes committed by IG Farben meant the company was considered too corrupt to be allowed to continue to exist, it was supplanted by its key constituents – companies like Bayer which were owned, and directed at the highest level, by the very same people as IG Farben. Those who had helped Hitler to power and provided the technical know-how for his wars of aggression and the Holocaust, were back in control of the industry.

The Bayer executive Fritz ter Meer typifies the bounce back. An executive of IG for many years, the most senior scientist on its supervisory board and the chairman of its technical committee, he had become a Nazi Party member in 1937 and was the executive responsible for the construction of the IG Farben factory in Auschwitz, in which tens of thousands of slave labourers met their deaths. Ter Meer’s own visits to Auschwitz and the detailed reports he received made it inconceivable that he did not have a clear picture of what was occurring. The Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal found him guilty ofplunder, slavery and mass murder. As a result, Ter Meer received the longest sentence of any of the IG Farben board members. But despite being found the most culpable of the men who, in the words of Chief Prosecutor, “made war possible… the magicians who made the fantasies of Mein Kampf come true”, ter Meer was already out of prison by 1952. By 1956 he had become the chairman of the supervisory board of Bayer, a post he held until 1964. Even today Bayer continues to honour this convicted mass murderer. On All Saints Day 2006, for instance, the corporation is known to have laid a wreath on ter Meer’s grave in Krefeld-Uerdingen, Germany. Yet for decades Bayer refused to pay compensation to its surviving slave labourers. Only after international protests did it eventually agree to pay damages – more than 50 years after the end of the war.
 

Bayer continued to grow in the post-war period, eventually becoming bigger than the whole of IG Farben even at its zenith. Even as part of IG Farben, Bayer had maintained its strength in pharmaceuticals. In fact, scientific experiments had been done specifically on behalf of Bayer in Auschwitz and other concentration camps. IG had footed the bill for the research of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz-Birkenau’s infamous “Angel of Death”, and some of his experiments utilised germs and pharmaceuticals provided by Bayer. Wilhelm Mann, whose father had headed Bayer’s pharmaceutical department, wrote as head of IG’s powerful pharmaceutical committee to an SS contact at Auschwitz: “I have enclosed the first cheque. Dr Mengele’s experiments should, as we both agreed, be pursued. Heil Hitler.” ….One exchange notes: “The experiments were performed. All test persons died. We will contact you shortly about a new shipment at the same price.” According to testimony by SS physician Dr Hoven during the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal: “It should be generally known, and especially in German scientific circles, that the SS did not have notable scientists at its disposal. It is clear that the experiments in the concentration camps with IG preparations only took place in the interests of the IG, which strived by all means to determine the effectiveness of these preparations. They let the SS deal with the – shall I say – dirty work in the concentration camps. It was not the IG’s intention to bring any of this out in the open, but rather to put up a smoke screen around the experiments so that… they could keep any profits to themselves. Not the SS but the IG took the initiative for the concentration camp experiments.”

In the post-war years Bayer grew to become the third largest pharmaceutical company in the world. In the mid-1980s Bayer was one of the companies which sold a product called Factor VIII concentrate to treat hemophilia. Factor VIII turned out to be infected with HIV and in the U.S. alone, it infected thousands of hemophiliacs, many of whom died in one of the worst drug-related medical disasters ever. But it was only in 2003 that the New York Times revealed that Bayer had continued producing and selling this infected product to Asia and Latin America after February 1984 when a safe product had become available, in order to save money. Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, who investigated the scandal, commented, “These are the most incriminating internal pharmaceutical industry documents I have ever seen.”

In the early 1990’s Bayer is said to have placed patients at risk of potentially fatal infections by failing to disclose crucial safety information during a trial of the antibiotic Ciproxin. Up to 650 people underwent surgery using Ciproxin without doctors being informed that studies (as early as 1989) showed Ciproxin reacted badly with other drugs, seriously impairing its ability to kill bacteria.

In 2001 Bayer had to recall its anti-cholesterol drug Baycol/Lipobay, which was subsequently linked to over 100 deaths and 1,600 injuries. Germany’s health minister accused Bayer of sitting on research documenting Baycol’s lethal side-effects for nearly two months before the government in Berlin was informed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.