The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light — but farmers are terrified
From Bob Klein:
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.
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.