(Reuters) – Bayer AG said he hired an external law firm to investigate French media complaints that Monsanto, the American prosecutor it took over last year, had compiled a file of influential personalities.
The German life science and pharmaceutical group said that after an internal review, it understood that this initiative had raised concerns and criticism.
"This is not the way Bayer seeks dialogue with society and stakeholders. We apologize for this behavior," Bayer said in a statement. French prosecutor initiated an inquiry on Friday after the newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint that Monsanto had compiled a file with 200 names, including journalists and lawmakers, hoping to influence their positions on pesticides.
The French survey is the latest fallout from Bayer's $ 63 million takeover of Monsanto, already facing potential heavy costs in associated with US lawsuit action lawsuits, where the plaintiff claims that its Roundup tissue drugs cause cancer [Bayershareshaveshedmorethan40%sinceafirstharmfulUSroundupjudgmentinAugustinAugustleavingthecompanywithamarketcapitalizationlessthanthepricepaidforMonsanto
Shareholders gave a rare resistance to ill CEO Werner Baumann's management team at Bayer's Annual General Meeting last month, with majority voting against ratifying the Executive Board's business behavior in 201
Commenting on the French claims, Bayer said that its law firm would inform all individuals on the Monsanto list of the information collected about them . Bayer would also "fully support" the French Prosecutor's investigation.
Matthias Berninger, Bayer's new head of public and public affairs, would evaluate the issue internally and assess the behavior of those involved, both inside and outside the company.
"Our top priority is to create transparency," says Bayer, adding that the Monsanto manager responsible for the issue had left the company just after the takeover.
Bayer stands for transparency and fair contacts with all interest groups,. "We do not tolerate unethical behavior in our company. Of course, this also applies to data protection regulations in all jurisdictions where we work."