Bayer commits more than $7.5 billion to find more herbicide solutions

In a move said to increase transparency, customer engagement, and sustainability, Bayer AG has announced a series of measures to address concerns recently raised as the company took over Monsanto last year.

“We will continue to advance our standard, driven by our commitment to a better life for this generation and generations to come,” says Werner Baumann, chairman of the board of management of Bayer AG.

The company recently announced more than $7.5 billion earmarked for “new solutions” over the next decade to offer “more choice” to its customers,  though specifically says it does not intend to steer away from glyphosate.

“This R&D investment will go towards improving the understanding of resistance mechanisms, discovering and developing new modes of actions, further developing tailored integrated weed management solutions, and developing more precise recommendations through digital farming tools. In addition, partnerships with weed scientists around the world will be enhanced to help develop customized solutions for farmers at a local level,” a news release states.

The company also plans on reducing its environmental impact by 30 per cent come the year 2030. It will achieve this by developing new technologies, scaling down crop protection volumes, and enabling more precise application.

Progress will be measured by the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) and comparing it against the current market standards. The EIQ started back in 90’s by Cornell University in the U.S. as it takes the volume to toxicity and therefore represents a more meaningful measuring system than volume only.

In the coming months, Bayer will piloting a program that invites scientists, journalists, and NGO representatives to participate in its scientific preparation for the upcoming EU glyphosate re-registration process.

Bayer also announced the company will only sell crop protection products in developing countries that meet both the safety standards of that local market and the safety standards of a majority of countries with well-developed programs to regulate crop protection products. For the past seven years, Bayer has stopped selling all products that were considered acute toxicity class 1 by the World Health Organization, regardless of whether they were allowed in a particular market.

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