As originally reported by the Financial Times, Bayer is shedding this massive number of employees in a desperate attempt to "regain investor confidence" in the company now that it's become Monsanto on steroids.
In addition to firing 12,000 employees, Bayer is also cutting ties with its animal health products division, as well as two other divisions it owns: Coppertone sun care and Dr. Scholl's foot care products. Bayer is also planning to sell its 60 percent stake in Currenta, a service provider of utilities, environmental services, safety and security, analytics, and training.
The shot heard 'round the world was a recent decision by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Suzanna Bolanos who reportedly sided with jurors in a case involving a man who developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from being exposed to glyphosate, the primary active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide.
This ruling by Judge Bolanos gave precedent to the tens of thousands of other pending lawsuits against Monsanto that will now fall on Bayer as they move through the courts. By acquiring Monsanto, in other words, Bayer is also acquiring a very long list of pending litigation against Monsanto that has yet to see justice.
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Even as Bayer frantically shuffles around its business model in a desperate attempt to thwart the impact of these many pending lawsuits, the company insists that none of this has anything to do with the lawsuits.
"These measures are totally unrelated," Bayer chief executive officer (CEO), Werner Baumann, told the Financial Times during a recent conference call.
"They don't have anything to do with the acquisition of Monsanto and the glyphosate litigation ... These measures stand on their own and they are aimed at further improving the competitiveness of the company going forward."
According to Baumann, all of these planned measures will help to "free up resources for innovation and growth," allowing the multinational corporation to better focus "on our core businesses in pharmaceuticals, consumer health and crop science."
Baumann can say whatever he likes about the situation, but it isn't all that difficult for the casual observer to see what's really going on here. Keep in mind that just that one recent ruling in California against Monsanto resulted in a massive $289 million judgment in favor of the plaintiff, whose exposure to Roundup weedkiller caused him to develop cancer.
As the many, many other similar lawsuits make their way through the court system based on this precedent – well, you do the math: $289 million times 10,000-and-counting doesn't bode well for Bayer, despite its massive arsenal of cash.
It very well could be that, over the course of the next few years, Bayer, having taken on the ball and chain of Monsanto's unprecedented number of Roundup lawsuits, will collapse entirely from the financial impact of it all. One can only hope, anyway, resulting in the many deadly chemicals like Roundup that are killing people everywhere making their way into the dustbin of history.
"Even at very low doses of exposure, glyphosate kills placental, embryonic, and umbilical cells," warns Mike Adams, the Health Ranger. "Glyphosate is associated with genetic damage (mutations), including chromosomal aberrations, even at doses below those recognized as 'safe.'"
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