Glyphosate to Be Defended

Bayer Crop Science Will Always Defend Glyphosate Herbicide

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

It is a cornerstone of weed control around the world and even though there are countless pending lawsuits against glyphosate herbicide, company officials vow that they will continue to fight for its continued use, as there has been no evidence that it has caused cancer anywhere in the world.
“The facts are still there, but in three cases that were as found against us, were all in Northern California,” said Steve Gould, a National Account Manager for Bayer Crop Science, speaking at the California Weed Science Society Annual Conference in Monterey “One was the Johnson trial, which was the first trial about the school district employee, the second one was a vineyard owner, and the third one was a consumer. A crop trial is set to start soon in St. Louis.”

Gould said all court case decisions are on appeal. “So, when you see this TV commercial about settlements, count on them continuing as they are funded by lawyers,” said Goud.  “My mother’s 84 years old, and she tells me every time I talked to her about how she’s seen this commercial more and more nowadays than she did a year ago. And I said, ‘Yeah, you’re going to see more and more of it until something more happens down the line with this situation,’” he said. “But nobody’s been paid any money, they’re all on appeal.”

Additionally, there were supposed to be several trials starting in the fall, but those were postponed. And currently, a jury is being selected in Contra Costa County for the next trial. “It’s interesting because there have been about five or six others that have been moved back. So, we were supposed to do some in the fall in St. Louis and they’ve been moved back, and even three of those are still been moved back again,” explained Gould. “These lawsuits are not a class action suit. This is one case at a time, and so far, there has not been any arbitration.”

“I want you to know I asked this question when I went to Scott’s almost two years I asked Monsanto if they are going to defend glyphosate? And the answer was, Yes, they were going to defend glyphosate. Then I came to Bayer and this year, and again, the first week I was in there, I asked, if they were going to defend glyphosate? Has anything changed? And they said, absolutely nothing has changed and that they were going to defend glyphosate,” Gould explained.

If anyone has seen the news/commercials that Monsanto or Bayer are arbitrating and close to settlement? “That’s not us saying that,” noted Gould. And I’ll just leave it at that. Again, that’s not Bayer saying that.

Gould said all the trial activity is not about glyphosate. “If anyone is still thinking that this is just a Bayer issue or just a glyphosate issue…. Wake up,” he said.

“Those who don’t like what we do, and have been fighting us for over 30 years, got a chink in our armor with IARC on the biggest, and safest pesticide, and they’re coming to get us, said Gould speaking from his own perspective.”

“That’s what’s happening folks. Has it affected my life? Yes. Has it affected you? Yes, but it’ll affect even more if we continue to let those who don’t know what we do or understand what we do, take away our tools. And if we continue to sit silently by and watch that, shame on you,” said Gould.

Happy, Healthy Bees are Better Pollinators

Keeping Bees Happy

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

Becky Langer is the project manager for the North American Bayer Bee Care Program. She spoke with California Ag Today recently about the problems that the bee population is facing.

“Bees are continuing to face multiple challenges. People are getting a better grasp of awareness that pests and diseases continue to be a huge problem in beehives,” Langer said.

A big contender in the problem is forage and habitat. Beekeepers are working hard to monitor and control the issue.

“We know that the beekeepers and growers have to continue to communicate with one another and use all those products according to label,” Langer explained.

It is also important for producers to increase the variety or forages around their land to keep bee populations healthy.

If farmers could have something blooming year-round, it would help keep the pollinators healthy.

“They also like diversity in different plant species, different colors, different sizes, flowers,” Langer said. “If the bees are happy and healthy, they will be better pollinators for the crops. You can help keep bees healthy by following the label directions carefully on your sprays and fertilizers.”

For more information on the Bayer Bee Health program


Bee Health Fugitives

Bee Health: Varroa Mite Is Public Enemy No. 1

By Laurie Greene, Editor

The varroa mite is “Public Enemy No. 1” for bees, according to Becky Langer, the North American Bee Care manager for Bayer CropScience. “It’s the giant tick that’s attaching to [bees],” said Langer, “transmitting viruses and bacteria. This mite has to be constantly managed and we’ve seen very high levels. When our bee experts were out visiting with people last fall, people were reporting very high levels of mites. So we anticipate high [bee] losses coming out of this winter because of the cyclic effect of the mite.” Langer explained. “It really re-emphasizes the necessity of controlling that mite—all the time—and staying on top of it.

Bayer Bee Health's Feed a Bee Program
Bayer Bee Health’s Feed a Bee Program

Commenting on other “Most Wanted Criminals” against bee health, Langer discussed recent research findings that well-fed bees are better able to defend themselves against the notorious nosema, a fungi-related parasite. “They actually found higher counts of nosema in those bees, but the well-fed bees could manage the nosema populationas opposed to not-well-fed bees.”

“That of course ties into Bayer Bee Care Program‘s Feed a Bee Program and its forage and nutrition initiative,” commented Langer. Launched last year to address the lack of food and habitat for bees Feed a Bee worked with more than 250,000 people and 75 partners to plant 65 million flowers and thousands of acres of forage across the country. “We’ve got to be feeding these bees better,” Langer reinforced.

According to their website, this year, Feed a Bee kicks off the spring with the launch of a new song and video for children of all ages. Other ways people can become involved with the program to help these hardworking insects are: request a free packet of wildflower seeds, for a limited time while supplies last; commit to growing pollinator-attractant plants of your own; and locate Feed a Bee plantings in your own communities on the interactive partner map. You can also tweet a emoji and #FeedABee to have Bayer plant on your “bee-half.” 

Langer commented on crop protection products—”the usual suspects”—by stressing the importance for growers to follow labels.  “If that’s the case and they are used properly and in the proper settings, there is no long-term effect on colony health,” she said. “Really, where we see colony health problems correlates well with the varroa mite and with forage and habitat issues.”

Among the Feed a Bee Program collaborators in California are: Wilbur-Ellis, San Francisco, CABee Happy Apiaries, Vacaville, CA; Carmel Valley Ranch & Golf Course; PROJECT APIS M.; and Vitamin Bee.



Fleming, James C.; Daniel R. Schmehl; James D. Ellis,Characterizing the Impact of Commercial Pollen Substitute Diets on the Level of Nosema spp. in Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.),” PLOS ONE [an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication], July 30, 2015.