Friday - April 26, 2019
Annual Stockholders' Meeting

Address by Werner Baumann

Chairman of the Board of Management

(Please check against delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen,
valued stockholders,

A very good morning also from my side. On behalf of the entire Board of Management, I would like to welcome you to our Annual Stockholders’ Meeting.

This is a rather special annual meeting, because we’re looking back on a difficult year. A year in which, on the one hand, we made great progress – both operationally and strategically – and worked hard for it. On the other hand, Bayer, and therefore you, our stockholders, saw substantial falls in the share price. There’s no getting around it. The lawsuits and the first verdicts concerning glyphosate are placing a heavy burden on our company and worrying many people.

That’s why I’d like to start my speech by addressing questions that those of you here today are no doubt asking yourselves, too.
- Is Bayer’s strategy sound and sustainable?
- Was acquiring Monsanto the right step for Bayer?
- Did the Board of Management act conscientiously and thoroughly assess the risks of glyphosate?
- Is glyphosate a safe product?
- How do you view the glyphosate lawsuits?
- How is Bayer positioned for the future?
- How does the strategy translate into the operational business?
- And when will the stockholders benefit from it?

Let me begin with the question about our corporate strategy. In recent years, we’ve consistently aligned our business to long-term growth trends in attractive markets, and in doing so we’ve developed Bayer into a focused, fast-growing and profitable enterprise.

As a leading life science company for health and nutrition, we are in a better position than almost any other company to help solve some of the biggest societal challenges of our time. It’s not without reason that combating hunger and improving health care are also among the principal sustainable development goals of the United Nations.

The Board of Management and the Supervisory Board firmly believe that this strategy forms the right basis both for Bayer’s economic attractiveness and for our company’s wide-ranging contribution to society.
We’ve continued to systematically evolve this strategy over recent years, underlining the fact that this is the right way forward for Bayer. This strategy is the compass that points us in the right direction, even in difficult times.

I’d like to mention some of the milestones we reached in recent years on the way to becoming a leading life science company.

Apart from the important and very successful acquisitions of the Aventis agriculture business in 2001, the OTC business of Roche in 2004, and also Schering AG in 2006, we’ve accomplished further crucial transactions more recently, most of which have created value. These include the acquisitions of Algeta and Steigerwald and also the securing of development and marketing rights for products such as Eylea™ and – very recently – Vitravki™.

However, it’s also clear that not every acquisition has fulfilled our expectations – or indeed yours, ladies and gentlemen, the main example here being the purchase of the consumer care business of Merck & Co. in 2014. Also in 2014, we announced the separation of our material science business, today’s Covestro. By transforming Covestro into an independent entity, we played a major part in the development of a successful DAX company based here in North Rhine-Westphalia.

At the same time, we strengthened Bayer financially and strategically. We have now almost entirely divested our Covestro shares, at an average price of about 73 euros per share. That’s a very good result in view of the original issue price of 24 euros per share and also the current price level of just over 50 euros.

The sale of our Covestro shares has brought in total proceeds of more than 9 billion euros, or 15 billion euros taking into account the transferred debt, thanks to our careful analysis, foresight and good timing. It was also one of the factors that enabled us to finance the Monsanto acquisition with considerably less equity than originally planned.

That brings us to the second question I’m often asked: Was acquiring Monsanto the right step for Bayer?

We signed the agreement to acquire Monsanto in September 2016 after lengthy and very careful preparation, and finalized the transaction in August 2018 after thorough investigations by the antitrust authorities worldwide. Since then, the integration into our company has been under way. This is proceeding faster than planned, thanks to the very thorough planning, and also successfully on the whole.

I’ll be telling you later on how the acquired business already made a contribution to our operating income in 2018, and especially at the beginning of 2019. But first I’d like to tell you exactly why this transaction was the right move from a strategic point of view.

To do that, I’ll just briefly take you back to the time before we decided on this acquisition and outline the criteria that governed our decision.

The development of our businesses is based on a sector’s long-term growth potential, along with market profitability, the entry barriers for competitors, and the question of whether market success is driven by innovation.

Other criteria include whether we can achieve leading competitive positions and, of course, whether the businesses are in line with our values and core competencies and thus make us the best company to operate them. Based on these criteria, we analyzed the agriculture sector long before the Monsanto acquisition and became convinced that the crop protection and seeds industry meets these criteria like virtually no other sector.

Also, Bayer had by that time become the leading company in chemical crop protection, growing faster than the market during the previous ten years, gaining market share, and achieving a good global reputation – then and now – for our leading expertise in chemistry.

Starting from this position of strength and after an extensive analysis of the sector, we decided to actively participate in the consolidation of the agriculture industry. That was in 2015, when the industry consolidation had just begun. In the meantime, there have been decisive structural changes in the sector that will probably last for several decades.

As a result of the acquisition, Bayer is now the leader in agriculture. We have a unique technology base. We have leading businesses in chemical and biological crop protection, in conventional and biotech seed, and also in digital farming.

Today we are already more profitable than our direct competitors. We have the right people and an outstanding regional positioning, which enables us to continue increasing our earning power and outpace market growth in the coming years.

What’s more, our innovation capability puts us in a better position than any other company to contribute to more sustainable agriculture and at the same time ensure an adequate und healthy food supply.

We are committed to addressing this challenge of modern agriculture: the need to increase yields while at the same time reducing the input of resources – including pesticides and fertilizers. The sustainable intensification of agriculture along these lines can only succeed through innovation. That is the aim of our efforts, and in the new constellation we’re now in the best position to achieve it.

In addition, the transaction is financially worthwhile. The divestments to BASF that were required for antitrust reasons were accomplished at an attractive sale price of 7.3 billion euros and with a gain of 4.0 billion euros. Even though divestments were required on a larger scale than expected and this reduced the synergies, we will still realize one billion euros a year in synergies from the Monsanto acquisition from 2022 onward.

We will achieve all the margin targets we already communicated in 2016 as well as the targets for the return on capital. We will succeed in that with a capital increase that was smaller than first announced and a financial debt level that is now much lower than originally expected.

In 2019 we already expect the acquired business to make a positive contribution to core earnings per share. And its percentage contribution should be in double digits by 2021.

For all these reasons – the outstanding positions of our businesses, the great potential for our customers, the possibilities for more sustainable agriculture and also the economic rationale – the acquisition of Monsanto was and remains the right step for Bayer. We’re as convinced of that now as we were before. And this is still the case when taking into account the discussion about glyphosate, a matter I’ll address in more detail shortly.

Many shareholders I speak with are equally convinced of the potential of our new business in Crop Science. But they are also worried about the risks. So I’d like to say something about that now. The question was: Were the risks of glyphosate thoroughly assessed, and did the Board of Management act conscientiously?

Prior to the signing of the acquisition agreement with Monsanto in September 2016, the Board of Management discussed the transaction in great detail at numerous meetings and carefully weighed the opportunities and risks involved. Of course, this also included an assessment of the risks associated with the glyphosate business.

This assessment was based firstly on publicly available documents from the regulatory authorities, which Bayer analyzed internally; secondly on statements and documents that Monsanto provided during due diligence; and thirdly on a detailed and regularly updated external expert opinion on the legal risks relating to glyphosate, which Bayer had commissioned from a leading law firm and which was compiled before the acquisition agreement was signed.

Based on all this information, the Board of Management considered the liability risk in connection with glyphosate to be low. The Board of Management acted conscientiously in every respect. That is the conclusion reached in an expert opinion from the leading law firm Linklaters which the Supervisory Board commissioned in September 2018, immediately after the first jury verdict in the Johnson case.

A second independent opinion, given by Professor Habersack of Munich University in the spring of 2019, comes to the same conclusion.

Now let me emphasize this once again: We were convinced at the time – and we are today – that glyphosate is a safe product when used as directed. That view is based on science and on the practical experience of farmers over a period of more than 40 years.

Quite apart from glyphosate, the fact is that approval and regulatory authorities throughout the world carry out product testing according to scientific principles. These authorities bear responsibility for the health of their populations. They therefore constantly inspect and analyze products to see if they pose any risk to people.

Regulatory authorities worldwide have approved glyphosate-based products and extended their registrations multiple times over several decades.

Then in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer – the IARC – classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic.” It did not assess the actual risk from exposure to glyphosate under real conditions, but only the general hazard potential. In addition, the IARC had conducted no studies of its own.

This IARC evaluation of glyphosate nevertheless prompted the major regulatory authorities to carry out a thorough reassessment.

Health Canada, for example, instructed 20 scientists who had not previously been involved in assessing glyphosate to review all the available documents once again to ensure an unbiased assessment. These also included internal Monsanto documents alleged to show that Monsanto exerted undue influence on scientific publications. Health Canada itself has stated that the scientists – and I quote – “left no stone unturned” – unquote – before reconfirming the safety of glyphosate.

In a statement issued in January 2019, Health Canada clearly and unequivocally denied there was a cancer risk for humans and also referred to the assessments of other major regulatory authorities around the world that had reached the same conclusion. It doesn’t get much clearer than that.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys in the United States wrongly claim that glyphosate-based products are carcinogenic and that Monsanto knowingly exposed its customers to this risk.

These really are quite incredible accusations. Accusations that are deeply upsetting for our new colleagues. I have spoken with many of them in recent months. They are mothers, fathers, people who are committed to helping society.

I’d like to tell you about one of these encounters. A few months ago, I spent a week traveling in the United States with one of our new colleagues. He told me he had worked with farmers across the world for over 35 years and sold them glyphosate throughout that time. Many of his customers and their families had become personal friends during this long period. He is regularly invited to family events such as their children’s weddings.

He told me he couldn’t imagine that people believed he would knowingly expose customers and friends to an increased health risk or even a cancer risk. His actual words were: “What kind of people do they think we are?” I think that says it all.

We remain convinced of the safety of glyphosate. At the same time we’re also aware of the tremendous importance of glyphosate for the global food supply and for sustainable agriculture that uses less land, causes less soil erosion and releases less carbon dioxide.

Farmers throughout the world are using glyphosate responsibly to protect their harvests and provide people with food. For these reasons we will continue to vigorously defend glyphosate – also on behalf of our customers.
However, our assessment and that of the regulatory authorities was not shared in the first two verdicts by courts of first instance in the United States. In 2018 this put considerable pressure on our company’s stock despite the satisfactory operational development.

Our share price fell by around 40 percent during 2018. Since the verdict in the Johnson case on August 10, 2018, the stock has shown a clear reaction to developments in the glyphosate litigation, falling to its lowest level for seven years in March 2019. That is disappointing and very painful for you as stockholders, as it is for us as the responsible management.

However exaggerated the market reactions may be and however little the current share price reflects what we regard as our company’s true value, the unsettling effect it has is understandable. The number of product liability lawsuits concerning glyphosate in the United States had risen to 13,400 by April 11. We announced this number yesterday.

This figure doesn’t come as a surprise for us, and it says nothing about whether the allegations are justified or not. And it’s also important to note that we do not have a single final judgment relating to glyphosate at the present time. What we have are two first-instance jury verdicts. We have appealed the first decision, in the Dewayne Johnson case. We will also appeal the second decision, in the Edwin Hardeman case.
We have great sympathy for Mr. Johnson, Mr. Hardeman and their families, but glyphosate-based products are not the cause of their serious illnesses. We remain optimistic that the next higher courts will reach different verdicts.

This matter is a top priority for the Board of Management and also for me personally. We are working relentlessly to successfully defend ourselves in the appeal proceedings and the coming trials. Our lawyers are working intensively with the external law firms involved to further develop our defense strategy and manage the ongoing cases. We are therefore confident that we will also be able to reduce the uncertainty regarding the outcome of this liability litigation in the medium term.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The answers I’ve given so far referred to our strategic development, the alignment of our businesses or the reasons why we decided to acquire Monsanto.

Now I’m going to talk about the operational business. I want to show you how Bayer is positioned for the future and what the company we own is all about.

Throughout the world, Bayer stands for quality, transparency and trust. This reputation is in line with our mission as a leading life science enterprise and at the same time provides an incentive for our work in the future.

That’s also the case for the combined Crop Science business, which we are running according to Bayer standards – just like all our businesses. With no ifs or buts. Just like I’ve said numerous times – quite clearly and unambiguously – since 2016.

And that also applies particularly to the safety of our products. I’ll say this quite clearly: For all of us here at Bayer, the safety of customers, patients and consumers always comes first everywhere.

Our businesses are geared toward ensuring an adequate supply of nutritious food throughout the world and at the same time improving people’s lives with new medicines or even potentially finding cures for chronic diseases.

Bayer is very well positioned to do that. With our competencies and our experience, we can compete successfully with the world’s best companies.

I’ve already spoken about our leading portfolio in seeds, crop protection and digital farming at Crop Science.

Our Consumer Health Division is among the leading global players in the attractive market for self-care products. We have strong brands, a strong team and the power and reputation of the Bayer Cross.

In this area we have a portfolio of 16 major brands with annual sales of more than 100 million euros, including Aspirin™, one of the best-known and most-trusted health brands of all. Our Pharmaceuticals business has made us one of the fastest-growing companies in this sector over the past five years. At the same time we have significantly raised profitability while continuing to increase research and development expenditures.

We are market leaders in women’s health and radiology. In the area of cardiovascular diseases we are also one of the leading suppliers. And our top products Xarelto™ and Eylea™ are among the most successful and best-selling products in their respective therapeutic areas.

In fact, Xarelto™ is now the fourth-best-selling prescription drug in the entire pharmaceutical industry. In the growth market of China, Bayer is one of the three leading international pharmaceutical companies. Based on this position, we also have the best credentials to continue our success in health care for the benefit of consumers and patients and achieve long-term growth.

Ladies and gentlemen,
The main reason our company is well positioned for the future is, of course, our employees.

A total of around 120,000 colleagues work for Bayer across 90 countries on all continents. They represent and embody Bayer’s values. They work hard every day to satisfy our customers. With their tremendous dedication that in many cases far exceeded the norm, our colleagues also played a crucial role in the achievement of our operational targets last year.

For that I would like to explicitly thank our employees on behalf of the entire Board of Management and, I’m sure, on your behalf as well!

With that I’ll move on to the operational business.

In 2018 the Bayer Group posted sales of 39.6 billion euros. Adjusted for currency effects and portfolio changes, sales rose by 4.5 percent. Please remember that the sales variations I refer to are always the currency- and portfolio-adjusted figures.

EBITDA – our earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization – before special items increased by 2.8 percent to 9.5 billion euros. Currency effects diminished earnings by nearly half a billion euros.

Core earnings per share, at 5.94 euros, were below the prior-year figure, as expected. This had to do with Monsanto, for example with the fact that only the sales and earnings contributions in the seasonally weaker second half of the year could be included. Another factor is that the number of shares has risen due to the capital increases.

With these numbers for sales, EBITDA and earnings per share, we met our operational targets for 2018 based on the updated guidance we provided in September. In fact, core earnings per share slightly exceeded our expectations.

Valued stockholders, we want you to share in Bayer’s success in 2018 as you have done in the past. We have therefore proposed that the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting declare a dividend of 2.80 euros per share. This results in a record payout by our company due to the larger number of shares.

And it means we are continuing to pursue our chosen course. The very good development in recent years has also allowed us to considerably increase our dividend payouts so that you, our stockholders, share in this development. Since 2010, we have nearly doubled our dividend from 1.50 euros to 2.80 euros, equivalent to an annual increase in dividend payments of 10 percent.

Now let’s move on to the business development in each of our divisions, starting with Pharmaceuticals.

Sales of our prescription medicines rose by 3.4 percent to 16.7 billion euros. This was mainly due to substantial growth in China and the continued strong performance of our top products Xarelto™ and Eylea™.

Business with Xarelto™ expanded significantly, especially in Europe, China and Canada, with overall sales growth of 12.8 percent. Sales of Eylea™ climbed by 19.6 percent, mainly thanks to volume growth in Europe, Canada and Japan.

EBITDA before special items at Pharmaceuticals declined in 2018 by 2.0 percent to 5.6 billion euros. Adjusted for the €256 million in negative currency effects, however, earnings were up by 2.5 percent.

That brings me to Consumer Health. 2018 was another difficult year for our business with nonprescription medicines. Sales were at the prior-year level of 5.5 billion euros. Business in the Latin America and Asia/Pacific regions developed positively, while sales declined in North America and Europe/Middle East/Africa.

Our best-selling product at Consumer Health, the allergy medicine Claritin™, also saw a drop in sales, especially in the principal sales market, the United States.

We also posted lower sales of our best-known product Aspirin™. Including the Aspirin™ Cardio business reported under Pharmaceuticals, sales amounted to 975 million euros, giving a currency- and portfolio-adjusted decrease of 1.5 percent for our Aspirin™ products. Business with our Bepanthen™ / Bepanthol™ wound and skin care products developed positively.

EBITDA before special items of Consumer Health declined by a substantial 11 percent in 2018, to 1.1 billion euros.

From a strategic point of view, Consumer Health last year laid important foundations for future success and is now implementing a wide-ranging plan to realign the business and boost profitability.

Our Crop Science Division achieved sales of 14.3 billion euros last year. On a reported basis, sales rose by 49 percent. This was mainly attributable to the inclusion of the newly acquired business since June 7, 2018. At the same time, the businesses divested to BASF were only included until the sale of these businesses closed.

Adjusted for currency and portfolio effects, sales rose by 6.1 percent. This growth was primarily due to the normalization of the market situation in Brazil.

Sales developed especially well in North America, China, Japan and India. However, business was down in the Europe/Middle East/Africa region. This was due to registration restrictions in Europe and the unfavorable weather conditions last summer. Farmers suffered from the extreme heat and drought, and therefore so did we.

EBITDA before special items of Crop Science advanced by nearly 30 percent in 2018 to 2.7 billion euros, a major reason for the increase being the earnings contribution of about 700 million euros from the acquired business. There was a negative currency effect of roughly 100 million euros.

Sales of our Animal Health business unit, at 1.5 billion euros, matched the prior year, with an increase of just 0.5 percent. EBITDA before special items of Animal Health fell by 6 percent to 358 million euros.

That concludes my review of fiscal 2018. The outcome is clear: We experienced a difficult market environment, with distinctly negative currency effects and also growing uncertainty arising from global trade disputes. Despite this, our sales and earnings continued to increase and we achieved our operational targets.

We also had a very good start to the 2019 fiscal year. Our first-quarter results were published yesterday.

Group sales amounted to 13 billion euros. This substantial increase compared with the first quarter of 2018 is of course mainly due to the acquisition. But even on a currency- and portfolio-adjusted basis, Group sales were up by 4.1 percent.

Sales of Crop Science rose by 5.5 percent, primarily due to business development in North America and Latin America. The 5.3 percent sales growth for Pharmaceuticals was also encouraging. In this case, business developed particularly well in China.

Group EBITDA before special items rose by 44.6 percent in the first quarter to 4.2 billion euros, with the newly acquired business accounting for 1.8 billion euros, which is more than 40 percent.

On this basis we also confirmed the outlook for the full year 2019. As already communicated at our Capital Markets Day last December, we have set ourselves ambitious targets:

We expect sales of approximately 46 billion euros in 2019. This would correspond to a currency- and portfolio-adjusted increase of about 4 percent. We aim to raise EBITDA before special items to roughly 12.2 billion euros. For core earnings per share we are planning an increase to about 6.80 euros.

In addition, we have set ourselves ambitious medium-term goals. For example, on a going concern basis, i.e. with an unchanged portfolio, we aim to raise EBITDA before special items to around 16 billion euros by 2022. And by then we intend to increase core earnings per share to around 10 euros.

With the same time horizon, the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board decided last November on a number of significant portfolio changes as well as efficiency and structural measures to further strengthen our core businesses and significantly raise the company’s productivity and earning power.

The portfolio measures include the announced sale of our Coppertone™ and Dr. Scholl’s™ brands, the sale of our 60 percent interest in Currenta and our exit from the Animal Health business.

We are making good progress with all of these projects. As announced yesterday, we want to sell Animal Health but will continue to consider all value-maximizing exit options.

The efficiency and structural measures involve the planned reduction of about 12,000 jobs worldwide by the end of 2021, including a total of 4,500 positions in Germany. We are aware of the implications of these decisions for our employees and are therefore implementing the measures fairly, responsibly and in close collaboration with the employee representatives. In Germany this has enabled us to rule out dismissals for operational reasons within the intercompany personnel network through the end of 2025. This was a joint success.

Let me take this opportunity on behalf of the Board of Management to thank the members of the Supervisory Board for their trustful cooperation last year. This cooperation has contributed substantially, even in difficult situations, to making important decisions for the company and finding viable solutions for our employees.

Such decisions also include our plan to invest a total of 35 billion euros in Bayer’s further development through 2022. Over two-thirds of this amount will go into research and development. These expenditures stand for our confidence in the future and our firm belief that we can shape the future with innovative solutions.

Before I come to the end of my presentation, I would like to detail a few examples to illustrate the exciting innovations we are working on. Some of them are currently just visions of the future, while others are already well advanced.

Last November, we obtained marketing approval in the United States for our new drug Vitrakvi™. Applications for approval are pending in Europe and other regions. Vitrakvi™, containing the active ingredient larotrectinib, is a new type of highly effective cancer medication.

Cancer treatment traditionally follows an organ-based approach. Irrespective of this, however, forms of cancer that appear to be completely different from one another may be caused by similar genetic changes in cancer cells.

Our new active ingredient directly targets the genetic change responsible for tumor growth and can be used to treat different types of tumor. This enables us to provide patients with a new and highly effective therapy. We took over this active ingredient from an American company as a late-stage project, continued its development jointly with that company and then recently decided to proceed with the drug’s global development and commercialization on our own. This is a good example of how we are gaining access to new technologies through collaborations to further enhance our understanding and thus the treatment of diseases. In future we will focus even more on this way of developing our pipeline. Our principle is that where good ideas come from is less important than how we can implement them for the benefit of patients.

Another fascinating example is the digitalization of agriculture. Today we are able to provide farmers with data and knowledge about every plant and every square centimeter of soil.

Each year farmers make around 40 major decisions about their fields – from crop rotation and seed selection to fertilizers. Thanks to digital technology, these decisions can have better and more precise outcomes than ever before – both today and moving forward. This will also reduce the use of fertilizers and crop protection products to the necessary minimum. Digital farming means more sustainable farming. And in that lies a major opportunity!

At the same time, the digital applications and artificial intelligence in our FieldView™ platform increasingly enable us to predict the specific benefit in the field, such as the harvest yield a farmer gets when he uses our products.

For example, last year we launched a pilot project with a fungicide to offer farmers a defined yield per acre as an outcome that is measured by digital methods. If this yield gain is not achieved, we reimburse the cost to the farmer. In other words: In future we are selling a promise and only earning money if we keep it. That is a fundamental innovation that benefits our customers.

This applies even more to the third and final example I’d like to tell you about. It’s a rather more distant prospect, but it’s an example that’s a cause for hope.

Many diseases are caused by the death of a particular cell type. In the case of Parkinson’s, it’s the nerve cells responsible for movement that die. This distressing experience is shared by the more than 10 million people worldwide who are afflicted with the disease. Bayer is collaborating with its partner BlueRock on a stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease. The goal is to implant new, viable cells in the patient that then replace the dead cells.

Our researchers are expected to begin the first clinical study with a group of 10 Parkinson’s patients later this year. This is a true milestone.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Now let me come to the end of my remarks.

I hope very much that I’ve been able to give you satisfactory answers to the principal questions we’re being asked at this time:
- Is Bayer’s strategy sound and sustainable?
- Was acquiring Monsanto the right move for Bayer?
- Did the Board of Management act conscientiously and thoroughly assess the risks of glyphosate?
- Is glyphosate a safe product?
- How do you view the glyphosate lawsuits?
- How is Bayer positioned for the future?
- How does the strategy translate into the operational business?

That leaves one last question: “When will the stockholders benefit from it?”

To all appearances this is less a question of our current operational performance or the successful attainment of our medium-term targets. The major factor weighing on the share price is the product liability litigation concerning glyphosate in the United States.

We can’t promise you any full clarification on this in the short term. But I can assure you that we are working relentlessly to successfully defend ourselves in the appeal
proceedings and the coming trials and thus to reduce the uncertainty regarding the outcome of the liability litigation.

Vigorously defending our company is a top priority for us. This involves managing the ongoing proceedings, continuously developing our defense strategy and getting leading experts on board.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Bayer’s diversity, the quality of our products, the expertise of our employees and, in particular, the company’s operational performance and its future prospects – all these things are not adequately reflected in our stock market valuation today. That also applies to the way our company is viewed by some sections of the public.

We’re accused of focusing too much on the facts regarding Monsanto and glyphosate and not sufficiently taking into account the emotional side.

At this point I’d like to make something really clear: Responsibility for assessing and approving products – and thus for people’s health – must continue to lie with independent authorities. They make decisions based on scientific analysis – and not on emotions.

Against this backdrop, we did of course identify and assess the legal risks associated with glyphosate, as I mentioned earlier. However, we have seen society’s trust in science and independent regulatory authorities being increasingly eroded and undermined.
This is a very dangerous development, as it harms the credibility of independent authorities and thus ultimately also the foundation of trust for us all.

In this situation, acting with responsibility and transparency is the only thing that helps. That’s what our company has stood for, for decades. It’s what our reputation is based on.

Here at Bayer, we are committed to helping people regain the trust they have lost in science and in the regulatory authorities.

That’s why back in 2017, we were the only company to voluntarily begin publishing comprehensive data on safety studies concerning crop protection products. After acquiring Monsanto, we of course added extensive safety data concerning glyphosate to this overview.

We believe that providing transparency about the product safety studies is a necessary step to restore trust.

But this alone will not suffice. All social groups have a responsibility to support the independence of science and risk assessment – including, or perhaps especially – when they don’t like the results of studies or regulatory decisions.

Research and progress with the necessary responsibility and transparency as well as science-based regulation are the preconditions for trust and also for societal acceptance.

This is the only way we can achieve our mission, “Science for a better life.” It’s about improving people’s lives – using products based on science and research.

“Bayer will still be Bayer” is what I said last year. At the core of what we do at Bayer is always responsible science for the benefit of customers, consumers and patients.

That’s the way it was when I started working at this company more than 30 years ago. That’s the way it is today, and that’s the way it will stay. Thank you very much!

Forward-Looking Statements
This presentation may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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