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KEYCODE BAYER #253

September 14, 2006

Dear Dr Jesdapipat,

two months ago we contacted you concerning the article on Bayer´s website featuring WWF Thailand´s employee Tatirose Vijitpan.

In your answer you expressed strong concerns on Bayer´s environmental integrity because of which there was or will be no cooperation between WWF and the company. In addition you stated that Miss Vijitpan has been "shrewdly exploited" by Bayer and that you will discuss the incident within the WWF network so that similar incidents won´t occur in the future.

In view of this letter we can not understand why the article in question still can be found on Bayer´s website (On the Go for the Environment). This should not be possible without Miss Vijitpan´s consent. We insist that this article helps Bayer to greenwash their corporate image, even when there is no formal cooperation.

We urge you to oppose the impression that WWF Thailand approves of Bayer´s corporate activities. Please take the appropriate steps that the text is taken from Bayer homepage.
With Regards,

Philipp Mimkes
Coalition against Bayer Dangers

please read the letter we received from WWF Thailand: (Download: Answer WWF Thailand.pdf)

Cologne (Germany), July 7, 2006

Open Letter to WWF Thailand concerning cooperation with Chemical and Pharmaceutical company Bayer

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

on the website of the German Chemical company Bayer we can find a lengthy portrait of Tatirose Vijitpan describing her work for WWF Thailand (see: On the Go for the Environment). The article is featured on Bayer´s “Social Responsibility” site as one of the top examples.

In our opinion your cooperation with Bayer harms WWF´s goal of a “future where people live in harmony with nature”.

Bayer sponsors more than 300 environmental and social projects all over the world. Some of these programmes may be useful, others not. But all of these cooperations have in common that Bayer started them in the first place to “greenwash” their corporate image. Bayer chooses these cooperations particularly in fields where the company is criticized to deflect criticism by watchdog groups or the media.

Tatirose Vijitpan works in WWF´s Energy and Climate Change unit so she knows that chemical lobby groups like the European Chemical Industry Council and the American Chemistry Council – both of which Bayer is a member - fought fiercely to dilute or prevent the Kyoto Protocol for the protection of the climate. Bayer has campaigned, directly or through its lobbyists, against most agreements on environmental issues, be it the new EU laws on chemicals, the phasing out of CFCs or efforts to reduce the use of pesticides. At the same time Bayer produces a great number of highly dangerous substances like insecticides, plasticisers, Bisphenol A and phosgene. In the past Bayer was even engaged in the production of PCBs, poison gas, and HIV-tainted blood clotting medication.

Bayer has been using partnerships with NGOs or public authorities like UNEP to use the good image of their partners and to present a corporate humanitarian image. It`s a set-back for efforts to assure environmental protection if corporations like Bayer are allowed to associate themselves with WWF or other environmental groups.

Our group Coalition against BAYER-dangers, based in Germany, has been monitoring the company for 25 years. During this period we have documented hundreds of cases when Bayer´s products or factories harmed people or the environment. For decades we have experienced that Bayer only stopped the production of hazardous products when pressured by the public (for more examples please visit the English part of our website or read our article Bayer and the UN Global Compact; please also see the letter we wrote together with WWF Germany urging Bayer to withdraw their worst pesticides).

We ask you to publish all details about your cooperation with Bayer and to stop it immediately.
With Regards,

Philipp Mimkes
board of the “Coalition against BAYER Dangers”