Press Release, July 19, 2007
Coalition against Bayer Dangers (Germany)
Conservation Fund urged to stop partnership with Bayer
Publicity campaign for Bayer ALEVE drug conceals heavy side effects
The German watchdog Coalition against BAYER Dangers criticizes Bayer´s publicity campaign for the analgesic ALEVE. Part of the campaign is the new online game Aleviator in which players are supposed to “uncover a vast conspiracy to shut down critical Web sites used for social networking. Philipp Mimkes from the Coalition against BAYER Dangers comments: “It is a cynical distortion of reality when Bayer pretends to protect freedom of speech. Our group has experienced Bayer´s perception of free speech when the company forced us to remove a critical homepage from the Internet by threatening us with heavy court costs.
Within the campaign Bayer also gives donations to the Conservation Fund for every person who completes the game. In an Open Letter the Coalition against BAYER Dangers urges the Conservation Fund to stop the cooperation with Bayer immediately.
"In the past the cooperation with environmental groups did not prevent Bayer from campaigning, directly or through its lobbyists, against most agreements on environmental issues, be it the Kyoto Protocol for the protection of the climate, the new EU laws on chemicals, the phasing out of CFCs or efforts to reduce the use of pesticides", Philipp Mimkes further points out. "Bayer has been using partnerships with environmental groups to try to deflect criticism by watchdog groups or the media. The good image of their partners is supposed to promote a corporate humanitarian image without a commitment to changing real-world behavior. Bayer produces a great number of highly dangerous substances such as insecticides, plasticisers, Bisphenol A and phosgene.
In the case of ALEVE the campaign is supposed to conceal the heavy criticism the drug is facing. In 2005 Bayer was required to stop all advertising for ALEVE that carried the tagline "Prescription strength relief without a prescription." The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus had judged that "Bayer Healthcare's evidence was insufficient to provide a reasonable basis for its performance claim". Even worse: in 2004 the National Institutes of Health found that patients taking ALEVE had a 50 percent greater incidence of cardiovascular events - heart attack or stroke - than patients taking a placebo. The FDA demanded clear warnings on ALEVE packages.
The Coalition against BAYER Dangers, based in Germany, has been monitoring the company for 25 years. During this period hundreds of cases when Bayer´s products or factories have harmed people or the environment were collected.
BAYER CORP attacks critical coverage: http://www.cbgnetwork.org/423.html
Bayer´s Naproxen increases heart attacks: http://www.cbgnetwork.org/283.html
FDA Plans Warnings for Pain Relievers: http://www.cbgnetwork.org/1742.html
Bayer Stopping Ads For ALEVE: http://www.cbgnetwork.org/475.html