Press Release, 24 January 2012
Coalition against BAYER Dangers (Germany)

Baytril: BAYER profits from factory farming

60% of all antibiotics end up in the farm yard / more and more resistant strains

More than half of all antibiotics produced globally end up being used in the farm yard, creating a mass of resistant strains which are detectable in pork, beef or poultry after slaughter. Sometimes this danger is lethal.

One of the biggest profiteers of factory farming is the German pharmaceutical corporation BAYER. In 2010 BAYER achieved a turnover of 166 million euro with the animal antibiotic Baytril alone, an 11 percent increase on the previous year. BAYER is the fourth largest company worldwide in the field of veterinary medicine.

Philipp Mimkes of Coalition against Bayer Dangers said: “Keeping thousands of animals in a cramped space would not be possible without the products of BAYER & Co. BAYER benefits from the disastrous conditions in factory farming where new diseases emerge constantly, thus bearing partial responsibility for the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains.”

In many animal rearing facilities injections with Baytril are part of everyday routine. The drug has been used en masse since 1995 in the treatment of infectious diseases of poultry, calves, cattle, turkeys and pigs. The active ingredient of Baytril (Enrofloxacin) is chemically related to the human antibiotics CIPROBAY (Ciprofloxacin) and AVALOX (Moxifloxacin) marketed by BAYER. The large scale use of Baytril has led to increasing inefficacy of human antibiotics.

The Coalition against Bayer Dangers demands:
=> A ban on the abusive practice of factory farming, necessitating the excessive use of antibiotics in the first place,
=> A seamless documentation of all antibiotic use in the farm yard,
=> A ban on the routine dispensation of antibiotics in animal feed, and the corresponding inspections and penalties,
=> The use of antibiotics exclusively through vets; the aim must be to rear animals without antibiotics,
=> A ban on the routine use of antibiotics in whole herds.

Recent studies prove that a large part of chicken meat in supermarkets is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant strains. In the case of a subsequent infection consumers cannot be treated with common antibiotics.

In the European Union the preventive use of antibiotics was banned years ago, however, without causing a drop in the fall of amount used. A study carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) last autumn concluded that the use of antibiotics in animal rearing increases the risk of their inefficacy in humans. For years the World Health Organisation (WHO) too has demanded a ban on the large scale use of antibiotics in animal rearing.

More information :
=> FDA bans Bayer antibiotic for poultry use
=> Judge Rules Against Bayer on Poultry Antibiotic
=> Antibiotic-resistant bacteria: Send letter to Bayer Corp.
=> American authorities ban antibiotic BAYTRIL for poultry

People´s World, February 6, 2012

Bayer's ill-gotten factory farming profits

There are potentially lethal strains of bacteria, traced to antibiotics produced by pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, present in pork, beef, and poultry. The German company's highly profitable products are also reported to encourage increasingly inhumane factory farming conditions.

Livestock on factory farms are regularly given antibiotics, said a report by Salon. It makes them gain weight on less feed, and reduces their chances of getting sick in confined quarters. But the use of these antibiotics also results in potentially dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria - super bugs - which have been detected in meats.

Bayer is the fourth largest veterinary medicines company in the world. In 2010, they achieved a turnover of around $217 million for the animal antibiotic Baytril.

Baytril injections for livestock are highly common. The drug's purpose is to treat infectious diseases in poultry (including turkey), cattle (including calves) and pigs. Its side effect is that its use the rearing of animals destined for human consumption makes human antibiotics increasingly ineffective, as noted by the European Food Safety Authority. The World Health Organization has also outlined the trouble with such antibiotics, and has demanded a ban on their large-scale use in animal rearing.

Last month, researchers found that 230 out of 395 pork cuts sold in grocery stores in the U.S. were tainted with a super bug called MRSA. Ironically, at around the same time, the FDA put a stopper on its thirty-year-long effort to curb the use of human antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline in livestock.
In addition to complicity in the development of serious health risks, Bayer is also partially guilty of encouraging the continuous substandard living conditions of livestock.

Philipp Mimkes of the activist group, Coalition Against Bayer Dangers, remarked, "Keeping thousands of animals in a cramped space would not be possible without the products of Bayer & Co. Bayer benefits from the disastrous conditions in factory farming where new diseases emerge constantly, thus bearing partial responsibility for the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains."

In response, the CBG has proposed a series of goals to lessen the corporation's grip on farms. These include:
· Banning factory farming altogether, thus defeating the need for excessive use of antibiotics in the first place.
· Banning the routine dispensation of antibiotics in animal feed.
· Regularly and carefully documenting all use of antibiotics in the farmyard.
· Banning the routine use of antibiotics on entire herds.
CBG claims that Bayer has a history of carelessness that has had serious consequences. A decade ago, Bayer admitted it had known beforehand that it sold HIV-tainted blood clotting products, which infected thousands of hemophiliacs. And last year, one of its leading products, the anti-cholesterol drug Baycol, was linked to over 100 deaths.

On the corporate lobbying front, Bayer helped set up the Transatlantic Business Dialogue, a process where European and U.S. multinationals attempt to influence policy towards deregulation. Bayer is also part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which tries to promote the idea that the solutions to problems like climate change belong in the hands of multinational corporations.

Back in 2007, the late Sen. Ted Kennedy stated in response to the troublesome use of antibiotics in factory farming: "It seems scarcely believable that these precious medications could be fed by the ton to chickens and pigs." Kennedy was working to support the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act - legislation that has still not been passed.

"These precious drugs aren't even used to treat sick animals," he concluded. "They are used to fatten pigs and speed the growth of chickens. The result of this rampant overuse is clear: meat contaminated with bacteria sits on supermarket shelves all over America." By Blake Deppe