No crop protection product has been more debated on social media than glyphosate. Despite so much independent scientific affirmation of its safety, agricultural businesses and farmers too often find themselves defending the inclusion of glyphosate in farming. So what’s the best way to approach the public about the science? There’s a sense of damned if you do and damned if you don’t for makers of crop protection: If you keep your research data private, critics think you’re hiding something; if you publicize it, critics immediately claim its invalid because of how it’s commissioned or funded or disseminated. Bayer believes that making data public is a big step toward having a positive discussion and understanding of science, especially in terms of glyphosate.
That’s why recently, as part of its Transparency Initiative, Bayer opened the doors to its glyphosate safety summaries, while planning in 2019 to enable access to the underlying safety study reports (those owned by Bayer and submitted for the review that led to the European substance renewal decision in December 2017).
This latest effort is being done on the first anniversary of the Transparency Initiative.
Bayer states on its site: “Companies do not typically share the results of their studies with the general public, as much of the information is considered commercially sensitive. We aim to remove the barriers surrounding access to detailed information on the safety of crop protection products that can engender misunderstandings and distrust. By enabling access to study data in parallel with background materials, we hope to foster an open, science-based dialogue on crop protection products.”
Bayer has gone far beyond glyphosate is regards to the data it has released (though with this year’s legal battle in California, glyphosate is on the minds of many). Here is the link to the safety data that has been conducted on the active ingredients of its crop protection chemicals. The company also uses the Transparency Initiative to explain why pesticides are used in agriculture, is our food supply safe, and how pollinators are protected.