Bayer is advancing its industry-leading transparency commitments in 2020, starting with additional documents on the transparency website and the pilot launch of OpenLabs. This step builds on the company’s pledge to enhance transparency by making its product safety studies required for regulatory approval accessible to the public.
“Transparency is at the core of how we operate as the leading provider of innovative and sustainable solutions in agriculture,” said Liam Condon, Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division. “Delivering these crucial and progressive technologies to farmers is a significant part of what we do, and we are equally committed to talking openly about these technologies with the interested public. In addition, by opening up our labs, we can help show how rigorously our products are tested in order to ensure their safety, efficacy and sustainability.”
GM seeds and plant breeding
Bayer will expand the scope of its transparency commitments starting in April 2020 by adding two new information modules to its transparency platform. One of these involves genetically modified seeds, which are used on farms across much of the world. Since some consumers have questions around GM seeds, the company will be making regulatory submission documents accessible via the transparency platform, along with additional educational materials, such as videos, infographics and other communications, to help put regulatory science into context.
The second new information module is on plant breeding. Innovation in plant breeding, such as gene editing, helps farmers provide the world with enough food by growing crops that are more resilient to a changing climate, while also using less resources and pesticides.
OpenLabs is a new visitor program that provides a unique opportunity to observe Bayer scientists at the Monheim, Germany site conducting laboratory studies required for regulatory approval. OpenLabs will allow a small group of visitors to literally see the science—and the safety practices behind it—in action in the laboratory and out in the fields. The pilot session will occur over two consecutive days in the second quarter of 2020. The pilot group will be able to connect with Bayer scientists and experts for a series of technical observations and conversations, offering visitors the chance to learn how Bayer scientists follow the Good Laboratory Practices process to ensure the reliability, consistency and integrity of safety study results. Due to lab capacity, group sizes will be limited. However, those interested in the OpenLabs program can learn more and sign up via the transparency platform by March 15.
“By expanding the scope of our efforts in transparency, we are reinforcing our commitment to continually raising the bar on transparency standards around our agricultural innovations in every area where we work,” said Bob Reiter, Head of R&D at Crop Science.