Bayer had little time to celebrate its purchase of the U.S. agrochemical company Monsanto after an untimely controversy involving the popular herbicide product Roundup. After a $66 billion investment, Bayer suffered public backlash when a school groundskeeper attributed the weed killer to his cancer.
Already an unpopular name among farmers and the general public, Monsanto has a long history of illicit practices with involvement in chemical warfare. Agent Orange, a defoliant used to eliminate forest cover in the Vietnam War, continues to cause deformities in babies born in affected areas.
It stands to reason, then, why Bayer is choosing to discard the Monsanto name — it comes freighted with a dark past of immorality and greed. Bayer cannot do much to escape this most recent controversy, however, which has attracted a significant amount of attention in the context of Monsanto’s reputation.