Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For other uses, see Bayer (disambiguation).
About Bayer AG
In order to separate operational and strategic management Bayer AG was reorganized into a holding company in December 2003. The groups core businesses were transformed into limited companies, each controlled by Bayer AG. These companies are: Bayer CropScience AG; Bayer HealthCare AG; Bayer Material Science AG and Bayer Chemicals AG and the three service companies Bayer Technology Services GmbH, Bayer Business Services GmbH and Bayer Industry Services GmbH & Co. OHG.
Following Bayer's successful reorganization, its chemicals activities (with the exception of H.C. Starck and Wolff Walsrode) have been combined with certain components of the polymers segment to form the new company LANXESS. This change took place on July 1, 2004, with LANXESS to be listed on the stock exchange by the beginning of 2005.
Bayer AG was founded in Germany in 1863 by Friedrich Bayer and his partner, Johann Friedrich Weskott . Bayer's major asset was the product acetylsalicylic acid, a modification of salicylic acid or salicin, a folk remedy found in the bark of the willow. By 1899, Bayer's trademark Aspirin was registered worldwide for Bayer's brand of acetylsalicylic acid; but through the widespread use of the word "aspirin" to describe all brands of the compound, and Bayer's lack of sufficient measures to protect its trademark, the word "aspirin" lost its trademark status in the United States and is now widely used there for all brands of acetylsalicylic acid; however in some other countries such as Canada it is still a registered trademark. In 1904, Bayer introduced the "Bayer Cross" as its corporate trademark, consisting of the horizontal word "BAYER" crossed with the vertical word "BAYER", both words sharing the "Y".
Bayer became part of IG Farben, a conglomerate of German chemical industries that emerged during World War I. When the Allies split IG Farben after World War II for involvement in several Nazi war crimes, Bayer reappeared as an individual business.
After World War I, Bayer AG was penalized by having the rights to its name and trademarks taken away in the United States, Canada, and several other countries. In the United States and Canada, they were acquired by Sterling Drugs , a predecessor of Sterling Winthrop Inc., and the trademarked Bayer aspirin was produced by Miles Laboratories. In 1978, Bayer AG purchased Miles Laboratories and its subsidiaries Miles Canada and Cutter Laboratories (along with a product line including Alka-Seltzer, Flintstones Vitamins and One-A-Day Vitamins , and Cutter insect repellant) in order to reacquire trademark rights to Bayer aspirin, and in 1994, Bayer AG purchased Sterling Winthrop's over the counter drug business, in order to reacquire the rest of the trademark rights to Bayer and the Bayer cross.
They have discovered, among others:
- Aspirin — a mild pain reliever
- Heroin — a strong pain reliever
- Mustard gas — a blistering chemical weapon
- Tabun — a nerve gas
- Ciprofloxacin — an antibiotic
In 2002 Bayer AG acquired Aventis CropScience and formed Bayer CropScience. The company is now one of the world's leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. In addition to conventional agrochemical business it is involved in genetic engineering of food.
Pesticide harm to bees
Bayer AG is involved in an ongoing controversy with French and Nova Scotian beekeepers over claimed pesticide kills of honeybees from its seed treatment insecticide Gaucho. France has since issued a provisional ban on the use of Gaucho for corn seed treatment pending further action. A consortium of U.S. beekeepers has also filed a civil suit against Bayer CropScience for alleged losses.
Bayer was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 by Working Mothers magazine.
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