Monsanto’s reputation is a ‘major challenge,’ Bayer CEO says

Bayer’s chief executive acknowledged on Friday that he will face an uphill battle to improve Monsanto’s reputation once Bayer completes the takeover of the Creve Coeur-based seeds and agrochemicals company.

“Monsanto’s image does of course represent a major challenge for us, and it’s not an aspect I wish to play down,” Werner Baumann told shareholders at Bayer’s annual general meeting.

The Monsanto name has been linked to a number of controversial products, including Agent Orange, PCBs and glyphosate. Its leadership in the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) also has been a source of criticism, especially in Europe, where there is strong opposition to genetically modified products.

Bayer and Monsanto plan to wrap up the $66 billion transaction by the end of 2017. As part of this, Bayer aims to file for European antitrust approval during the second quarter.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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