The Bayer corporation has officially become the “new Monsanto,” having bought the St. Louis-based agrochemical and GMO company in June of last year.
Since then, many activists have been calling for a boycott of the company and its products.
But Bayer’s products, including their best-selling aspirin pills, prescription drugs, and even everyday items are a big part of their daily lives.
That being said, there’s no better way to foster change than by exposing and starving out destructive, unethical companies like Bayer (which was once a part of the Nazi conglomerate IG Farben, which played a key role in creating the tools needed to commit some of the biggest war crimes in history).
According to the website DrugDangers.com, Bayer brought in about $56 billion in revenue in 2013, and its pharmaceutical division brought in an estimated $14.5 alone.
But countless lawsuits have been filed against the company for Roundup, and over many drugs like the hormone-emitting device Mirena, the drug Xarelto, and more.
In agriculture, Bayer is expected to hold over 25% of the global seeds and pesticides market. The company is under fire, but with so much financial might and so many loyal customers behind it, this is one fight we will be in for the long haul.
Master List of Bayer Products to Boycott
On Bayer’s website is a list a of all of the products it makes from A to Z.
Among the most important popular direct-to-consumer products to boycott include:
1. Afrin- A cough & cold product sold over-the-counter, Afrin is used for relief from nasal congestion.
2. Aleve- A top-selling OTC painkiller with “long-lasting action.”
3. Alka-Seltzer- A popular heartburn and indigestion relief product that fizzes up in water.
4. Bayer aspirin- Because the company was the original patent holder on the aspirin product, Bayer was able to force all doctors to prescribe only its brand in the early 1900s, giving it a leg up on the market. Bayer still owns the trademark on this widely-taken medication today.
5. Claritin- A popular allergy relief, OTC drug also owned by Bayer. As you can see, the Bayer boycott list is miles long.
6. Coppertone Sunscreen- A widely used product with several chemical ingredients including Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 13%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5% and Oxybenzone 6%. You may want to opt for an organic (reef and baby safe) sunscreen like this one instead.
7. Roundup- The popular, best-selling weedkiller was owned by Monsanto and now falls under the Bayer umbrella. It was deemed a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s panel of cancer experts back in March 2015 and has been responsible for thousands of lawsuits. Try this natural Roundup alternative instead, based on vinegar.
8. Elevit- A line of “pronatal” vitamins made for mothers.
9. MiraLax- A digestive health drug that relieves constipation and softens the stool. Beware as this drug has many side effects
10. Talcid- An antacid used for the treatment of heartburn and other acid-induced gastric disorders.
Additional Bayer Drugs and Products to Boycott and Avoid
If you know a farmer (or just someone who cares about the health of the planet), you may want to show them the full list of Bayer’s products to boycott (save and bookmark this one!).
The list is mostly populated by highly toxic agrochemicals like Roundup.
Other Bayer products include popular prescription drugs that many people depend on like the aforementioned Yasmin and Yaz, Xarelto, Cipro, and various chemotherapy drugs used by oncologists.
Boycotting all of these products might be pretty difficult for most people, considering the huge impact they have worldwide.
But every purchase counts, and considering Bayer’s sordid history, which includes everything from the manufacturing of chemical weapons to burying evidence of severe drug side effects that included deaths to its purchase of Monsanto, whether or not we should continue to support this company going forward is at the very least a conversation we all be having.
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This article was first written in November 2018 and updated in August 2019.