Courage, Bayer CropScience Style

Bayer CropScience has invoked the specter of terrorism in a bid to limit what information the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board can release at a public hearing into a chemical plant explosion in West Virginia that killed two employees. Bayer is claiming that "because it has a dock for barge shipments on the adjacent Kanawha River, its entire 400-acre site qualifies under the 2002 federal Maritime Transportation Security Act," reports Sean D. Hamill. "It has asked the Coast Guard, which has jurisdiction under the act, to review the public release of 'sensitive security information.'" Bayer appears to want to limit discussion of the potential hazards of methyl isocyanate, the same chemical made at Bhopal, India, notes Hamill. On its website, Bayer CropScience states that one of its core values is "integrity, openness and honesty" and that it is committed to "having the courage to tell the truth" and "presenting the unvarnished truth in an appropriate and helpful manner."


I heard about this yesteday on "On the Media." Bayer's position doesn't pass the "smell test." If Bayer has a reasonable concern - whether terrorism or trade secrets or some other - it needs to get that information to the public and not rely on havng a dock on a river and therefore a connection to the Coast Guard. No one will accept that explanation.