September 5, 2019 / 10:04 AM / 17 days ago

Bayer says Monsanto's list of influential people was not illegal

The logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the Bayer Healthcare subgroup production plant in Wuppertal, Germany February 24, 2014. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Bayer (BAYGn.DE) said a law firm it had commissioned to investigate a compilation of data on journalists, politicians and researchers by Monsanto had found no evidence of illegal behavior by the seed maker that Bayer acquired last year.

French prosecutors in May had opened an inquiry after newspaper Le Monde filed a complaint alleging that Monsanto - bought by Bayer for $63 billion - had kept files of influential people in a bid to sway public opinion on its pesticides.

“There is no question that the ... stakeholder lists created were detailed, methodical, and designed to strongly advocate Monsanto’s positions to stakeholders and to the public. But ... we did not find evidence to support the French media’s allegations regarding the illegality of the stakeholder lists,” Bayer quoted the report by law firm Sidley Austin LLP as saying.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Thomas Seythal

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