Sustained Outrage

Bayer and the media: With friends like these …

You have to wonder what Ann Green Communications is going to tell Bayer CropScience to do now.

In its PR strategy following the August 2008 explosion that killed two Institute plant workers, Ann Green’s firm told Bayer to time its release of information to give stories first to the Charleston Daily Mail. Or, the firm told Bayer, pitch stories to The State Journal to counter “attacks” from The Charleston Gazette.

Well, in today’s Daily Mail, ultra-conservative local columnist Don Surber had this to say about Bayer:

Never write angry, so all I will say is that the handling by the management of Bayer CropScience of the explosion at the methyl isocyanate plant showed an astonishing level of incompetence that revealed a complete lack of respect for a substance which, when it leaked and killed thousands of Indians, brought down Union Carbide.

To be this cavalier with MIC is corporate suicide.

And in today’s State Journal, an editorial on the subject of Bayer called for the elimination of the MIC stockpile at the Institute plant:

Chemical makers have provided safe and lucrative employment here for generations. But no chemical company can succeed today without maintaining trusting relationships with the communities where they operate. Furthermore, no one can accept Bayer’s lack of honesty or its continued use of a deadly, volatile chemical in a populated area. The company cannot justify the continued storage of large quantities of MIC at Institute. Eliminating that risk would be a critical first step toward re-establishing trust with the community.