Bayer establishes Bioethics Council

Bayer establishes Bioethics Council

Leverkusen, April 3, 2023 – Bayer AG has established a Bioethics Council consisting of internationally renowned experts, to provide broad independent perspective and guidance on current bioethical questions, particularly with regard to the development of new biotechnological and artificial intelligence based solutions. Bayer is committed to using emerging technologies in an ethically responsible way as part of its business and R&D activities across all its divisions. The Bioethics Council will maintain regular dialogue with Bayer leadership on the implementation and long-term development of Bayer’s Bioethics Policy.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to attract a diverse group of world-leading ethics experts – from the fields of biotechnology, health care and artificial intelligence, among others – to join Bayer’s Bioethics Council,” said Dr. Michael Devoy, Chief Medical Officer of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division. “Their expertise provides us with guidance on complex bioethical issues. Innovations in life sciences can raise ethical questions that society needs to discuss. In the interest of transparency, we deem it important to include a societal perspective early in our research and product development process through the external Bioethics Council,” he added.

To this end, the Bioethics Council focuses, among others, on the further development and implementation of Bayer’s Bioethics Policy. This policy represents a company-wide ethical framework for decisions relevant to R&D innovations in the life sciences. It covers medical topics, bioengineering, and artificial intelligence. The Bioethics Policy specifically gives guidance on issues related to the discovery, development, production and application of treatments and therapies to promote human health, and in agricultural products and services.

“Innovations in the life sciences will fundamentally change our health and nutrition systems in the future,” said Dr. Monika Lessl, Head of Corporate R&D and Social Innovation at Bayer AG. “We are aware of our responsibility as a research company and therefore want to actively participate in the further development of bioethical standards in dialogue with society. Exchange with external experts is essential for this,” she emphasized.

Dr. Axel Trautwein, Head of Regulatory Science at Bayer Crop Science, added: “Developing innovations in the life sciences, particularly in biotechnology, inevitably requires a thorough assessment of the ethical implications for people and the environment. Bayer wants to raise and uphold high bioethical standards throughout its operations – with the help of the Bioethics Council. Being transparent about our approach and our progress in this process is the cornerstone of all our efforts in building a solid ethical framework for our business.”

The Bioethics Council convenes twice a year. In addition, the experts offer support on specific questions, either individually or in small teams. The Council is designed in several ways to safeguard the independence of its members. The experts provide external independent advice and do not represent Bayer or its operations.

The Council currently has ten members. Bayer will regularly report on its work.

Members of the Bayer Bioethics Council are:

Carolina Aguerre, Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences, Universidad Católica del Uruguay

I. Glenn Cohen, Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics, Harvard Law School

Gry Hasselbalch, PhD, Independent scholar

Insoo Hyun, Director of the Center for Life Sciences and Public Learning, Boston Museum of Science

Andreas Kurtz, Head of the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry (hPSCreg, former European Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry)

Sir Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Health Care Law, University College London

Jonathan D. Moreno, Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy and of the History & Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Anne Muigai, Professor of Genetics and Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Research at the National Defence University-Kenya

Sonny Ramaswamy, President of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in Redmond, WA, USA

Julian Savulescu, Chen Su Lan Professor in Medical Ethics at the National University of Singapore

You will find further information about the external Bioethics Council at 
The Bayer Bioethics Council | Bayer Global.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2022, the Group employed around 101,000 people and had sales of 50.7 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 6.2 billion euros. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

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Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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