Dear Bayer Customer,
As part of our commitment to improving people's lives, and on the advice of attorneys representing us in product liability lawsuits, Bayer is launching an educational series designed to give our image a veneer of corporate social responsibility. At Bayer, we have a duty to pretend we have a duty to have a positive impact on the world.
That's why we started Bayer Cares, a twice-daily educational newsletter for parties to the thousands of Roundup lawsuits and people who somehow signed up via an unlisted page on our website.
The topic of this edition of Bayer Cares is cognitive biases.
Cognitive biases are systematic reasoning errors in people who believe they've been harmed by a Bayer product. People like to believe they're always rational, but in reality, they're under the constant influence of cognitive biases that distort their perception of Bayer and its culpability.
Below are the five most pervasive cognitive biases that Bayer opposition researchers have witnessed over its 150-year history. Note: this newsletter is for educational purposes only, but we do want to point out that our research shows that simply being aware of cognitive biases can reduce negative attitudes about Bayer.
This is the tendency to view giant corporations like Bayer as soulless entities that are responsible for all the evil in the world. You might not know this, but legally, Bayer is a person just like you. And just like the leaders of the civil rights movement, we’ve many spent years, and billions of dollars, fighting in courts and lobbying legislative bodies to have Bayer’s humanity recognized. Sure, we’ve had our share of scandals over the years, like our former Nazi ties and that time we sold HIV-infected blood products to hemophiliacs, but we like to think it was the “good trouble” that the late John Lewis talked about.
This is the irrational tendency to believe that pulling weeds is the only way to have a nice yard without getting cancer. The truth is that pulling weeds takes a long time, and the longer you spend getting pounded by those menacing sun rays, the more likely you are to get skin cancer. That’s why Bayer bought Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, in 2018—we wanted to be part of the only cancer-free weed control solution. If we manage to avoid a government mandate to put cancer warning labels on Roundup, then we’ll be able to keep selling a version that’s free of known carcinogens.
Medical Gullibility Bias
This is the tendency to rely too heavily on doctors for medical expertise. Remember in the early 1900s when Bayer trademarked heroin and marketed it as a non-addictive alternative to morphine, and then inept doctors gave it to patients for coughing? What about that time a few years ago when Bayer didn't tell anyone its drug Xarelto causes fatal bleeding and then incompetent doctors prescribed it to patients anyway? Unless they recommend Bayer's Aspirin, doctors cannot be trusted, especially if they say you have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from Roundup exposure.
This is the tendency for tens of thousands of people to sue us because they happened to use Roundup and get cancer. Come on! Anyone who's had an introductory statistics course knows that correlation does not imply causation. Just because people who use Roundup are more likely to get cancer, that doesn't mean Roundup caused the cancer. Did you ever think that people who are dumb enough to use something as toxic as Roundup (for Christ's sake, it literally kills weeds!) are probably out there exposing themselves to all kinds of carcinogens? It's clearly the people who are already more likely to get cancer who are the main users of Roundup. These lawsuits are frivolous.
This is the most pernicious cognitive bias of all. Sure, dying of cancer is not ideal, but it’s immensely egocentric to think it means the end of the world. After you die of the cancer Roundup had nothing to do with, your family and friends will mourn you and Bayer will condole the coincidence, but the world will certainly move along without you. Such is the nature of our existence. But if the government makes us put cancer warning labels on Roundup, that would be the end of the world.
In the next edition of this newsletter, which will be in your inbox in a few hours, we’ll explain how the law of diminishing marginal utility predicts that a large monetary settlement won’t make you any happier than a modest one.
Until then, remember that Bayer Cares.
To unsubscribe from this newsletter, all you have to do is click this link to learn how to withdraw from your Roundup lawsuit.