The Monitoring Report addresses two main areas of claimed (non)adherence to the Code of Conduct. The first concerns adequate labeling whereas the second concerns the provision of protective clothing for users and the training of company representatives. In addition, the Report addresses the question of whether both companies are failing to monitor business practices as well as the adverse impacts of pesticide use in the area studied.
The Monitoring Report analyzed a sample of six products that Bayer and Syngenta currently distribute in Punjab. According to the Code and Guidelines issued by the FAO, companies are required to include appropriate safety advice and health warnings on labels. However the labels of all six products were said to be incomplete. Of particular concern is the omission of health warnings from the packaging of Nativo, manufactured by Bayer CropScience in Germany. Nativo is sold in Punjab and the UK, and a comparison between the two labels revealed that the warning phrase "suspected of damaging the unborn child" appeared to be missing from product sold in Punjab.
The Code of Conduct requires companies to promote the use of protective equipment, which as a minimum should include boots, gloves, goggles and a long sleeved shirt and trousers. However, Bayer and Syngenta appear to be failing to make such equipment available to customers, either by distributing quality equipment to customers or ensuring that it is available to purchase in outlets. As a result, pesticide users seem to have no choice but to apply pesticides in their everyday clothes, and often barefoot, absorbing the poison directly through the skin. Moreover, when users have experienced burning or itching as a result of coming into contact with a pesticide, it was reported that authorized distributors of Bayer and Syngenta advised them to apply mustard oil against acute skin reactions. This means of protection is demonstrably insufficient to protect users from the exposure to pesticides as compared to the equipment recommended by the FAO.
The Monitoring Report also highlights that company representatives at various levels may be aware of these apparent violations ongoing in Punjab. Given their close ties to their distributors, the companies seem to be in a position to influence the sales practices yet fail to take the monitoring of health and environmental impacts sufficiently seriously.