The Bayer healthcare companies announced that they’re going to stop selling their controversial birth control product. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discusses this issue.

Click here to learn more about the dangers of Essure birth control.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: The Bayer healthcare company has announced that they’re going to stop selling their controversial birth control, called Essure. The company says it’s because it wasn’t selling well, which is likely because it was destroying the lives of women all over the country. That’s really why they’re doing this. This is a simple story to understand, okay, this company Bayer has made this product. They know it’s a birth control its totally an unnecessary birth control.

They’re more birth controls out there that whatever the problem is that a woman is having with a particular kind of birth control, there are other alternatives out there for them. Essure was one of these look alike kind of deals. Other people are doing something similar. We want to try this ourselves. Now what they’re finding is the Essure that is embedded in the body is breaking off in the body, migrating throughout the body and causing real serious injuries to people.

That’s why they’re pulling the product from the market. As you know, I handled the, years ago, handled a case against Bayer for another birth control pill and you know, the problem with it sometimes is they’re always looking for that cash cow. They’re always looking, this was called Yaz. It was a pill called Yaz. This is not a pill, this is, it’s implanted in the body, this Essure. But they are always looking to get on the very edge of the new cash cow. That’s what happened here isn’t it

Farron Cousins: It absolutely is. And now they’re saying, well, this cash cow stopped giving us milk. It has nothing to do with these 16,000 lawsuits we’ re facing over this product in the US alone. No, no, no, because it wasn’t selling well, and there’s a reason. It’s because as you just pointed out, it’s destroying the lives of women.

Like so many other products that we see, and essure is a permanent form of birth control. It’s this implantable device and just like every other implantable small metallic device we see in bodies, it breaks apart.

Mike Papantonio: IVC filters were the same thing.

Farron Cousins: IVC filters are a great example.

Mike Papantonio: Same kind of deal, breaks apart, moves to system, move systemically through the body. Lodges in organ systems, including the brain, by the way, the heart. This is the same problem here with Essure. They knew it, they’ve known the science of implant fracture for ages. They know the science on it, they know it’s bad. They know there’s never been a good experience with this.

Farron Cousins: And due to the location of the device in the fallopian tubes, most of the injuries that they’re seeing involve, you know, there’s a lot of kidney damage, a lot of abdominal pain, because usually when it breaks off, it’ll kind of embed almost immediately wherever it can get to.

Sometimes it will migrate, it will go to the brain, it will go to the heart. If you’re lucky enough, it’s not going to go there and immediately kill you. Instead, it’ll ruin a kidney.

Mike Papantonio: Right.

Farron Cousins: It will ruin, you know, a bowel and bladder. Anything it can latch itself onto and Bayer knew it.

Mike Papantonio: Actually pierce the bowel. That’s one of the bigger problems.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: You know, let me tell you quick story. I think this is pretty instructional about Bayer as company generally. I’ve been tow to tow with Bayer on several occasions. It’s the same culture. It is a culture of we want to follow the cash cow. We’re gonna make as much money as we can. We’re going to leave, it’s what I call quick profits, horrible risks, quick profits for the company, horrible, horrible risks for the consumer.

And so this was in the Yaz case, this woman that was testifying on Bayer, her name was North. And she was like the number three kind of PR person for Bayer. Her job was to go across the country telling the story about how noble Bayer was talking about the actual character of Bayer, which in a civil suit, it’s important to know character of either party is never an issue. You don’t allow character into a discussion.

If somebody robbed a bank years before, yeah, maybe that comes in, but general character doesn’t come in. Okay, so she testifies Farron, and I think you’ve seen this. I actually put it in one of the books. The first book I wrote called Law And Disorder. It was a book about the Yaz case and several of the cases, a fiction. It’s a fiction book, but this is a true, true part of it where I have her on cross examination.

I said, Mrs. North, now you’ve been testifying here about what a wonderful corporation this is. Their honesty. You testified about their integrity. You testified how they just do things right, and they always have the consumer in mind and they would never, basically her bottom line and we would never do anything wrong. We would never hire people who do things wrong. That’s the catch. So I said, well Mrs. North, have you seen this picture? And I put a picture up of a fella named Fritz ter Meer, and she says, I’ve never seen that picture.

Well, the picture was Fritz ter Meer, who was CEO of Bayer at the time and actually became, continued to be CEO of Bayer after this incident, Fritz ter Meer was a war criminal. In Auschwitz, he helped design the gas that killed hundreds of thousands of Jews in Auschwitz. And I said, well, nobody ever told you you’re talking about the integrity of this company.

Nobody ever told you about Fritz ter Meer. No, I didn’t know about Fritz ter Meer. Well, she didn’t know that I had another document. And the other document was a document that showed that every year Bayer continues to have a celebration for Fritz ter Meer. Literally a celebration, a grave site celebration, where they give a scholarship away to the leading scientists of a university or student in a university, and she had been there.

So first of all, she’s lying about Fritz ter Meer. The real story about Fritz ter Meer is that Bayer was so up to their eyeballs in the Nazi movement in the Second World War, that they actually designed gas to kill people. And those same people who did that went to work for Bayer after the war.

So I was, it was a startling moment. It was a kind of moment where you go, oh, well it was so startling that when it came up right before trial, they settled the case for all of the Yaz cases throughout the country. So this will be another opportunity to tell that story in the Essure case.

Farron Cousins: Well, you know, I think there’s also another part to that story though, because if I remember correctly, and I could be wrong, so feel free to correct me, but wasn’t this Yaz, because I was here with you. Wasn’t that the story that when it first came out was pitched to the New York Times.

Mike Papantonio: Yes.

Farron Cousins: And the New York Times after kicking it around for a few months. Oh, we’ve got this reporter, they’re working on this great, great, great story. This is going to be huge. We’re going to blow it out of the water. Publication Day came and they said, we can’t, we don’t want to ruffle any feathers.

Mike Papantonio: That’s exactly right. It’s worse than that. It was actually, I was actually working as a contributor for MSNBC and not, you know, not regular, but I was a contributor. I would appear, you know, once every couple of weeks until I went to work on, you know, with Ed Schultz when he had his show, I would be there sometimes two or three times a week, but I remember pitching this story and the producers couldn’t do the story because the advertisers wouldn’t let them.

Now I want to pick up from there. You are always, have always been as long as I’ve known you a critic of corporate media, just like I am. I think, honestly Farron if I’ve ever been influenced by anybody on corporate media, it would be the influence that you showed as far as your attitude about corporate media. That’s part of the Bayer story and I’m glad you raised it, but that story continues today.

Farron Cousins: It does.

Mike Papantonio: I saw a segment that you did where you were talking about the on live talent couldn’t tell a story because advertisers wouldn’t let them on MSNBC. Pickup from that, I don’t want to speak your words, but tell me.

Farron Cousins: Right. It was an absolutely insane thing that happened. Chris Hayes from MSNBC tweeted out because somebody asked him whether or not talking about climate change on the air, and he said, well, you know, without fail, every time we do this, it is a quote ratings killer.

Now, later on in a tweet, he also said, you know, the audience demand for it just isn’t there. And I think that might’ve been a way to kind of walk that comment back a bit and try to pin it on the audience. But what Chris Hayes was really saying, and this is not an attack on him at all, he was honest.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: It was the, the advertisers don’t want it. If we lose audience, we lose money. You know, the people up at the top floor making the decisions, they won’t let us cover real issues. And he did later on in this tweet thread mentioned, there is actually a vast array. That was the phrase he used, vast array of topics that we don’t cover.

Mike Papantonio: Well they don’t cover them because advertisers don’t let them.

Farron Cousins: But it was just shocking. And the immediate response I had was, I hope you have another job lined up because you just did what Phil Donahue did. You did what Ed Schultz did. You did with Cenk Uygur did at MSNBC. You spoke the truth, and nothing makes corporate media madder, madder than exposing what they do, which is not cover important stories.

Mike Papantonio: They always want to give you this impression that they’re in this etheorial world where they make these decisions based on what’s right and what’s a good story and what’s not. Firsthand knowledge, you may recall the time, also an MSNBC story where I appeared on MSNBC and I told the story about a wood company that was called Arsenic Wood and the wood was actually used.

They would treat it with arsenic. They would use it in water primarily because it wouldn’t rot. So I appeared on MSNBC and told the story about how they were using that wood for children’s playground equipment.

Farron Cousins: Osmose was the company.

Mike Papantonio: Osmose. And the problem is children were getting exposure to ungodly amounts of arsenic. So I go on, I tell this story. I have all the documents, you know, it’s very clear that everything I’m saying is absolutely correct, which proved to be correct in the end anyway, but uh, so I get this call, you got to come back on MSNBC and you’d have to apologize for doing that story. And I said, no, I’m not going to apologize for doing the story and I’ll gladly move on, but I’m not going to do the story.

This was coming from Phil Griffin, by the way, the guy that is in charge of MSNBC. That’s been there so long that we have lost so many great stories because of people like Andy Lack, who runs NBC is nothing but a corporate troll, and Phil Griffin who is nothing but a corporate troll. When an advertiser tells them they can’t do the story, they don’t do the story.

People ask me, you, you appear with me on RT America, Russian television. Oh my God. You know, Putin TV is what they like to call it. It’s the only place I’ve ever worked in media where I’ve actually been able to tell the story without anybody saying, no, you can’t do that because advertisers are going to get mad. I’ve did it there. I did it on free speech TV. I was able to tell the story and free speech TV.

These are places you’ve appeared to and we’re. We’re able to do it on ring of fire, but the the, the landing on this is this. Corporate media is killing news. Corporate media is all about ratings. I just saw an article, Farron where 30, 33 percent of the American public have cut the cord on cable on, on, on cable news, on cable channel, and maybe that’s a sign that things are turning to the better. What is your thought?

Farron Cousins: I, I hope do. It doesn’t matter which corporate network it is. CNN is all about war. MSNBC is all about Democrats. As long as the Democrats take money from corporations and Fox News is a 100 percent crazy. So you have those three choices to choose from in cable corporate news, all equally terrible in their own right. But the thing to me is so many on the democratic side, say MSNBC is our best hope.

MSNBC is the best thing. Well, you got a host right there who again, I don’t think, I think they’re going to be very mad that he said that because he exposed what they do. They hide the important stories because they can’t tell them because the advertisers, the viewers, it’s not there.

Mike Papantonio: It’s gotten so crazy. Rachel Maddow and I used to work together on Air America radio many, many years ago. She, I mean honestly regarded her as the smartest person I ever worked with. A rhodes scholar. Just a brilliant, brilliant woman and honest to God last week she as if I thought I was watching Alex Jones says that Putin, excuse me, that Trump is really a plant by Putin, that Putin actually got Trump planted as president.

You may disagree with Trump, I think the guys nuts, but to go that far and make a crazy statement like that shows you how far MSNBC has fallen in the tank because of people like Phil Griffin and Andy Lack.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.