A French court started legal proceedings on Monday against Bayer CropScience for selling agricultural products that could be poisonous to animals and people. The court issued charges of the same nature against competitor BASF Agro five days ago and prohibited the sale of the company's popular pesticide Regent that farmers blame for the deaths of bees in southwestern France in 2002. BASF Agro bought Regent from Bayer. Both companies deny that the use of Regent by farmers caused the massive bee deaths. French farmers also claim that the Bayer pesticide Gaucho, which has been banned from use on French sunflower fields since 1999, led to the bees' deaths.