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The Bayer-Monsanto megacorp

Aug 6

Written by:
06/08/2018 10:29  RssIcon

The takeover of Monsanto by Bayer is now complete and the world’s most powerful agribusiness has been created 


Friends of the Earth Europe called the merger a “marriage made in hell”.

The Monsanto company name, which has become synonymous with genetically modified food, having been a longstanding target of environmental activists, will disappear in an apparent bid to protect corporate reputation. Bayer will be the megacorp’s company name.

 

Image: Monsanto FOE

Credit: Friends of the Earth

 

Monsanto was also responsible for the deadly herbicide Agent Orange, used by the US in the Vietnam war. It also sells Roundup, a glyphosate pesticide. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015, which Monsanto strenuously denies.

A former groundskeeper in California is the first individual to take Monsanto to court alleging that it has spent decades hiding the cancer-causing dangers of Roundup. Some European countries are trying to get glyphosate banned.

Bayer itself is a manufacturer of bee-killing pesticides – neonicotinoids – some of which are banned in the EU.

Friends of the Earth has run a long campaign to try to prevent the takeover, which it warned would “increase control over farmers and cut out competitors, and allow it to become the dominant ‘Facebook of farming’.”

“Feeding a growing world population is a long-term trend, and we want to contribute to its solution,” said Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann.

Adrian Bebb, Senior Food Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said that the mergers have little to do with solving world hunger.

“Research consistently demonstrates that world hunger is not a problem of supply, but rather of poverty, lack of democracy and unequal access to land, water and other resources, especially for women. To avoid the absolute control of the global food supply by a few companies, money should be invested heavily in grassroots farming”.

“The European Commission has completely failed to prevent the corporate dominance of agriculture by a small number of agribusiness companies. With this recent round of mega-mergers there are now fewer companies controlling our agriculture which is bad news for farmers and consumers and creates an even bigger lobby towards more intensive and nature-destroying industrial farming.”

Three companies now control up to 70% of the world’s agrochemicals and more than 60% of commercial seeds, according to Friends of the Earth Europe. Recently, US chemical company Dow merged with chemical rival DuPont, and ChemChina has bought massive Swiss seed and gene group Syngenta.

Bayer’s consumer brands are Feminax, Rennie, Germolene and Alka Seltzer. 

 

Read our profile on Monsanto >

 


 

 

 

 


 

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