Bayer and Monsanto finally agreed to say “I do” September 14, striking a $66-billion deal that Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant tried to sell as a move to improve “the lives of growers and people around the world.”
Wall Street Journal reporter Jacob Bunge painted the news in a different light. Bunge implied that behind the Bayer-Monsanto buyout, a similar proposed merger between Dow and Dupont, and the recently approved ChemChina-Syngenta deal, runs the story of an industry in trouble.
“The dominance of genetically modified crops is under threat,” wrote Bunge on Wednesday. Bunge interviewed a Ohio farmer Joe Logan who told him:
“The price we are paying for biotech seed now, we’re not able to capture the returns,” said Ohio farmer Joe Logan. This spring, Mr. Logan loaded up his planter with soybean seeds costing $85 a bag, nearly five times what he paid two decades ago. Next spring, he says, he plans to sow many of his corn and soybean fields with non-biotech seeds to save money.
With farmers giving up on biotech seeds, a global public wise to the destruction wrought by poisons like glyphosate (Monsanto) and neonicotinoids (Bayer), and a food industry increasingly under pressure to remove GMO ingredients, the Gene Giants figure all they need to do is get bigger — and more powerful — and they’ll be able to use their clout to step up the bullying of farmers, governments, scientists and the media.
Outraged consumer and environmental advocacy groups are already calling for regulatory agencies to block the Bayer-Monsanto match-up. Agency officials will no doubt go through the motions, solemnly promising a “thorough review” before they do what they almost always do — hand multinational corporations a blank check.
As soon as the media frenzy dies down and officials think the coast is clear, the Bayer-Monsanto “marriage made in hell” will likely be blessed by the powers that be.
Two of the world’s most foul corporate criminals will be one. Monsanto will pack up its headquarters and head overseas. The much-maligned Monsanto name will be retired.
But a corporate criminal by any other name — or size — is still a corporate criminal.
This merger only heightens the urgency, and strengthens our resolve, to hunt down the corporations that are poisoning everything in sight. We will follow them to the ends of the earth, if need be. We will expose their crimes. We will end the toxic tyranny.
We will become the Billions Against Bayer. And we will need your help.