Farming, environmental, and consumer groups have delivered a petition with over a million signatures to the Department of Justice asking them to block the merger between German pharmaceutical company Bayer and agricultural giant Monsanto. The petition was delivered days ahead of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing on technology in agriculture and data-driven farming. The petition is in addition to two recent reports showing the damaging impact of the merger on both farmers and consumers.
The first report from is Consumer Federation of America, “Mega-Mergers in the U.S. Seed and Agrochemical Sector the Political Economy of Tight Oligopolies on Steroids and the Squeeze on Farmers and Consumers,” and examines the Bayer Monsanto merger as an oliogopoly and discusses how having only select companies in charge will effect our food system. The second report is from Friends of the Earth, SumOfUs and the Open Markets Institute and entitled “Bayer-Monsanto Merger: Big Data, Big Agriculture, Big Problems.” It looks at the implications of the Bayer Monsanto merger on competition and farmer choice, especially in the area of data-driven farming.
Bayer and Monsanto’s toxic mega-merger is a danger to our planet and everyone living on it. Over 1 million Americans have called on the Department of Justice to protect our farmers and families from the consolidation of corporate power. Bayer and Monsanto’s merger is a direct threat to the future of people and our environment. The Justice Department must put on the breaks and stop this merger.” – Erich Pica, President Friends of the Earth
Consumers are concerned and worry that this could become a damaging monopoly.
If the Bayer-Monsanto merger is approved, the new company would be the world’s largest vegetable seed company, world’s largest cottonseed company, world’s largest manufacturer and seller of herbicides, the world’s largest owner of intellectual property/patents for herbicide tolerant traits. Should the merger move forward, 77 percent of the corn seed in America would be controlled by two companies, Bayer-Monsanto and Dow-DuPont. – OCM
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