282,000+ Sign Petition Opposing Bayer – Monsanto Merger – nothing brings out the activists like free Ben N Jerrys at a Bernie Sanders event/ Grateful Dead concert besides an anti GMO cause (although the two are not mutually exclusive). For background on the financial aspects and latest in the merger talks see here.
Below is a press release from the activists who oppose the merger.
SumOfUs Warns Bayer/Monsanto Merger Would Radically Threaten Global Food Systems
In a new petition from SumOfUs, an international consumer watchdog, over 282,000 people from around the world are speaking out against the proposed Bayer/Monsanto merger, saying the deal would radically threaten global food systems and undermine food security for millions of people.
The petition asks Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer, to kill the merger. The petition will also be delivered to regulatory authorities in the United States and Europe highlighting the risk that a Monsanto/Bayer agrochemical monopoly would create for food systems, consumers, and the environment.
View The Petition Here.
According to SumOfUs, the proposed merger would:
- Consolidate corporate control of global food systems, undermining choice and raising prices for farmers and consumers alike. If a Bayer-Monsanto merger goes through, the new mega-corporation would have annual revenues of over $67 billion and would dominate a third of global markets in seed sales and crop protection. Monsanto seed traits are already found in 80% of corn and 90% of soybeans grown in the US. A Bayer-Monsanto mega corporation would add cotton seeds to this list, together controlling 70% of the US cotton market.
- Threaten critical pollinators like bees and butterflies. Both Bayer and Monsanto are facing significant public opposition for pushing profits in the face of the environment and public health concerns. Bayer’s neonic pesticides are harming bee populations worldwide and Monsanto’s Roundup kills the main food source for Monarch butterflies, which are now at risk of extinction, and contains the pesticide Glyphosate which has been named as a probable source of cancer in humans by the WHO. Together, these controversial products would be backed by coordinated and well-funded lobbying tactics and a virtual monopoly on the development of marketable alternatives.
- Run afoul of antitrust laws designed to protect the public. Merger regulations in the European Union prohibit mergers which would significantly reduce competition in the EU, for example if they would create dominant companies that are likely to raise prices for consumers. And US law bars mergers when the effect “may be substantially to lessen competition or to tend to create a monopoly.” Given the consolidation already occurring in the first two links of the industrial food chain –seeds and pesticides–this merger is likely to violate antitrust statutes.
“If this deal goes through it would spell disaster for our food supply and farmers, ushering in a new era of sterile crops soaked in dangerous pesticides,” explained Anne Isakowitsch, a Berlin-based campaigner for SumOfUs. “This new corporation would be the biggest seed maker and pesticide company in the world — controlling critical aspects of our food supply in a way that would undermine consumer choices and the stability of farmers worldwide.”
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SumOfUs.org is a global consumer watchdog. We mobilize consumers, investors, and workers to hold corporations accountable for their actions and forge a new, sustainable and just path for our economy.