Consumer Watchdog Warns Bayer-Monsanto Merger Could “Usher in a New Era of Sterile Crops Soaked in Dangerous Pesticides”
ST. LOUIS — Today, Monsanto shareholders voted to approve a bid by German pharmaceutical and chemical giant, Bayer, to purchase Monsanto for $66 billion, in a merger that would effectively create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and agricultural chemicals.
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In reaction to the announcement, Toni Preston, campaigner for SumOfUs, an international consumer watchdog, issued the following statement:
“The merger between Bayer and Monsanto is a major threat to the global food supply and the global economy. While Monsanto shareholders have accepted Bayer’s controversial bid, the US Justice Department, state attorneys general, the US Congress and EU regulators must stand up for consumers and farmers and reject this deal as a major violation of antitrust protections.
“Plain and simple – this new mega corporation is set to be the world’s biggest seed maker and pesticide company, giving it unprecedented control over critical aspects of our food supply – undermining consumer choice and the freedom and stability of farmers worldwide.
“Nearly a million people around the world have spoken out against this dangerous deal that has the potential to usher in a new era of sterile crops soaked in deadly pesticides. Regulatory authorities in the EU and US should recognize the unique threats posed by this merger and move swiftly to reject this deal.”
Earlier this year, SumOfUs released a legal white paper, written by two former Justice Department officials from the Antitrust Division, that argued that a merger between Bayer and Monsanto would violate the Clayton Act, a law enacted by Congress to curb anticompetitive business practices.
READ THE LEGAL WHITE PAPER HERE: www.bayermonsantomerger.com
According to the legal white paper, a Bayer-Monsanto merger would also be in direct violation of a 2008 court order, where Monsanto was forced to divest itself of certain cottonseed and cotton breeding assets, which were sold to Bayer. If the merger proceeds, Monsanto would re-acquire these anti-competitive traits, thereby violating the US Department of Justice’s judgement. SumOfUs’ legal white paper also argued that:
- The merger would eliminate direct competition between two of the largest players in the traited seed sector, with direct consequences for seed development, herbicide markets, and innovative and open research and development.
- The merger will mean the new Bayer-Monsanto conglomerate will control nearly 70% of the cotton acreage in the United States – unacceptably high by antitrust standards. It would also have unacceptable market concentration in wide swaths of commercial seed development and sales for other commonly used varieties, including traited canola, soybeans, and corn developed in North America.
- The new corporation would likely lead to higher input prices, with less choice and higher food prices for consumers, and fewer non-biotechnology options available to farmers and consumers.
More than 600,000 SumOfUs members around the world have signed onto a petition opposing the potential merger of Monsanto and Bayer.
VIEW THE PETITION HERE: https://actions.sumofus.org/
SumOfUs is a global consumer group that campaigns to hold big corporations accountable. Over 12 million people have taken over 50 million actions worldwide with SumOfUs since it launched.