Group Warns President-Elect Trump That Bayer-Monsanto Merger Would Threaten Consumer Choice and Farmer Stability
SumOfUs Urges President-Elect Trump to Oppose Bayer-Monsanto Merger
According to The Wall Street Journal, Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York earlier today to pitch Trump on the benefits of the proposed $57 billion dollar merger between the two agribusiness giants. The pending deal requires regulatory approval from the European Union and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division to move forward.
In reaction to the meeting, Toni Preston, campaigner for SumOfUs, an international corporate watchdog, issued the following statement:
“The proposed merger between Bayer and Monsanto is an existential threat to the American farmer, farmers around the world, and our global food supply. The proposed new mega corporation would be the world’s largest seed maker and pesticide company, giving it unprecedented control over all aspects of our food supply – undermining consumer choice and the freedom and stability of America’s farmers.
“This deal has the potential to usher in a new era of sterile crops soaked in deadly pesticides and President-elect Trump would be wise to recognize that this a bad deal for the American people.”
In 2016, 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.
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/a/stop-the-monsanto-bayer-mega-merger-nightmare
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SumOfUs is a global consumer group that campaigns to hold big corporations accountable. Over 120 million people have taken over 50 million actions worldwide with SumOfUs since it launched.