After months of haggling, the Bayer-Monsanto consolidation will finally be coming to fruition. Yes, our worst fears are coming true: Monsanto will become an even larger, more powerful force in the world. Germany’s Bayer cinched the deal by increasing their offer by another billion dollars. With an offer of $66 billion, and a commitment to take over the company’s current debts, Monsanto will soon be a part of the most frightening pharmaceutical-agricultural conglomerate in the world.
CNN Money has declared that the Bayer-Monsanto merger is “the year’s biggest takeover,” though it is surely far from something worth celebrating. Many feel that Bayer is the real winner here; the company is strongest in Europe and Asia, and will reap the benefits of Monsanto’s hefty presence in North America. Bayer will also get all of Monsanto’s experience in agrichemicals and GMO seeds. There is still a chance that this deal will not go through. If, by some miracle, Bayer is unable to acquire Monsanto, farmers and consumers across the world will breathe a sigh of relief.
While executives from Bayer and Monsanto are quick to insist that a merger would bring “substantial benefits” to farmers and society, they are not without opposition. Many people understand that there is a much greater potential for disaster that would follow a merger of these two companies, and that the risk simply cannot be understated. Their consolidation of power would force farmers to be even more dependent on a single source for seeds, much like the recent merging of their competitors Syngenta and ChemChina. March Against Monsanto notes: “Seed prices could rise for farmers, consumers could see more genetically engineered foods on supermarket shelves, and our global agricultural system could end up depending on just a few companies to meet a high percentage of the world’s agricultural needs …”
Anti-trust legal experts from the Konkurrenz Group have pointed out significant concerns regarding the legality of the Bayer-Monsanto merger. According to them, the consolidation of these two companies will violate anti-trust laws and lessen competition. “The proposed merger would violate a court order that was part of a U.S. Department of Justice consent decree and the primary U.S. anti-trust merger statute, the Clayton Act.”
The website BayerMonsantoMerger.com notes that the merger would also violate E.U. regulations, and that it would result in severe restriction of choice for both farmers and consumers, “in a market already dominated by a few large players.” The organization notes that Monsanto would become more powerful following this merger, awarding them control over approximately 70 percent of all cotton acreage in the U.S., among other things.
In addition to exercising greater control over the agricultural industry through every possible avenue, a Bayer-Monsanto merger would result in rising food prices due to a toxic monopoly over the marketplace. A monopoly on seeds will lead to higher prices for farmers, and inevitably, consumers. It is also very likely that fewer organic and GMO-free options will be available, should this merger be allowed to pass.
Over half a million people have signed this petition to stop the Bayer-Monsanto merger; in addition to violating regulatory laws in the E.U. and in the U.S., this merger will create a ruthless, malevolent mega-conglomeration that will eventually become unstoppable.
Monsanto already has their hooks into government agencies here in the U.S.; what do you think will happen when the company becomes even stronger?
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