The latest multi-million dollar agribusiness merger has been signed between Bayer— German multinational chemical and pharmaceutical company— and American seed business giant, Monsanto,for a $56 billion bid.
If this deal is approved by European Union regulators and the U.S. Department of Justice, it could lead to the creation of the largest agribusiness on the planet— selling 29 percent of the world’s seeds and 24 percent of its pesticides.
Some critics scrutinise the consequences of a “food-generating corporation” acquiring so much power and having so much command over farmers and consumers. Such power could also influence political decisions and policies. Some are focused on the future of the state of innovation in agriculture.
Once a forerunner in American agricultural innovation, Monsanto has come under repeated attacks by activists. However it has to be stated that a lot of GM related fear mongering is not rooted in scientific facts.
A slump in China’s economy has been the main cause of the slowing down of global agricultural economies all around the world. Major seed and chemical corporations hope that consolidation will combat the falling profits and also contribute towards innovation.
Farmers are also beginning to increasingly question if the biotech revolution is actually giving them gains amidst the agricultural losses that they face. Though unlikely in the case of the Bayer-Monsanto merger, it could be a step in the way of such mergers being successful in the future.
As for the question of whether Bayer would keep Monsanto’s name, Werner Bauman— CEO of Bayer— said in an interview:
“It is too early to speculate about what the name of the company is going to be. But let me tell you that Bayer’s name and Bayer’s reputation stand for science, innovation and an utmost level of responsibility for societal needs, and that is what we are going to leverage on, also for the combined company going forward.”
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