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Monsanto Takeover by Bayer: Good or Bad?

Bayer's $66 billion deal for Monsanto is biggest takeover of 2016.
Bayer's $66 billion deal for Monsanto is biggest takeover of 2016. | Source

A Goliath Deal

From the merger of the German chemical company Bayer and the US seed breeder Monsanto germinates a superpower in the field of seeds and pesticides. Together they control over a whopping quarter of the world market to the dismay of environmental groups and farmers.

What can farmers and consumers expect of this controversial deal in the future?

What do You Think?

Is the Takeover Good or Bad?

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Monsanto and Bayer

The acquisition of Monsanto Bayer is the largest foreign acquisition ever for a German company. The deal has a total value of 66 billion dollars.

It is a bold step by Bayer, which thus takes over one of the most controversial companies in the world. Established in 1901, Monsanto has a bad reputation because they are at the forefront of genetic manipulation of crops, the extortion of farmers in the Third World, and the development of Agent Orange, a defoliant that claimed many casualties in the Vietnam War, and in fact still takes victims in the form of ongoing genetic abnormalities in the affected regions.

The German pharmaceutical company Bayer itself, founded in 1863 by Friedrich Bayer and Johann Friedrich Weskott, is not uncontroversial either. The company is well known for the development of the painkiller aspirin, but is also the inventor of mustard gas and the addictive drug heroin.

Who ever benefited from heroin or mustard gas except the producer?

GMO is bad for health, bad for the agricultural economy and bad for the environment. GMO is only good for the pockets of the richest elitists.
GMO is bad for health, bad for the agricultural economy and bad for the environment. GMO is only good for the pockets of the richest elitists. | Source

What Does the Acquisition Mean to Food Safety?

Government officials say that consumers don't have to worry that in the future there will be a higher amount of pesticides in their fruit or vegetables, because the legal standards are set by governments, and that includes the maximum residue limits.

But it wouldn't be the first time that legislations are changed out of sight of the preying eyes of the general public. Bayer and Monsanto together have a great political power. The lobbyists that operate behind the scenes.

Thus they can influence legislation, such as the import of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the United States or influence the monitoring systems. The rules can be bypassed in many ways at any time when big money is involved.

What Are the Risks for Farmers?

The merger may have negative consequences for farmers around the world - including the US - because there is less to choose. In addition, Bayer and Monsanto can increase the prices of seeds and pesticide due to the lack of competition.

Monsanto is known for its aggressive sales methods. Many farmers will be forced to move over to this evil twin because seeds and pesticides are solely sold when they are used in combination. So, a farmer won't be able to buy just only seeds or just only pesticides.

What About the Environment?

This mega deal can also be detrimental for the environment. Monsanto produces crop seeds that are resistant to pesticides, while any other (read: natural) plant organism dies from it. Farmers can be encouraged to use even more pesticides, just to be sure, because their crops remain intact in any case, and thus creating super weeds from the natural weeds on the long run. Similar as with insects, plants can become resistant as well.

To get rid of this super weeds during a growth period, other, more deadly pesticides or higher dosages have to be used. So you get a kind of vicious circle on the long run.

What About Innovation?

That too, doesn't seem to benefit on the long run. Because of their considerable market power have Bayer and Monsanto the ability to obstruct innovations of other smaller companies.

Monsanto has so far only patents on modified properties, but they are already working to apply for patents on the natural properties of plants, such as the genome (genetic makeup) of Broccoli. That means that other breeders cannot use these properties anymore.

Experts expect this will encourage a race to the bottom that won't eventually benefit anyone.

Are There Any Advantages to the Merger?

It depends who you ask. The concentration of power of Bayer and Monsanto might have a positive side. Seed breeding requires a lot of research, which is very expensive, and involves a lot of technology. Large companies can do their research faster and more efficiently than small companies, and thus accelerate the breeding process. That's an advantage if you love the use of more GMOs.

The upscaling can indeed lead to a more efficient agriculture with just a few gigafarms running the countries food supply. That this will benefit the agriculture, and thus our food supply is wishful thinking.


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Comments 13 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

I see the name Monsanto and my blood pressure instantly rises. I just don't have a good feeling about this merger. Thanks for your thoughts and analysis of the merger.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 2 weeks ago from Europe Author

That's a reaction many people might have these days, Bill. Thanks for your response. I planned to write this article almost two months ago, but due to businesses it just didn't work out so much. I am fairly mild in this article. My real expectations are much darker. I expect now this evil twin is combined the speed of their dark agenda will quadruple. Awakening is the only cure.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 2 weeks ago from Oklahoma

Interesting overview.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 2 weeks ago

I don't have any good feelings either. Thank you, Buildreps, for a good analysis of what may transpire. It seems like we are helpless against the damage already done, so we don't need anymore. My husband is trying to collect heirloom seeds, but it won't do any good to plant them if our garden will be contaminated by the pollen from Monsanto-Beyer crops. Innocent farmers have already lost court cases when their crops were contaminated by neighboring Monsanto fields, and Monsanto sued them for theft because the wind blew pollens into the other farmers' fields.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

Thank you for writing this, Buildreps. I can't see any positives coming from the merger of these two companies. I would put the words "Monsanto" and "evil" together in the same sentence. As you say, Bayer has done some good, but is by no means squeaky clean either (e.g. heroin and mustard gas). This will create a huge monopoly that can only be detrimental for the world.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 2 weeks ago from Europe Author

Thank you for your comment, Larry.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 2 weeks ago from Europe Author

I think global awakening is the only cure. I am not sure if contamination is possible between engineered and natural species. Do you have experience with this, or actual proof this happened? If that is true, the owner of the engineered species could actually claim the expansion.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 2 weeks ago from Europe Author

Thanks for your comment, John. I don't see any positiveness in what Monsanto was doing in the first place, and now they've merged with Bayer this evil will only expand faster and more sophisticated.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a thought provoking hub, Buildreps. Somehow I missed the news about the Monsanto and Bayer merger. Thank you for sharing it.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 13 days ago from Europe Author

Thank you for your comment, Alicia. The mega deal didn't got the attention it deserved. I think many people missed it. Bayer requires still approval from several government regulators. It would surprise if that would be a real problem.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 12 days ago

Buildreps, if that comment is in answer to mine, yes, I saw an unbelievable story on TV where an African American farmer with only 40 acres planted a crop of corn. The humongous Monsanto corn operation next to his field pollinated and contaminated his crop. Monsanto sued the small farmer for raising GMO corn without their permission and WON! I forget in which state this occurred, but welcome to the U.S.A. If I can find it online, I will publish the source, but the story was on either CNN or CBS or it was in a documentary on the History Channel. That was a year or two ago, so it may not still be available.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 11 days ago from Europe Author

Yes, MizBejabbers, that comment was in response to yours. Sorry for me not addressing my response. That is an unbelievable story indeed. We tend to call it a "legalized business", while it in fact is Mafia. The fact that they won doesn’t mean justice is done, Monsanto can afford better lawyers.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 10 days ago from Europe Author

Here is one article about Monsanto suing farmers: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/feb/1...

Even Wikipedia has an article on Monsanto's legal cases: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto_legal_cases

I am not sure about Monsanto suing an individual farmer in an alleged cross pollination case. Monsanto has such a bad name that their bad deeds are easily exaggerated, it's an evil company nevertheless.

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