September 20, 2020 | News | No Comments
After weeks of speculation, chemical giant Bayer and biotech behemoth Monsanto have cleared a significant regulatory hurdle in their bid to consolidate into one company through a multibillion-dollar deal that critics are calling the “merger from Hell.”
“The coming together of these two is a marriage made in hell—bad for farmers, bad for consumers, and bad for our countryside.”
—Adrian Bebb, Friends of the Earth Europe
Ahead of its April deadline, on Wednesday the European Commission—the European Union’s executive arm—approved Bayer’s proposed takeover of U.S.-based Monsanto, claiming that concessions made by the companies alleviated competition concerns that critics have raised with regulators in both Europe and the United States.
Although the Commission’s decision is a major win for the companies, U.S. regulators have not yet weighed in. Still, Wednesday’s announcement alarmed activists that have spent months protesting the deal.
“This merger will create the world’s biggest and most powerful agribusiness corporation, which will try to force its genetically modified seeds and toxic pesticides into our food and countryside,” warned Adrian Bebb, a food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe.
“The Commission decision also allows them, together with BASF, to become data giants in agriculture—the ‘Facebooks of farming’—with all the pitfalls that entails,” Bebb added. “The coming together of these two is a marriage made in hell—bad for farmers, bad for consumers, and bad for our countryside.”
BASF—a German company, like Bayer—has agreed to buy assets from Bayer, which has been key to winning over regulators.
“The Commission ignored a million people who called on them to block this deal, and caved in to lobbying to create a mega-corporation which will dominate our food supply.”
—Nick Flynn, Avaaz
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