Despite widespread opposition, The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has green-lighted the Bayer-Monsanto merger.
The Bayer-Monsanto merger was approved on the heels of the authorization of the Dow-DuPont and Syngenta-ChemChina mergers. As a result, just three corporations will control 59 percent of the seed market and 64 percent of the pesticide market — globally.
DoJ’s approval… and farmer resistance
The coupling of the agribusiness giants was approved despite recent poll results indicating farmers across the country believe the merger of Bayer and Monsanto will be bad for farming and farm communities.
Farmers in 48 states, representing all sectors of farming, were asked about the then-pending merger. More than 93% expressed concern, with a top worry being increased pressure to practice chemical-dependent farming and reduced choice for purchasing seeds and other inputs. The herbicide-resistant weed crisis and lack of viable solutions to the accompanying dicamba drift epidemic of last year's growing season were identified by many farmers as a major concern.
Reclaiming the future of farming
In response to the news, Iowa farmer and Pesticide Action Network Board chair Denise O’Brien echoed concerns shared by farmers across the country:
Today's green-lighting of the Monsanto-Bayer merger is just the most recent representation of the ever-growing consolidation of agricultural seed and chemical companies. We are down to just a few giants, who control too much of our food system. Farmers and consumers will need more protection than ever from the Farm Bill and from state laws. We must renew our commitment to stand with family farmers and others who are doing the real work to create a more just and healthy food system.
The struggle for a just, thriving food system that works for farmers, farmworkers, and rural communities — not Bayer-Monsanto — continues.
Thousands of you stood with farmers by telling DoJ officials that the Bayer-Monsanto merger must be stopped. Though the merger was approved, together we have the people power and momentum to continue our work toward a more just future.
Next steps? Iowa farmers are building on this momentum by meeting with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials in Washington, D.C. this week.
On the heels of the merger approval, farmers are calling on EPA to do its job by protecting farmers and rural communities from Monsanto’s “solution” to Roundup-resistant weeds — the Xtend dicamba cropping system that led to millions of damaged acres of soy last year. Prominent weed scientists predict that with continued use, dicamba-resistant weeds will spread quickly — thus, it’s clear Xtend will not solve the weed problem Monsanto’s Roundup created in the first place. It will, however, produce massive profits for the newly-merged agribusiness giant Bayer-Monsanto through herbicide sales.
The work continues. With your help, we’ll continue to keep the pressure on in the weeks and months to come. Stay tuned!