Why Did Bayer Buy Monsanto?

Fully aware of the accusations building up against Monsanto, Bayer, already the biggest pesticide company in the world, upped its bid three times ($US6B) to acquired this the 'most hated company in the world'.

Monsanto was already on the verge of being found guilty of negligence and liable for the cancer linked to its flagship product, the Roundup herbicide. Why buy all that trouble - it seemingly doesn't make sense ...

Since then Bayer has lost a $2 billion lawsuit over claims against the weedkiller Roundup. Its stock has been in a free-fall all year, as more bad news about Roundup reaches the public. The company’s stock has dropped more than 44% since the acquisition of Monsanto.
It now faces a shareholder revolt and over 30,000 more lawsuits on similar charges. Just from the marketing perspective RoundUp had already reached saturation in the USofA, and in the EU was facing huge consumer concerns about health and environmental harm. All this was so obviously inevitable that it makes you wonder - What on Earth were they thinking? Their CEO thinks they are onto a winner, but they're not telling anyone why.

Hello Brazil...

Long famous for its Carnaval, coffee and rain-forest destruction, Brazil is also the world's second largest soybean producer, (after USoA). With 98% of the world's soybeans used for livestock feed we're talking serious factory-farmed beef; in China and USoA.

Bayer's interest in acquiring Monsanto was in genetically modified seed sector and in the growth of that sector: If these three variables – genetically-modified seeds, agricultural poisons and growth – are put together, only one common denominator can be found worldwide: Brazil.

Currently, Bayer sell 12 pesticide-active ingredients in Brazil that are not authorised at EU level. These are: carbendazim; cyclanilide; ethiprole; ethoxysulfuron; fenamidone; Indaziflam; ioxynil; oxadiazon; propineb; thidiazuron; thiodicarb; .thiram.

Brazil is the world leader in the use of agricultural poisons – and the GM soy-growing province of Mato Grosso holds the world record: If the total amount of agricultural poisons released in Brazil per year is measured in terms of per head of population, then one arrives at the terrifying amount of 7.3 litres per Brazilian citizen. But this is "only" the national average. Brazil's leader in spraying agricultural poisons is the Central Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, where 13.3% (140 million litres) of all the pesticides used in Brazil were sprayed each year from 2005 to 2012, according to the latest calculations by the State Institute for Agricultural Safety of Mato Grosso.

A study by the Federal University of Mato Grosso found in one study that there were 1,442 cases of gastric, oesophageal and pancreatic cancer in 13 municipalities (644,746 inhabitants according to last 2015 census), in which soy, corn and cotton were grown between 1992 and 2014.
By comparison, in the 13 comparable municipalities (219,801 inhabitants according to last census 2015), where tourism predominated instead of agriculture, the number of cancer cases was just 53. This results in a cancer rate of 223.65 per 100,000 inhabitants in predominantly agricultural municipalities, whereas in predominantly tourism municipalities, there is a cancer rate of 24.11 per 100,000 inhabitants -- a factor of 8 times!

Source: https://gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/18914

Glyphosate: links in a lot of nasty chains

Once glyphosate is gone from the agricultural landscape (as it must) it is unlikely to be replaced, and a lot of deep changes will have to happen - hopefully for the better.

After 30 years of systematically attempting to dominate the world’s food supply through deceit and tyranny Monsanto, in late 2018, scurried under the skirts of Bayer Crop Science Division. Though it may no longer exist legally its 4000+ lawsuits against RoundUp still do. Although court judgements against Monsanto were once unheard of the August/18 verdict of $78M damages seems to be a signal that that’s about to change.

Monsanto has always been a heavyweight in the game of nasty chemicals, as Bayer still is. It discovered and patented the compound glyphosate, a chemical which causes metabolic disruption in plants, killing them essentially through systemic malnutrition. Because the same metabolic pathway isn’t present in animals glyphosate was eventually cleared by the US EPA to be marketed as a herbicide. Monsanto’s brand-name is Roundup but these days it is sold under licence under various names.

Later, when Monsanto’s gene-scientists learned how to impart glyphosate resistance into plant DNA the RoundUp Ready story was born. The glyphosate-GMO combo went to market in 1996 as a whole new way to further intensify intensive farming. It allowed for bigger acreages with less work and bigger crops: it changed the face of big-scale farming but not for the better. Farmers loved it and Monsanto made dizzying profits. But within a few years cracks began to appear; super-weeds, nutrition, kidney dysfunction ... cancer! Deceit, fake science, intimidation and corruption were used to hide these unwanted side-effects. These issues are set out in an early documentary, see ...The World According to Monsanto (2007).

Those early concerns described in that documentary have since then only magnified, with mounting alarm about the long-term health and environmental issues. ... GLYPHOSATE is presently in the process of being banned in country after country. ... More significantly the GMOs associated with it must also go. At last, it looks like an end for this harmful product is in sight, but ... its unhealthy legacy will likely persist for generations to come, and in some aspect the damage done to the earth's genosphere has been done forever. Part of the legacy that remains with us is a GMO industry that is bent on justifying its own unnecessary existence, by any means possible. At least while there remains that alluring possibility of controlling the world's major seed supplies . (see ... Food Evolution, 2017).

Where to Now From Here

We could look back at the world before Monsanto and try to imagine it now as if their products had never occurred. But industrial-style farming was never sustainable: it always was a major cause of atmospheric change, of massive fertility deficits, of serious biodiversity losses. So instead, we should look back even further, to a time before WWI and WWII decimated rural populations, in order for a real glimpse at sustainable farming and the way food needs to be grown for optimal health.

Those chemical-based technologies that replaced manpower shortages have colonised the farming industry, displacing the accumulated wisdom of traditional land-use experience. But that was only for European cultures. In other parts of the world, amongst traditional peasant cultures, much of land-use wisdom has persisted though under severe threat from enterprise agriculture.

The agrichemical industry is never going to accept that its chemical/GMO tricks against Nature always wear off - evolution always wins. Roundup has lost on the medical front, and has been losing on the farming front for a while, to more toxic (and expensive) 'solutions'. There is a host of them, all headed for a similar failure. The only long-term sustainable solution is in the re-peasantisation of farming, a re-populating of the rural landscape with smaller family farms. That seems a long way off, just for now.

The biotech industry's bid for global domination of the world’s food supply is faltering and a down scaling of farming is inevitable, if not imminent. Already farmers across America are facing a mortgage crisis. Industrial farming sows the seed of its own destruction, with potentially a food system collapse, and massive social and economic disruption.


New Evidence that Glyphosate is a Probable Carcinogen:

Recommended reading...

Global Food Movement Rejects 'Gene drive' Technology

World Food Day (Oct/18) ...

Over 200 global food movement leaders and organisations representing hundreds of millions of farmers and food workers set out their clear opposition to “gene drives” – a controversial new genetic forcing technology.

Their call for a stop to this technology accompanies a new report, Forcing the Farm: How Gene Drive Organisms Could Entrench Industrial Agriculture and Threaten Food Sovereignty, that lifts the lid on how gene drives may harm food and farming systems.

Unlike previous genetically modified organisms (GMOs) these gene drive organisms (GDOs) are deliberately designed to spread genetic pollution as an agricultural strategy – for example, spreading "auto-extinction" genes to wipe out agricultural pests. Agri-research bodies now developing these extinction-organisms include the California Cherry Board, the US Citrus Research Board and the private California company Agragene Inc. Next month, the United Nations Biodiversity Convention will meet to discuss measures to control this technology, including a possible moratorium.

Those launching the call for a moratorium on gene drives in food and agriculture include all past and present UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food; the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements; IUF (the International Union representing Food and Farmworkers); La Via Campesina, the largest network of peasant movements representing 200 million peasants in 81 countries; and GMWatch. Signatories also include well-known commentators on food matters including seed activist Vandana Shiva, World Food Prize winner Dr Hans Herren, International President of Friends of the Earth International Karin Nansen, activist and food entrepreneur Nell Newman, and environmentalist and geneticist David Suzuki.

Applying gene drives to food systems threatens to harm farmers’ rights and the rights of peasants as enshrined in international treaties,” said Dr Olivier De Schutter, who served as the UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food from 2008-2014. “Gene drives would undermine the realisation of human rights including the right to healthy, ecologically-produced and culturally appropriate food and nutrition

The much-touted Bt-cotton leaves the party

India's 2018 cotton harvest was devastated by swarming armies of bollworms

In India, 90 per cent of the land under cotton uses a GM Bt-seed variety cotton supplied by Monsanto. But the main pest it was meant to safeguard against is back, as a virulent pesticide-resistant species.

The bollworm lays thousands of eggs and multiplies into millions of worms within days. Estimates based on surveys by the state revenue and the Maharashtra agriculture departments around November and then again in February-March indicate that the pink-worm infestation affected over 80 per cent of the 4.2 million hectares under cotton in the state. Each farmer reportedly lost 33 per cent to over 50 per cent of their standing crop.

Bt-cotton gets its name from bacillus thuringiensis, a soil-dwelling bacterium. The Bt seed contains cry (crystal) genes derived from the bacterium and inserted into the cotton plant genome (the genetic material of the cell) to provide protection against the bollworm.

Bt-cotton was meant to control the bollworm. But farmers will now find the worms surviving in Bt-cotton fields, Kranthi wrote in a series of essays in industry magazines and on his own CICR blog. Neither the ICAR nor the Union Agriculture Ministry seemed alert to the potential devastation at the time. The state and central government have since been aware of the extent of pink-worm devastation, but have not come up with a solution.

In 2006-7, Monsanto released BG-II hybrids, saying the new technology was more potent, more durable. These slowly replaced BG-I. And by now, BG-II hybrids occupy over 90 per cent of the around 130 million hectares under cotton across India, according to government estimates.

Where to now?

There is no new GM technology in sight now or in the near future that promises to replace BG-II. Neither is any technology available for more effective insecticides. India is in deep trouble on its fields of cotton, a crop that occupies vast stretches of land and creates millions of workdays in rural India.


The Ministry of Agriculture of the government of India acknowledges the problem, but has rejected the demand from Maharashtra and other states to de-notify Bt-cotton – a move that will change its status to regular cotton since Bt’s efficacy has gone.

2.0 GM Campaign

Urgent international action required to prevent release of risky technologies

It's looking as if Australia might have the dubious distinction of being the first country in the world to deregulate the use of new GM techniques such as CRISPR and RNA interference in animals, crops and microbes.

In recent years large agrochemical companies such as Dow, Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto and other players have been investing in a suite of risky new genetic modification (GM) techniques, which industry refers to collectively as ‘New Plant Breeding Techniques’. Industry is arguing that these techniques are much more precise than older genetic engineering techniques – or even that they are not really genetic engineering at all – in order to attempt to circumvent regulation and public resistance to GMOs.

If we allow this to happen, products from these new GM techniques will enter our food chain and our environment with no safety testing and no labelling. The risks are enormous and the results could be catastrophic.

The Australia/New Zealand food regulator FSANZ has released a discussion paper on this: Review of new breeding technologies

Friends of the Earth Australia has an online submission tool. Whichever country you live in, please use it to send a comment (points are suggested for your emails) and promote this action through your networks. Since Australia is a major food exporter we are all going to wind up eating this stuff if it is deregulated. Go to: Demand all GM food be assessed for safety

In your campaign email you might like to refer the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility's statement on new GM techniques, which concludes that they "should be strictly regulated as GMOs":


Anti-GMO Media in Russia

Spreading Fears of the US Attempting a Global GMO Dictatorship

Researchers at Iowa State University expressed concerns that the activity of Russian media could harm the American GMO industry, by speculating upon how it intends to dominate the global food market.

"Russia is funding articles shared online that question the safety of GMOs in an effort hurt U.S. agriculture interests and bolster its position as the "ecologically clean alternative" to genetically engineered food, said Shawn Dorius, an Iowa State University assistant sociology professor. (Source - Feb. 2018)

The accusations are against Russian journalists trying to increase consumer interest in malicious technology take place against a backdrop of two trends. Firstly, the anti-Russian campaign launched by the Democratic Party in the US after the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential elections, and the US attempts to establish a GMO dictatorship across the world, which Russia is opposed to.

Seeds of Destruction (2007, F. William Engdahl)
This skillfully researched book focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread. “Control the food and you control the people.”
This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO. Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms.
The author cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. If the book often reads as a crime story, that should come as no surprise. For that is what it is.
Engdahl’s carefully argued critique goes far beyond the familiar controversies surrounding the practice of genetic modification as a scientific technique. The book is an eye-opener, a must-read for all those committed to the causes of social justice and world peace.

[fsbProduct asin=’0973714727′ size=’480′ align=’center’]


Author’s presentation (2014) —
GMO – Seeds of Destruction

Roundup Whitewash

Monsanto Now Wants to Defund the WHO

Monsanto anticipated that the World Health Organization scientists would find glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen.

They knew that this would happen and have been preparing to discredit them since March of 2015.

The UN for decades has been telling us what will cause cancer and what won’t cause cancer. In 2016 they came out and they say, “Roundup is a probable cause of cancer.” So rather than Monsanto saying, “Well, maybe we ought to warn people about that” instead they’re now trying to de-fund the World Health Organization because it said something that’s going to hurt their profits.

Apparently Monsanto have some friendly Republicans in Washington D.C. to push the message. They’re looking trying to de-fund IARC. A hearing was scheduled for 06/02/18 to take a look at some of these matters. It’s a really powerful move by a powerful company to try to take on these international cancer scientists.

In February 2018 Monsanto hit Avaaz, the international petition site, with a 168-page court subpoena about a petition they had just launched.


An interview with Carey Gillam, author of – Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science

Over 33,000 fed up citizens joined in the streets of Berlin to tell the world – Food is Political!

This year’s Wir Haben Es Satt (We Are Fed Up) demonstration featured a wide and colourful array of people from a number of food farming and environmental perspectives.

The focus of the protest was on farmers – loss of farmers and small scale farmer’s rights, and land access. Highlighted also were GMO free food, refugee solidarity, animal welfare, food sovereignty, fair trade, bee friendly agriculture, climate and environment, CAP reform for rural and ecological improvements.

Food is Political ...!

Joel Labbe (pictured) also spoke at the rally. He was the driving force behind the successful banning of herbicides from public use in France. This means that public parks, schools forests and other areas are no longer treated with these agri-chemicals in France. Further restrictions are coming in in the coming months and years.

Africa grabbing | Economic colonialism

The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, is a G7/G8-led scheme, masquerading as an aid programme is serving up African nations on a silver platter—to Big-Seed/Big-Ag corporations. The deal threatens to rob and imprison farmers needing aid, while growing profits for various Ag-based giants.

A list of the organisations involved includes the names of the usual Big-Ag/Food/Bank corporations lurking behind such schemes: Monsanto; Syngenta; Caygill; Nestle; Swiss Re … it’s a war against tradition: self-reliant peasant agriculture.

The GuardianEuropean parliament slams G7 food project in Africa

Tanzania recently enacted a law that criminalised seed sharing, an ancient agricultural practice that is widespread in many parts of the world and critical to local farming. Under the new legislation, if a farmer buys seeds from Monsanto or Syngenta, those companies retain the intellectual property rights. For instance, if a farmer saves some seeds from the first harvest, those seeds can only be used on that farmer’s land for non-commercial purposes. This new law threatens an essential practice for many of these farmers.

The penalty for sharing seeds is twelve years in prison or a fine of over 200,000 euros. The average wage of a farmer in Tanzania is two dollars a day.

According to news reports, about 90% of African farmers depend on their seeds for survival. The informal sale or exchange of seeds allows farmers to be independent from the commercial seed business, while allowing poor farmers to have resilient crops at affordable prices. Eliminating seed-sharing closes off a fundamental source of revenue for poor farmers.

Tanzania did not enact this law out of thin air. An aid programme launched by the G8 (the US, UK, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, the European Union, and Russia) in 2012, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN), promises aid in the form of agricultural investment to the ten African member countries, but only on the condition that countries receiving aid enact political reforms that help Big-Ag at the expense of small farmers who produce 70% of the world’s food.

Launched in 2012, the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition provides aid money from rich countries like the US and the UK, and helps big business invest in the African agricultural sector. But in return, African countries are required to change their land, seed and trade rules in favour of big business.

By 2013 ten African countries had signed up: Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Benin, Malawi, Nigeria and Senegal. Around 50 multinational companies including Monsanto, Cargill and Unilever, and around 100 African companies, are also involved.

A few years on and evidence is mounting against the New Alliance.

A recent report from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact condemned the New Alliance as “little more than a means of promotion for the companies involved and a chance to increase their influence in policy debates”.

This excerpt from The Guardian says it all:

[NAFSN] will lock poor farmers into buying increasingly expensive seeds – including genetically modified seeds – allow corporate monopolies in seed selling, and escalate the loss of precious genetic diversity in seeds – absolutely key in the fight against hunger. It will also open the door to genetically modified (GM) crops in Africa by stopping farmers’ access to traditional local varieties and forcing them to buy private seeds.

NAFSN also calls for countries to help foreign investors take over agricultural lands. This “aid,” in short, is the wedge that Big-Ag and biotech companies are using to get a stronger foothold in Africa, leading many critics to call the schemes a “new wave of colonialism.” We tend to agree. Depriving farmers of their livelihood is hardly a way to battle poverty and hunger.

The New Alliance will:

  • Make it easier for big corporations to grab land in Africa.
  • Prevent farmers from breeding, saving and exchanging seeds.
  • Heavily promote chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which increase farmers’ risk of debt as well as damaging the environment and farmers’ health.
  • Replace family farms with low paid, insecure jobs.
  • Prevent countries from restricting crop exports, even at times of domestic shortage

Much of the aid money and investment promised as part of the New Alliance prioritises crops for export, including tobacco, palm oil and biofuel crops, rather than supporting small farmers to grow crops sustainably for local consumption.

Forfeit local sovereignty

70% of Africa’s food is produced by small-scale farmers who grow nutritious food without harming their health or the environment. And they can keep control over their land, seed and soil in line with the principles of food sovereignty.

Unsurprisingly, there are already reports that NAFSN is failing. Canadian authorities conducted a review of NAFSN’s progress in Senegal. The Canadian government concluded that there was no evidence that NAFSN “was effective in reducing poverty, improving food security and nutrition, or addressing the challenges faced by women in the Senegalese context.”

This story underscores the depths to which biotech companies like Monsanto and Syngenta will sink to, and why they must be vigorously opposed at every opportunity. Not only have they proven to be reckless with our health, they are intentional about attacking the livelihoods of some of our planet’s neediest.

To hold Monsanto Corporation accountable for their crimes against humanity

(14-16th October, 2016) Navdanya and the Organic Consumer’s Association are co-organising the Monsanto Tribunal along with  a People’s Assembly for the future of food, the future of the planet – along with multiple civil society organizations – from at The Hague.

The Monsanto Tribunal aims to hold Monsanto and similar corporations accountable for their crimes against humanity, human rights violations and ecocide, no matter what name and form they morph into. Over 800 organizations from around the world are supporting and participating in this process while over 100 people’s assemblies and tribunals are being held across the world.

Over the last century big agribusiness companies have poisoned millions of people; destroyed the biodiversity over vast areas; pushed small farmers off their land and attempted to take over every aspect of our food system. The potential impacts of such outcomes increase as these corporations become fewer and bigger. An example is the recent bid by Bayer to buy Monsanto. 1

Corporations are becoming a threat to the planet

Using free trade (WTO) neoliberal policies and the deregulation of commerce to enlarge their empires, these corporations are downgrading life on earth and its biodiversity. They have broadened their control over our seed, our food and freedom, robbing us of our human rights and democracy. They have established monopolies and threatened farmers rights to seed and people’s rights to affordable medicine through patents and IPRs.

Also Read: Six Questions to Monsanto

The People’s Assembly will be a gathering of movements, seed savers, seed defenders, farmers and growers and civilians to address the crimes against nature and against humanity perpetrated by chemical and biotechnology corporations.

The Tribunal will look at how WTO and Free trade policies have introduced patents on seed and promoted the GMO invasion, and also look at the new free trade agreements like TTIP and TPP. Through the experience of ecocide and genocide over the last century, the Tribunal will also chart the road to our future based on Seed Freedom and Food Freedom, agroecology and farmers rights, our commons and economies of sharing, rights of nature and earth democracy.

The draft agenda for the People’s Assembly includes the following issues:

A Century of Ecocide and Genocide

  • Owning Life and Poisoning Life
  • Attack on Farmers and Farming
  • Attack on science and scientists
  • Attack on Food Freedom and Democracy

Corporate Control and New Threats

  • New corporate concentration – the Monsanto-Bayer Merger
  • New Free Trade Agreements – TPP and TTIP
  • New GMO Technologies, synthetic biology and gene editing

People’s vision for the future of food and the future of planet

  • Seed Saving and community Seed Banks
  • Reclaiming the seed as commons
  • Agroecology feeds the world
  • Organic Agriculture and Poison Free food
  • From Degeneration to Regeneration
  • Rights of Mother Earth
  • Sowing the Seeds of Earth Democracy

Sources & References

  1. Update (3 Oct ’16) – http://seedfreedom.info/the-monsanto-tribunal-and-the-peoples-assembly/
  2. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/05/bayer-in-advanced-talks-with-monsanto-on-deal-after-raising-offer.html (accessed 10/09/16)
  3. http://seedfreedom.info/campaign/peoplesassembly-at-mt-the-hague/  (accessed 10/09/16)
  4. https://www.organicconsumers.org/press/international-monsanto-tribunal-names-panel-distinguished-international-judges (accessed 10/09/16)

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