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.
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!