The end of Monsanto

The end of Monsanto

One of the most disowned companies on the planet ended its days without pain or glory. Finally, the purchase was finally approved in June 2018 by the United States and before that by the European Union, Bayer's first announcement was the disappearance of the brand, causing Monsanto to exit the market through the back door.

Of course, this does not mean the disappearance of its transgenic seeds or its toxins, which will continue to be sold by Bayer, but the name change was one of the motivations for Monsanto to seek to merge, seeking to disassociate itself from the multiple protests and campaigns in its against.

Definitely - and despite the fact that the merger is bad news for the people, the environment and food sovereignty - the disappearance of the Monsanto name is a triumph of the widespread popular resistance, of peasants and peasants, of environmentalists, consumers and many more, against GMOs, all over the world.

It is not a minor achievement. Although GMOs are still in markets, fields and food, there is a general rejection of them. The transnationals –Bayer included– have not managed to colonize our minds, as they did before with the majority of people with the supposed need to use agrochemicals and industrial agriculture and monocultures to feed us, a harmful myth that still persists despite its falsehood.

But in the case of transgenics, they never managed to be accepted by the vast majority of consumers and farmers, or to significantly extend their cultivation to more than a score of countries. There are still more than 160 countries that do not allow commercial planting. Monsanto was the largest transgenic seed company and, together with Syngenta, the most fought.

This is the latest of the mega agricultural mergers that began two years ago and the largest. The six largest seed producers, which together controlled 100 percent of GM crops were then Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow, Basf and Bayer. They also controlled the majority of the global agrochemical market.

Now Bayer-Monsanto, Syngenta-ChemChina (Chinese producer of pesticides) and DuPont with Dow have ended the merger process, which formed the new company Corteva Agriscience for their agricultural sector.

In order for the mergers to be approved by the United States, Europe and other countries, they were told that for reasons of market competition, they should sell part of their businesses, but all the chemical and seed businesses that they sold were bought by BASF.

Therefore, there were four mega-companies that together control more than two thirds of the world business of pesticides and commercial seeds, in addition to all transgenic seeds. This round of mergers is just a beginning for the one that follows, which is for the control of digital agriculture.

The majority rejection of transgenic crops and foods has been joined in recent years by a growing rejection of pesticides in food, in which the condemnation of glyphosate, the herbicide that Monsanto invented and patented in 1982, is a key aspect. Although it was already used in crops, lawns and gardens, it was thanks to GMOs that it became the most widely used pesticide on the planet and in history. This is because more than 85 percent of transgenic seeds are tolerant to herbicides, generally glyphosate (under names such as Faena, Rival and others), which greatly increased their application. Monsanto always argued that it was a low-risk herbicide, but in 2015, the World Health Organization declared it a carcinogen. Since then, the regions and countries where it is proposed to ban it have followed, including the European Union as such.

In addition to GMO seeds and glyphosate, Monsanto put many other things on the market to the detriment of humanity and the planet, such as the askarels (PCBs) that made entire peoples sick with cancer (knowingly after the first few years); Agent Orange, which was first used as a chemical weapon in the Vietnam War and from which they later derived a potent agrotoxic (2,4-d) that is currently in use on agricultural land.

Bayer, for its part, in addition to some well-known pharmacists, is also a producer of transgenic seeds and pesticides. It is less known that Bayer also invented heroin in 1898 and sold it for more than a decade as a cough medicine. I knew it was addicting, but that was part of the business. Already in the 20th century, as part of the IG Farben company (merger of Bayer, Basf and Hoechst), it collaborated with the Nazis, for whom it produced the Zyklon B gas for the holocaust gas chambers. He also used slave labor from the concentration camps.

I mean, this is not only one of the largest mergers in agriculture, it is also a merger of seasoned war criminals. The war to which they are most notoriously engaged now is against peasant life and production, the health of all and the environment, with its sales of GMOs and pesticides.

As of now, Bayer is the largest global company of pesticides and commercial seeds of all kinds - in addition to having the highest percentage of transgenic seeds. They will surely launch an aggressive campaign on the supposed benefits of both, trying to dissolve the much fought image of Monsanto. There are many new traps and changes of discourse to try to confuse and dissolve the criticism, as they move forward with the contamination in the fields.

But instead of forgetting Monsanto, the claim against Bayer will be affirmed. It will be another basis for continuing to consolidate criticism and resistance against the industrial and chemical food system model, whose ultimate goal is to dismantle all forms of producing our own food, especially from peasant communities.

June 18, 2018

BySilvia Ribeiro

Source: Let's get uninformed

Video: Monsanto CEO on debate over GMO and food labeling (January 2022).