Today’s Commission approval of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto was received with dismay and condemned by MEPs of the Left who warned of the consequences the decision will have on the integrity of the world’s food supply chain and the environment.

The €54bn deal is the latest in a string of mergers and acquisitions in the sector. Dow Chemical recently merged with Dupont and ChemChina acquired Swiss-seed-maker Syngenta.

Once the deal is concluded, Bayer-Monsanto may end up controlling nearly a quarter of the world’s pesticides market and together with Dow-Dupont they may control 76 per cent of the market for corn and 66 per cent of the market for soybeans.

GUE/NGL MEP Kateřina Konečná, member of the European Parliament Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, lamented the recklessness and disregard for the rights of citizens in the Commission’s decision:  

“This is a truly sad day for the EU and the citizens of Europe. Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto will create an oligopoly whereby three multinational companies will control two-thirds of the global production of pesticides and other agro-chemicals. The world's biodiversity should not be in the hands of corporations. This signifies a clear shift in power from small and medium-sized farmers to large multinational corporations.”

“This oligopoly will have full control over our food value chain. It will create dependency in agriculture and stifle innovation in the chemicals sector. The Commission is giving a green light to GMOs and pesticides in our food.”

Dutch MEP Anja Hazekamp, who led in the establishment of the Parliament’s newly-formed Special Committee on the Union's authorisation procedure for pesticides, added:

“It is outrageous that the European Commission approved this poisonous deal between Bayer and Monsanto. This proves once again that the Commission is ruled by the industry.”

“Monsanto is the symbol of industrial and chemical agriculture that destroys our planet. They should not think that a merger or name change will improve their image. It will only lead to growing resistance amongst people all over the world.”

Galician MEP Lídia Senra expressed concern about the impact of the merger on small farmers:

“The merger between Monsanto and Bayer demonstrates the evident marriage between the agribusiness sector and the chemical and pharmaceutical companies. The results are being felt by small farmers losing their jobs and rural communities being emptied out. The food chain is increasingly dominated by the powerful few. These businesses are making the decision for us on what we should eat.”

But Senra pointed out that farmers are already fighting back:

“Farmers are working on alternatives to the threat from agribusinesses and chemical businesses to protect food sovereignty. The alternative is agro-ecology, favouring local production for the local market, promoting production of basic food stocks by farmers in each country; this is a more sustainable model.”

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