BAYER WANTS TO MERGE WITH MON(STER)SANTO…ET VOILA: I.G. ...May 29, 2016
Here's one that so many sent me I've simply got to blog about it, especially since we track the GMO issues from time to time on this website. In this case, this one is of particular interest to me, since a few years ago I "predicted" that what we were witnessing, and would witness in the future, is the creation of a kind of "IG Farben" of the GMO world, "I.G. Farbensanto", I called it. Well, lo and behold, the German chemicals/genetics giant, Bayer - one of the original "small" corporations, along with BASF(Bayrischen Analin und Soda Fabrik), and Hoechst that went to make up the giant inter-war and wartime German chemicals cartel that became almost synonymous with the "Nazi military-industrial complex" - wants to buy Mon(ster)santo:
Of course, since this story broke about a week ago, Mon(ster)santo rejected Bayer's initial offer, but the talks are ongoing. And in this context, recall only last year that Syngenta and Mon(ster)santo were in similar talks. The concern in the article is a concern we share here on this website, for the end result of all of this merger activity has been the reduction of biodiversity, as competitor's seeds are taken off the market, allowing IG Farbensanto, like all cartels inevitably do, to drive up prices, and further consolidate control:
The consolidation of two big industry players may also limit farmer choice and bargaining power, with increasing seed prices expected to be passed on to the grocery aisles.
“The consolidation and driving out of smaller competitors, and controlling the marketplace and raising prices of seeds and pesticides for farmers worldwide is going to be a real shock to the food system,” said Robert Lawrence, a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine professor and the founding director of the Center for a Liveable Future.
“The fact is we went from having probably 30 or 40 varieties of soybeans to now having one variety” making up nearly all of U.S. soybean production, Lawrence said.
“Do you have the diversity you need for a food supply that can bounce back?” Food and Water Watch’s Lovera asked.
And of course, notwithstanding these commen-sense scientific concerns, we get the usual blither about "GMO science" being needed to combat hunger in the world - ah, thank goodness for the altruism of IG Farbensanto!, it ranks right up there with Zyklon B as IG Farbensanto's contribution to "science" and "eliminating hunger"(and we all know how that "option" was pursued during World War Two):
Bayer didn’t respond to specific criticisms in a statement, instead generally addressing the company’s role in feeding a growing population. “GMO is all about science — and it is a relevant tool in the toolbox to fight hunger in the world,” the company said.
The bottom line here, for me at least, is that the agribusiness model of agriculture - the unlimited unregulated corporatization of agriculture - is sewing the seeds of a potential long term disaster all in the name of the short term "bottom line," and only one country has had the spine to stand up and say an unequivocal "no" to IG Farbensanto (and we all know which country that is).
The bottom line is disastrous from yet another point of view. Over the years of blogging about this issue, I have entertained the idea of "GMO geopolitics," namely, that the BRICSA bloc could, conceivably, opt to challenge the West's domination of world agriculture not only by challenging the GMO-argibuness model, but by offering on the world market non-GMO seeds and products, something for which there is a growing demand in the West(and you'll note, the Russian sanctions have conveniently prevented that from happening!) This has a flip side which can be posed in the form of the following question: is it is the national security interests of the members of the West to (1) restrict agricultural freedom of choice by continuing to favor the agribusiness giants with blatantly mercantilist policies, and (2) to thereby become dependent on potential enemies for non-GMO, bio-diverse seeds and products in case the unthinkable should happen?
I suggest that the answer to this question is, of course, a resounding no. And with that, it's high time for the buffoons in Congress, and for the FDA, to stand up and reverse the alarming trend.
And one more thing: if you think battling Mon(ster)santo is bad now, just wait until the merger...
See you on the flip side...