Yesterday, you'll recall, I blogged about GMO geopolitics and the Ukraine, and what appeared to be not only Western meddling with the food supply in general, but a scheme to turn "Europe's breadbasket" into a GMO testbed, complete with IMF loans and the presence of Mon(ster)santo in that nation. Well, Ms. M.W. spotted this story which appeared on RT and passed it along, and I'm blogging about it today because this one just made me laugh. We'll get to the reasons for the laughter in a moment. Here's the article:
Now, I've blogged about this story before, and even gone so far as to suggest that what it portends is the re-emergence of I.G. Farben in a a new guise, that of "agribusiness giant", a vast agribusiness cartel that controls the lion's share of the GMO market, which is already dominated by but a few corporations. But little did I know. Ponder this one for some knee-slapping in-your-face globaloneyism, hilarious only because it's so transparently awful:
Bayer has already pledged to sell certain seed and herbicide assets for €5.9 billion ($7.2 billion) to chemical company BASF to address EU regulatory concerns. It will also give BASF a license to its digital farming data, people familiar with the matter said. BASF will thus have exclusive access as Bayer has not offered a legal obligation to license to other rivals.
Bayer said on Wednesday that additional antitrust concessions would include the sale of its vegetable seeds business.
The Bayer-Monsanto deal, which would create a company with a share of more than a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticides market, has been criticized by environmentalists and farming groups. Some of them met with the European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who has received more than 50,000 petition emails and more than 5,000 letters opposing the deal.
“Approving this merger would create the world’s biggest agribusiness company, potentially crushing competitors and establishing an unprecedented monopoly on lucrative farming data,” said Adrian Bebb from environmental lobbying group Friends of the Earth Europe. (Boldface emphasis added, italicized emphasis in the original. Note to the editors of RT: italicizing is not used for quotations, it's used for emphasis.)
Now, not even those always-meddling-never-to-be-trusted-Byzantine-Russians and their super-criminal-evil-genius-mastermind Vladimir Putin could cook this one up. "Why?" one might ask. "What's the big deal? It's just business as usual for the EU trying to earn a few extra Deutschmar....er.... euros." Well, just for a bit of context here, let's recall that the final legal liquidation of the big German chemicals cartel, I.G. Farben, occurred only in 2002.
Yes, that's right, 2002. It was that big and that complex.
And here's the knee-slapper: two of the major German chemicals companies - multi-national giants in their own right - that were components of that vast cartel were (you guessed it) Bayer and BASF (Bayrische Analin und Sodafabrik, to give it its older name).
So, the EU deal would have one former component of IG Farben, Bayer, selling off certain of its business to another former component of IG Farben, BASF. No interlock or coordination there, no siree. Nothing to see here, move along.
As I pointed out in my book The Third Way, the current structure of the EU goes back to a 1942 study, sponsored by the Nazi-era Reichsbank and its Economics Minister, Walther Funk (who just also happened to be the Reichsbank president at the time), and sponsored also by IG Farben. The goal was to create a "European space" in which the big Grossraumkartel (IG Farben) could operate freely and without restraint in the projected Grossraum (large space) of a European federation.
So it should come as no surprise that the EU approved the deal. Its cartel business as usual. And that means that, despite all appearances, the cartel may not be functioning de jure any more, but it certainly appears to be functioning de facto.
See you on the flip side...