Monsanto to Drop Its Name After Bayer Acquisition

Monsanto to Drop Its Name After Bayer Acquisition
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Starting June 7, 2018, Monsanto will no longer be called Monsanto. That is the day German agritech giant Bayer will officially acquire the much-maligned company.

Bayer had been considering stripping Monsanto of its name for some time, with the official decision to do so finally being made on June 4, 2018.

In a statement, Bayer said:

“Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio.”

Bayer Chairman Werner Baumann also said in a statement:

“The acquisition of Monsanto is a strategic milestone in strengthening our portfolio of leading businesses in health and nutrition. We will double the size of our agricultural business and create a leading innovation engine in agriculture, positioning us to better serve our customers and unlock the long-term growth potential in the sector.” [2]

In September 2016, Bayer agreed to acquire Monsanto for $66 billion, in the wake of lethargic crop prices. [1]

U.S. antitrust approval for the acquisition came in May 2018, following an agreement by both companies to sell off $9 billion in assets to preserve competition.

Also on June 4, Bayer expressed that it would “strengthen its commitment in the area of sustainability” after the Monsanto deal is complete.

Baumann said:

“We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It’s the only way to build bridges.”

There is good reason to be skeptical of that statement. In the past, Monsanto was reportedly caught paying Internet trolls to attack critics of the company and its products. A Monsanto employee boldly admitted that an entire department existed within the company for the sole purpose of discrediting scientists who oppose genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Our own experience with biotech trolls proves to us that they are not interested in useful dialogue. They almost always revert to insults and elementary-school age behavior.

And while Bayer frames the acquisition as a big win for the agriculture industry, the truth is that farmers will be under the company’s thumb. How the merger will “preserve competition” defies explanation.

Representative Keith Ellison, who is also the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, said of the deal:

“The Trump DOJ just waved through a merger that will consolidate the world’s food supply and agriculture industry into fewer hands. I hate to imagine the control Monsanto-Bayer will have over every farmer in the United States.” [2]

Sources:

[1] USA Today

[2] Newsweek

Genetic Literacy Project