Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C. — “The Justice Department reportedly plans to approve the controversial Bayer-Monsanto seed and agrichemical merger. The approval of the third supersized seed merger, after ChemChina-Syngenta and Dow-DuPont, leaves farmers vulnerable to price gouging for seeds and other supplies and strengthens the hold a few dominant corporations have over the entire food system.
“The deal will make it harder to find non-GMO seeds for crops like soybeans and cotton and could make it harder to find non-GMO fruit and vegetable seeds because both firms have been working to impose biotechnology on the last bastion of non-GMO crops. The Justice Department’s rubber stamping of these three seed mega-mergers transforms the already concentrated agrichemical and seed market, effectively reducing the number of competitors from six to three.
“The Justice Department’s paltry divestment approach does little to address the extreme control the merged firm will have over farmers’ data, genetics, biotechnology traits or the associated agrichemical industry. Farmers are facing another year of protracted low prices for their crops, but this merger will make the economic viability of farmers even more tenuous. At the same time, it reduces the choices farmers have over what they plant and how they grow it, and makes it harder for agriculture to get off the GMO-chemical treadmill that just keeps increasing in speed.
“This approval shows that the federal government is not taking the impact of corporate control of our food supply seriously. It’s time for Congress to establish a moratorium on mega-mergers in the food system.”
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
Contact: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; [email protected]