Power Corrupts: Merger Of Monsanto And Bayer Would Mean A Third Of The World’s Seeds Controlled By One Entity
If Monsanto worries you, not only in terms of the company’s ability to get away with poisoning the earth from top to bottom, screwing the poorest farmers while squeezing the literal life out of them when the company’s wild promises fail to materialize, but also with the reach of its seemingly unending power to call the shots when it comes to humanity feeding itself, we’ve got some bad news for you.
A study by Vox has revealed that should the proposed $66 billion Monsanto/Bayer merger go through, the combined company would control 29 percent of the world’s seeds, and 24 percent of its pesticides.
Of course any conversation about Monsanto owning seeds must acknowledge that the company has spent decades altering the genetic profile of those seeds, creating strains that have pest resistance built right into them, as well as strains that have a in-built ability to stand up to its powerful Roundup brand of glyphosate herbicide.
These are not the seeds your grandfather sowed on his farm, Dorothy.
And with the self-evident truth that Monsanto will stop at nothing to further its grip on the various markets it inhabits as well as its profits, one can well imagine how this hypothetical control over the seed market might play out: of course the combined entity would favor production and sales of its own seeds, the seeds that come with the inability to regenerate new seeds for planting the following years’ crops.
The seeds that come with a Monsanto patent on them, and thus a hefty licensing fee, the same fees that broke the spirits of hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers and drove them to suicide, the same fees that cause those farmers’ widows to call Monsanto-branded seeds “suicide seeds.”
And in the U.S., the sugar beet industry is pretty much already lost to the forces of Monsanto: fully 95 percent of the sugar beets grown in the U.S. are genetically modified to resist the glyphosate found in Monsanto’s Roundup.
And even with Monsanto’s reputation for its anti-humanity, anti-environment corporate ethos, it still isn’t shy about pulling strings to get its way.
Consider the hundreds of thousands the company and others like Bayer and BASF poured into defeating a modest county-level anti-GMO ballot issue in 2013. Eight times more money went that one issue than had ever gone into any previous county ballot issue previously.
And of course there’s the Vermont GMO labeling bill that was preempted by a fully supine Congress passing the Dark Act II.
Give these guys more power? More money, more control over our lives and more control over the lawmakers who are purportedly our representatives?
That sounds like very bad news. And a very bad idea.