It is hardly surprising that the first thing Bayer did after completing their takeover of Monsanto earlier this month was to announce that they were dropping the Monsanto name, merging the two companies’ agrichemical divisions under the Bayer Crop Science name. After all, as everyone knows, Monsanto is one of the most hated corporations in the world. But Bayer itself has an equally atrocious history of death and destruction. Together they are a match made in hell.
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WERNER BAUMANN: Hello. Today I’m happy to announce that this Thursday Bayer completed the acquisition of Monsanto. This is good news for several reasons…
If you had told someone two decades ago that by 2018 the company that commercialized chemical warfare and the company that commercialized Agent Orange were going to team up to control a quarter of the world’s food supply, chances are you would have been labeled a loony.
Unless your name was Robert B. Shapiro. He was CEO of Monsanto from 1995 to 2000, and in 1999 he told Business Week that the company’s goal was to wed “three of the largest industries in the world—agriculture, food and health—that now operate as separate businesses. But there are a set of changes that will lead to their integration.”
With this month’s announcement that Bayer has completed its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto, it is hard to deny that Shapiro’s vision has been realized. Too bad for all of us that that vision is a nightmare.
Because, contrary to the feel-good corporate propaganda being churned out by the company’s PR department—propaganda that would have you believe that this merger will be good for the environment, for farmers, for ending global hunger, and, incidentally,