By L.J. Hodek-Creapeau
Well it’s not just a rumor anymore, stockholders have been notified that Bayer will indeed acquire Monsanto. As one headline read, “German drug and crop chemical maker Bayer clinched a $66 billion takeover of U.S. seeds company Monsanto on Wednesday, ending months of wrangling with a third sweetened offer that marks the largest all-cash deal on record.”
Bayer and Monsanto have announced that they signed a definitive agreement under which Bayer will acquire Monsanto for $128 per share in an all-cash transaction. Based on Monsanto’s closing share price on May 9, 2016 – the day before Bayer’s first written proposal to Monsanto – the offer represents a premium of 44 percent to that price.
What does this mean for Joe Consumer – the average person? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why a German drug and chemical maker would buy a seed and farming company. Does it? What business does Bayer have being involved with agriculture when they make drugs and chemicals? That is the question you should be asking yourself.
That the fight against Monsanto for crimes against the environment just got tougher because now they aren’t just using Monsanto money to bury bad press, override votes, and discredit scientific evidence that implicates them in various health hazards along with manipulating legislation in their favor, now they have Bayer’s money behind it all too.
Of course the website about the merger tells farmers how this acquisition is going to be such a benefit to all of them and revolutionize the Ag industry. You can bet there is something more sinister behind it than that. Neither one of these companies has ever given a hoot about the environment, what they are doing to destroy it, or our health in their quest for huge profit margins.
They talk about “Shaping the future of farming” and “Advancing the next generation of farming” like they are space cowboys about to revolutionize the Ag industry. Heaven help us if that is true. Because Monsanto has proven over and over it cannot be trusted.
“Numerous fundamental challenges affecting the agriculture industry can be directly translated into a new set of requirements that farmers will have in conducting their business today, and into the future.”
Oh, you go to Monsanto’s website now and it’s all about bringing miraculous technology to farmers to solve our world food supply problems and how they are now supporting organizations that support bee research and preserving the environment. We all hope this is truth, but Monsanto’s track record has been lies, cover-ups, and deceit for decades. How do we ever trust them now?
The news that Monsanto is being bought by Bayer probably won’t be well received in the cannabis sector. The deal brings together two research powerhouses that reportedly have long eyed cannabis as a possible new business. The worry is that the combined firm will have the financial and political influence to do to cannabis what it has already done to corn, tobacco, and other cash crops—namely to use pricy patented cannabis seeds (Roundup Ready Blue Dream, anyone?) that favor large-scale operators and rigidly control how all cannabis farmers farm. The merger, in other words, could be the first step toward “big cannabis.”
In truth, it’s far from certain just how worried “small cannabis” should be. On the one hand, Bayer clearly has designs on the multi-billion-dollar cannabis market. The German firm has been working with GW Pharmaceuticals on a cannabis-based medicinal extract since 2003. And while Monsanto says it “has not and is not working on GMO marijuana,” the company will soon enjoy access to Bayer’s cannabis expertise, which, given Monsanto’s control-through-litigation tactics, might lead one to imagine some pretty bleak scenarios.
This is a common plight of farmers across the United States, with the global agriculture industry in a wrenching downturn. Because farmers have produced too much corn, wheat and soybeans, they have been forced to slash prices to sell their crops. They have also reduced spending on seeds, pesticides and fertilizer, which has eaten into sales at agribusiness giants, including Monsanto and DuPont.
We want you to remember this quote, engrave it in stone, because you can assume that after everybody has forgotten about this merger and the press has died down about it, Bayer is likely to do this very thing when our backs are turned.
Bayer CEO Werner Baumann was quoted Monday as telling German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung: “We don’t want to take over Monsanto in order to establish genetically modified plants in Europe.” He added that Bayer accepts European resistance “even if we are of a different opinion.”