by Amber

Monsanto Acquires A Cloak?

Did you think Monsanto would never sell out to Bayer? They accepted the latest offer on Wednesday, agreeing to merge with Bayer for $66 billion, creating an agrigiant behemoth that dwarfs the competition. And Monsanto has no problem giving up the corporate name. It is the most despised company in the world, so disappearing is like… a no-brainer. Especially at the right price, but just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they’re gone.

When this saga started in the spring, Monsanto wanted to buy Bayer. It would seem a surprising about face when, a few weeks later, Bayer decided that they wanted to buy the GMO crop king instead. But some behind the scenes communication left you suspecting otherwise. Even before learning that, it occurred to me that invisibility presented an attractive solution. As a ghost, you still live in the castle, and do whatever you please, without being detected by those you deem unworthy. The fastest and easiest way to keep on keeping on while getting rid of increasing heat and scrutiny. The absorbed company, and all it’s social and legal problems ceases to exist… on paper. No one can it be held liable for, or made to pay damages to, persons, creatures, or environments victimized in past pursuits of perpetual growth and profit.

I know. It sounds kind of out there. But, we are talking about Monsanto. And others from unexpected camps see the same thing…

“Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, a scientist and CEO of CytoSolve, Inc. – a biotechology company focused on developing therapeutics, nutraceuticals and functional foods – says this deal is a way for Monsanto, which is widely known as a controversial company, to hide under a more iconic brand.

“It provides Monsanto an opportunity to hide within the cover of Bayer’s brand, known primarily to the public as the manufacturer of Aspirin — a far less dangerous brand equity than being known as creators of dangerous pesticides such as Round Up (Glyphosate) and untested GMOs,” Ayyadurai tells “I am not pro- or anti-GMO. However, our research shows that the current safety assessment standards for GMOs are non-existent.”” — Fox News

Perhaps Dr. Ayyadurai doesn’t pay much attention to the plight of the bees. Because for the past year or two, Bayer’s been taking heat over neonictinoid pesticides that take out all insects that come in contact with it. That’s pretty controversial, just not of the magnitude of glyphosate toxicity polluting everything, and the whole GMO thing. At least, not yet.

Monsanto might not get to dissolve into Bayer in the end though. Farmers are highly alarmed. Consolidations on the level taking place in agriculture has analysts reporting that the price of food will skyrocket. Politicians and regulatory bodies don’t like the situation at all. Some of the stockholders aren’t happy about it either.

“Senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican who leads the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, said the deal raises “serious antitrust issues” and could reduce consumer choice, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders called it a “threat to all Americans.”” — AgWeb

Its not just the Baysanto marriage that is under the microscope. All of them are at this point. And it’s not just the GM seed and pesticides crowd:

“The Bayer-Monsanto agreement follows pending deals between Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co., and China National Chemical Corp.’s planned takeover of Syngenta. The rush to consolidate doesn’t just affect seeds and chemicals: Fertilizer makers Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. have agreed to merge, while Deere & Co. is fighting to complete a deal with Monsanto that the U.S. Justice Department says would give the manufacturer a virtual monopoly for high-speed planters used on farms.” — AgWeb

Anti-trust is a huge concern in more places than the US. Wall Street analysts at Bernstein give it a 50% chance at actually taking place. Over 500,000 people have already signed a petition against allowing the merger. But, petitions don’t grease palms. With the amount of money Bayer and Monsanto invest on lobbying every year, it could be a hard battle to stop the merger from taking place. Lots of senators and congressmen benefit from their ‘donations’. At the very least, the consolidation move would mean that neither Monsanto or Bayer will remain a source of cotton seed – at least in the US, where the two companies hold 70% of the market when combined.

The chemical giants don’t expect completing the merger until 2017. Plenty of time to work on removing all possible obstacles. Consider how much profit will be returned when there is no longer a corporation to pay veterans whose health was destroyed by being sprayed with Agent Orange. Or the massive legal costs of battling lawsuits and regulatory groups. Not that the regulatory groups will cease to be a fly in their ointment, but things like PCBs will no longer haunt them.

And in case you’re wondering… yes, that tractor in the image at the top of the page is applying Roundup to a wheat field after harvest. Awfully liberal amount going down. There may not be any such thing as Roundup Ready wheat, but wonder no more how foods like bread and cereal made from the grain wind up testing positive for glyphosate content.

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The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.