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Tue Mar 29, 2016, 02:55 PM

Merge-Santo: the new threat to food sovereignty.

In the last few days the business media have reported that Monsanto is in separate talks with Bayer and BASF – the two German giants among agricultural input companies. While anti-competition regulators are fussing about the hook up of DuPont with Dow and of Syngenta with Chem China, Monsanto urgently needs to make a match. They hope that if regulators let the other two deals go through, they won’t be able to deny Monsanto a chance to even the score.

If the companies get their way, the first links in the industrial food chain (seeds, pesticides) will be in the hands of just three companies. If the marriages of DuPont-Dow and Syngenta–Chem China go through and Monsanto merges with Bayer’s Agricultural division, the three will control more than 65% of global pesticide sales and almost 61% of commercial seed sales. If Monsanto and BASF strike a deal instead, the Titanic Three will still have almost 61% of pesticides and more than 57% of seeds (see chart below).

Either way, a fourth move will be inevitable. Whichever company is left at the altar (Bayer or BASF) will have to buy or sell since it won’t have the clout to take on the Three. Either could prove irresistible for Deere & Co. or one of the other huge farm machinery companies that are in the best position to ultimately dominate all on-farm related agricultural inputs from seeds and pesticides to fertilizers, machinery, data and insurance.

Causes for Concern:

Commercial seeds may only make up 10% of peasants’ seed supply but the corporations have virtually all of the “face time” with policymakers. Trade, farm subsidies, labour laws, patents, land use, phytosanitary regulations, infrastructure spending and marketing policies are skewed to the interests of the biggest agribusinesses and the 100 million farms they claim as clients. The 570 million peasant families[iv] that really feed the world bear the burden of these skewed policies – not just as a direct attack – but as collateral damage. The more concentrated the lobbying power of industrial agriculture, the more destruction to the Peasant Food Web and agro-ecological food systems.

The threat is not only concentration but also integration. When pesticide companies began buying seed companies in the 1970s, the companies first denied it was happening and, later, argued that the synergies were beneficial. Four decades later, allowing seeds and chemicals to combine has done an enormous damage to plant breeding. The agrochemical giants concentrate overwhelmingly on a handful of commodity crops (corn, soybean, cotton, etc.) engineered primarily to tolerate proprietary chemicals. The result has been a decline in the quality of plant breeding for conventional varieties and an increase in the use of crop chemicals. The impacts are especially devastating for farmers who want to get off the pesticide treadmill – they can’t get good seed and can’t escape their neighbor’s drifting pesticides.

At: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/merge-santo-new-threat-food-sovereignty

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Reply Merge-Santo: the new threat to food sovereignty. (Original post)
forest444 Mar 2016 OP
2naSalit Mar 2016 #1
forest444 Apr 2016 #2
2naSalit Apr 2016 #3

Response to forest444 (Original post)

Tue Mar 29, 2016, 04:34 PM

1. Kick

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 8, 2016, 10:26 PM

2. Thank you.

I'm under no illusion though: people always let abuses turn into a veritable crisis before they use the power of public opinion to call for changes - even modest ones.

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Response to forest444 (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 8, 2016, 11:29 PM

3. And it is very frustrating.

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