One of the biggest reasons Donald Trump was able to win the presidential election was because of his status as the “anti-establishment” candidate among the two biggest political parties — a clear alternative to Hillary Clinton.
Clinton was well known for accepting serious campaign cash from the big banks and the pharmaceutical industry, and also for her clear public support of Monsanto.
Meanwhile, Trump has remained mostly an unknown in this department — until recent weeks, that is. Now, a recent Trump appointment could be good news for one of the biggest and most controversial mergers in the history of agriculture.
Trump Approval Good News for Monsanto, Bayer?
Jeff Sessions, an Alabama senator recently nominated by Trump for Attorney General, is said to have a track record of being extremely pro-business, with a 100 percent rating according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
As mentioned in a recent report from Modern Farmer, stocks in both Monsanto and Bayer have suddenly risen, in contrast to their post-merger announcement that caused the stock the stock to originally drop. That could be due in large part to Sessions’ nomination, as it has been said that he could improve the odds of the two companies’ merger being approved by Congress.
According to political analysts like Evermore’s Terry Haines, “Sessions won’t automatically equate larger companies with trouble for competition.” That could include the Monsanto-Bayer merger, even though it could lead to serious issues for farmers such as drastic increases in the prices of seeds and chemicals, and a lack of choice overall.
New Attorney General and the Monsanto Connection
Is Monsanto’s influence in government the result of a calculated plan or simply a side effect of the millions they spend on lobbying and influencing people in the political arena, especially top politicians?
In this case, it’s well worth noting that Sessions has accepted contributions from Monsanto several times and Bayer once according to OpenSecrets, as noted in the Modern Farmer article.
Trump Administration Off to Questionable Start
While many had been holding out hope that Trump would begin to clean house and hold Monsanto accountable, the opposite has happened thus far as the controversial business mogul has paved the way for the agrochemical and GMO giant to remain in power in D.C., if not expand it.
Already Trump has appointed DARK Act architect Mile Pompeo to lead the CIA, and his agricultural committee includes Pat Roberts, the architect of the second DARK Act, as well as several reps from Big Ag and pro-GMO industries (see the full list here).
While the marketplace (and grassroots movements spreading awareness for that matter) are what will ultimately determine the fate of the U.S. agricultural system, it’s becoming more and more clear by the day that we still have an uphill battle on our hands with Monsanto and other forces mobilizing in the opposite direction of the modern organic and non-GMO movement we all hold so dear.