The proposed merger of the Monsanto Company and Bayer, one of its main competitors in the GMO seed and argobusiness sector, has caused several major concerns to pop up.
Aside from the obvious anti-trust related questions of what could become a monopoly in the agricultural world, the potential environmental and health impacts of the two chemical giants merging together is hard to overstate.
Recently Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant received a monstrous raise ahead of what would be the industry’s biggest takeover, but opposition to the deal also looms — a fact cemented further by the results of a new poll strongly questioning the impacts of the controversial deal.
More Than 78% Oppose Monsanto Merger, New Poll Shows
According to a comprehensive new nationwide survey, more than half of all voters surveyed, 54 percent, oppose the pending $66 billion merger between the two companies because of concerns of rising food prices and difficulties for farmers.
Once presented with arguments for and against the merger, however, opposition increases to an overwhelming 78 percent.
The poll was administered among supporters of President Donald Trump on behalf of the Farmers and Families First, Inc. organization, which “was created to educate and inform farmers and consumers on issues such as tax and trade policies, mergers and other important agriculture issues” according to its website.
Trump supporters are especially active in rural communities where farming policy and economics take center stage.
But they appear to be worried that the Monsanto-Bayer merger could make life difficult on them if the deal is approved, according to the polls.
“President Trump carried the day last November because voters believed he would promote policies that helped working families, rural communities, and American small businesses,” said Dan Conston, Chairman of Farmers and Families First, as quoted in the Alabama Political Reporter.
“The proposed merger would hurt the very people who elected President Trump by handing over disproportionate control of an industry to one company and in turn raising both operating costs for farmers and the cost of food for middle class families. We believe the Department of Justice should carefully review the proposed merger and ask the tough questions to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact American families or businesses.”
According to a paper released by Texas A&M last week the proposed merger would raise seed prices by 5.5 percent and raise cottonseed prices by more than 20 percent. The new Monsanto-Bayer merged company would also control over 35 percent of the global market for corn seeds, about 28 percent of the global soybean market, a shocking 70 percent of the global cottonseed market and up to 69 percent of the U.S. approved GMO (herbicide-tolerant) seeds for alfalfa, canola, corn, wheat, soybean and cotton.
The merger is currently under review by the European Commission, Brazil and the U.S. Department of Justice; Monsanto hopes to utilize Bayer’s resources to create a single “globally integrated agricultural platform” according to this article from GMWatch.org.
A Note About the Poll’s Organizers
While the organization that conducted the poll, Farmers and Families First, Inc., released results that are not complementary to Monsanto’s mission, it’s worth noting what they stand for according to the scant info available on their website.
They state in their original press release that they are “focused on the policies that impact America’s farming economy” and also that they advocate for “free-market based policies in the agricultural industry.”
While they don’t explicitly state whether they support GMOs or at least are in favor of allowing them onto the “free-market,” whether labeled or not, this type of language certainly hints at it being a strong possibility.
The website and press release do not disclose the group’s funding sources or supporting organizations.
As such it is important to take the information in the poll and press release with a grain of salt.
At any rate, it is well worth noting just how strong opposition to the Monsanto-Bayer merger is across various political lines.
One particular petition against it has over 500,000 signatures and is nearing its next target of 750,000 (you can view it by clicking here).
Thumbnail photo via SumOfUs petition.