EU gives green light for Bayer to buy Monsanto

Brussels has given the green light for Bayer to buy Monsanto. The merger between the German chemical giant and its US competitor can go ahead, subject to certain conditions. The US competition authorities have yet to approve the deal. Environmental activists and many media are appalled by the news.

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Mediapart (FR) /

Poison and antidote from the same company

For MEP José Bové, allowing Bayer to take over Monsanto would be irresponsible. In his blog with Mediapart he explains why:

“The creation of a global company that sells both poisons (insecticides, fungicides and herbicides) and medications for treating diseases caused by food products and an environment contaminated with pesticides poses an ethical problem. We cannot accept that such an important company is given free rein to develop what it describes as 'phytopharmaceuticals' while at the same time selling medications to treat degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Numerous medical studies point to a correlation between the surge in the incidence of this type of disease, which affects millions of people, and the use of chemicals, in particular pesticides.”

taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Ban mergers for environmental reasons

The new company will increase the pressure on politicians, the daily paper taz fears:

“With the takeover of Monsanto by Bayer a German corporate giant will acquire a major interest in lobbying for genetically engineered plants - because German capital and jobs would be at stake. 'Baysanto' could for example push more effectively for the EU to facilitate the approval of plants produced using GM technology. It will become harder for politicians in Europe to withstand that pressure than it is at present, when nothing but the profits of an infamous company based in St. Louis, Missouri, are at stake. ... The EU Commission urgently needs to propose laws that enable it to forbid mergers for environmental reasons.”