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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/22/18

Please write to your Senators today, asking them to help to prevent the Merger of Monsanto and Bayer!

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[The most thorough and incisive update on this alarming situation is this article:

Alarm Sounds After EU Regulators Greenlight Bayer-Monsanto #MergerFromHell

click here|

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"This merger will create the world's biggest and most powerful agribusiness corporation, which will try to force its genetically modified seeds and toxic pesticides into our food and countryside," warned Adrian Bebb, a food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe."The Commission decision also allows them, together with BASF, to become data giants in agriculture--the 'Facebooks of farming'--with all the pitfalls that entails," Bebb added. "The coming together of these two is a marriage made in hell--bad for farmers, bad for consumers, and bad for our countryside."

My article follows:

Ironically, Russia may be the only possible way to prevent this merger, given the probable acquiescence of the Trump Administration. The United States Senate should be weighing in on these matters to protect the interests of not only American farmers but the health of Americans and most of the rest of the world.

Nothing that I know came of Senator Klobuchar and Senator Merkley of Oregon's request of the Justice Department to guarantee an "impartial" and objective review of the merger, but still, the approval of the United States and of Russia are both necessary for this merger to take place.

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See also: Bayer-Monsanto Merger Needs 'Impartial' Review, Senators Say

.bna.com/bayermonsanto-merger-needs-n73014462125/

What more monstrous corporate combination could we imagine? None, I think, since the European Commission approved Bayer's acquisition Monsanto (with conditions). The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer. The merger is conditional on the divestiture and a remedy package, which addresses the parties' overlaps in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture. Doesn't the EU medical arms and World Health Organization get to weigh in on this at all? Anyone familiar with Monsanto knows of the danger of its products going back to one of the first, Saccharin, from 1904, causing bladder cancer.

Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner in charge of competition policy, the same person who put forth the $2.8 billion fine on Google,

[see also: click here] said the following today in Brussels:

We have approved Bayer's plans to take over Monsanto because the parties' remedies, worth well over --6 billion, meet our competition concerns in full. Our decision ensures that there will be effective competition and innovation in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture markets also after this merger. In particular, we have made sure that the number of global players actively competing in these markets stays the same.

That is important because we need competition to ensure farmers have a choice of different seed varieties and pesticides at affordable prices. And we need competition to push companies to innovate in digital agriculture and to continue to develop new products that meet the high regulatory standards in Europe, to the benefit of all Europeans and the environment.

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Today's decision follows an in-depth review of Bayer's proposed acquisition of Monsanto. Monsanto is the world's largest supplier of seeds, which generates most of its sales in the US and Latin America. Monsanto also sells glyphosate, which is the most used pesticide worldwide to control weeds. Bayer is the second largest supplier of pesticides worldwide, with a stronger focus in Europe. It is also an important globally active seeds supplier for a number of crops. The transaction creates the largest global integrated seed and pesticide player.

As part of its in-depth investigation, the Commission has assessed more than 2,000 different product markets and reviewed 2.7 million internal documents. It concluded that the transaction as notified would have significantly reduced competition on price and innovation in Europe and globally on a number of different markets. The Commission also had concerns that it would have strengthened Monsanto's dominant position on certain markets, where Bayer is an important challenger of Monsanto.

The commitments submitted by Bayer address these competition concerns in full:

They remove all of the parties' existing overlaps in seed and pesticide markets, where concerns were raised, by divesting the relevant Bayer businesses and assets.

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