'If the proposed Monsanto-Bayer merger goes through, the new company would control more than 25 per cent of the global supply of commercial seeds and pesticides. Monsanto held a 26% market share of all seeds sold in 2011. Bayer sells 17% of the world’s total agrochemicals and also has a seeds sector. If competition authorities pass the deal, the combined company would be the globe’s largest seller of both seeds and agrochemicals.
It marks a trend towards consolidation in the industry with Dow and DuPont having merged and Swiss seed/pesticide giant Syngenta merging with ChemChina. The mergers would mean that three companies would dominate the commercial agricultural seeds and chemicals sector.
In response to the Monsanto-Bayer merger, after it was announced in 2016 the US National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement:
“Consolidation of this magnitude cannot be the standard for agriculture, nor should we allow it to determine the landscape for our future… We will continue to express concern that these megadeals are being made to benefit the corporate boardrooms at the expense of family farmers, ranchers, consumers and rural economies… [there is an] alarming trend of consolidation in agriculture that has led to less competition, stifled innovation, higher prices and job loss in rural America.”
For all the rhetoric that we often hear about ‘the market’ and large corporations offering choice to farmers and consumers, the evidence is restriction of choice and the squeezing out of competitors. Over the years, for instance, Monsanto has bought up dozens of competitors to become the largest supplier of genetically engineered seeds with seed prices having risen dramatically.'
Read more: Corporate Monopolies Will Accelerate the Globalisation of Bad Food, Poor Health and Environmental Catastrophe