An oligopoly takes shape to corner the human food supply.
The hunter, it seems, has become the hunted. After wresting control of roughly a quarter of the global seeds market by acquiring a massive portfolio of seed companies, including Agroceres, Asgrow, Cristiani Burkard, Dekalb, Delta & Pine and the seeds division of Cargill North America, Monsanto now suddenly finds itself on the menu of two very powerful, much bigger rivals.
On Thursday, it was reported that Germany’s two chemical-industry titans Bayer and BASF, both of which have a market capitalization more than double Monsanto’s, are mulling a takeover bid.
For the first time ever, Monsanto finds itself on the receiving end of another company’s untoward attentions. With just days to go before this year’s edition of the global March Against Monsanto Day (Sat. May 21), it also faces the bleak prospect not only of multi-million-dollar class-action lawsuits for selling, over the course of decades, a weedkiller that it allegedly knew was harmful to human health but also a wave of anti-GMO leglislation across key markets, including India, Mexico, the EU and even in the U.S.
In the past year U.S. regulators delayed approval of a key new weed killer, dicamba, amidst fears that European growers would refuse to buy it. This was the last thing the company needed following the decision by scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO) to label glyphosate, the herbicide key to Monsanto’s flagship Roundup weedkiller, as a probable carcinogen. The result has been a rare crisis of confidence for the once indomitable GMO giant, whose shares are now down 19% from a year ago, despite the buyout bid…
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