By Brian Depew on Sep 14 2016
The proposed merger between German based pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer and U.S. based seed giant Monsanto would create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and agricultural chemicals. A merged company would control a quarter of the world’s seed and agrichemical market.
This proposed merger follows two other mega-mergers in the agricultural input market. The Dow-DuPont merger and ChemChina-Syngenta deal both announced in the last year are reshaping an already highly consolidated market.
As giant transnational corporations increase their power over the market, independent farmers are left with fewer options and suffer from less competition between input providers. Farmers have already lost access to seed varieties and genetic traits while seeing the prices they pay for biotechnology traits skyrocket.
The Center believes in the power of a competitive marketplace and understands the role of government in guarding against unfair and anticompetitive market practices. We, therefore, call on the Department of Justice to block further mergers between any of the big six (quickly becoming the big four) agrichemical-seed companies.
We encourage concerned citizens to reach out to their members of Congress to voice support for Department of Justice action to block proposed mergers.
We also call on Congress to reverse the decades long decline in investment in plant breeding as they take up a new farm bill in 2017.
The recent merger activity should serve as a clarion call for the Department of Justice and Congress to act to protect a competitive market environment for independent farmers and ranchers.