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posted by martyb on Thursday May 19 2016, @09:55PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the seeds-of-a-takeover dept.

Monsanto announced that it has received an unsolicited purchase offer from Bayer AG. The offer is under consideration by Monsanto's board of directors. The companies are both major sellers of pesticides and of seeds for crops. Monsanto's market capitalisation on 18 May was $42.43 billion.

According to Dow Jones Business News via NASDAQ:

Folding Monsanto's world-leading seed franchise and its trademark Roundup herbicide business into Bayer would create a company with a combined $68 billion in annual sales, marketing products ranging from Aspirin pain-relief pills to crop genetics that enable plants to withstand bugs and weedkillers. The combination would sell about 28% of the world's pesticides and about 36% of U.S. corn seeds and 28% of soybean seeds, according to Morgan Stanley estimates.

Coverage:

related story:
Cartoonist Fired for Criticizing Big Agriculture


Original Submission

Related Stories

Cartoonist Fired for Criticizing Big Agriculture 94 comments

Food Politics reports that Rick Friday, a long time cartoonist for Farm News, was dismissed for offending "a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in a cartoon." The political cartoon is critical of Big Ag CEOs, which earned more than 2,000 Iowa farmers combined.

In a Facebook post the cartoonist, Rick Friday, explained:

I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon which was published yesterday. Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of It's Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.

I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon.

That's okay, hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the country.

The Des Moines Register explains further:

The CEOs at the ag giants earned about $52.9 million last year, based on Morningstar data. Monsanto and DuPont, the parent of Johnston-based Pioneer, are large seed and chemical companies, and Deere is a large farm equipment manufacturer.

Profits for the three companies, all with large operations across Iowa, also have declined as farm income has been squeezed. After peaking in 2013, U.S. farm income this year is projected to fall to $183 billion, its lowest level since 2002.

It seems like in the U.S. you free to say what you like, but if you offend the wrong people you're free to lose your job despite the protections you are provided and encouraged to use.


Original Submission

Monsanto No More 52 comments

Monsanto, a brand name activists love to hate, will disappear as Bayer takes over:

These days Monsanto is shorthand for, as NPR's Dan Charles has put it, "lots of things that some people love to hate": Genetically modified crops, which Monsanto invented. Seed patents, which Monsanto has fought to defend. Herbicides such as Monsanto's Roundup, which protesters have sharply criticized for its possible health risks. Big agriculture in general, of which Monsanto was the reviled figurehead.

And soon Monsanto will be no more. Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant and pesticide powerhouse, announced in 2016 it would be buying Monsanto in an all-cash deal for more than $60 billion. Now, as the merger approaches, Bayer has confirmed what many suspected: In the merger, the politically charged name "Monsanto" will be disappearing. The combined company will be known simply as Bayer, while product names will remain the same. The move is not exactly a surprise — it makes sense that Bayer might want to weed out some of the intense negative associations associated with the Monsanto brand. In a way, it's an indication of how successful anti-Monsanto protesters have been in shaping public perception.

In the company's latest statement, Bayer implicitly acknowledged how hostile debates over genetically modified crops and other agricultural products have become. "We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground," the chairman of Bayer's board of management, Werner Baumann, said in the statement. "Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It's the only way to build bridges."

Also at Reuters.

Previously: Bayer AG Offers to Buy Monsanto
Bayer Purchases Monsanto for Around $66 Billion

Roundup: Monsanto Ordered to Pay $93M to Small Town for Poisoning Citizens
RoundUp Glyphosate Found to Cause Kidney Failure and Elude Tests
Cancer Hazard vs. Risk - Glyphosate
Use of Dicamba-Resistant Monsanto Crops Leads to Soybean Death
GMO Grass That 'Escaped' Defies Eradication, Divides Grass Seed Industry
Glyphosate Linked to Liver Damage


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:05PM (#348521)

    Just NO!

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:22PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:22PM (#348529)

    Rumors have it that discussions are advancing for a reunion tour of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
    (They are wondering about inviting the one who left before they became famous, Ronnie Soak)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:29PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:29PM (#348530)

    After you eat a big meal with Monsanto's GMO food, you're gonna need some aspirin.

    • (Score: 2) by That_Dude on Friday May 20 2016, @12:31AM

      by That_Dude (2503) on Friday May 20 2016, @12:31AM (#348577)

      And just who do you think they tested that aspirin formulation on??????

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2016, @01:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2016, @01:05AM (#348589)

      Go for the triple: McSanto's GMO hamburgers and aspirin chaser.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gravis on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:37PM

    by Gravis (4596) on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:37PM (#348533)

    I don't see how Monsanto could get any more evil, so maybe new management would be an improvement. Hopefully, they will raise the price of herbicides and GMO seeds so that they will be used less. (I'm not against GMOs, just profit driven GMOs)

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19 2016, @11:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 19 2016, @11:11PM (#348548)

      Is evil synergistic? If we add two evil companies together do we get more than 2x the amount of evil?

      From the Wiki page on Bayer, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer [wikipedia.org] -
      > In 1925 Bayer became part of IG Farben, the world's largest chemical company. Following the Nazi takeover of Germany, IG Farben was embroiled in the Nazi regime's policies as a large government contractor. After World War II, Bayer was reestablished as an independent company, and quickly regained its position as one of the world's largest chemical and pharmaceutical corporations. Bayer has been involved in controversies regarding some of its drug products; its statin drug Baycol (cerivastatin) was discontinued in 2001 after 52 people died from renal failure, and Trasylol (aprotinin), used to control bleeding during major surgery, was withdrawn from the markets worldwide when reports of increased mortality emerged; it was later re-introduced in Europe but not in the US.

      And an amusing bit of history -
      > Heroin (diacetylmorphine), now illegal as an addictive drug, was trademarked and marketed by Bayer as a cough suppressant and non-addictive substitute for morphine from 1898 to 1910.[13] Bayer scientists were not the first to make heroin, but their scientists discovered ways to make it, and Bayer led commercialization of heroin.[14] Heroin was a Bayer trademark until after World War I.[15]

      The wikipedia page even has a picture of the bottle with Heroin label in a little 'swish' logo.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2016, @05:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2016, @05:23AM (#348632)

        Now that's a cute couple! Next product Round Zyklon Up B? Don't you just love the poison industry?

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DECbot on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:41PM

    by DECbot (832) on Thursday May 19 2016, @10:41PM (#348536) Journal

    The company that sells GMOs that people suspect to cause chronic health issues is being bought by a drug company that sells treatments to people suffering from chronic health issues?

    The incentive for a drug company to breed crops that are safe for human consumption is a conflict of interest!

    1. plant is modified
    2. bug won't eat plant
    3. plant goes to market
    4. company gets paid
    5. PROFIT!!!
    6. person eats modified food
    7. food is nearly safe to eat
    8. long term exposure causes chronic health issues to the person
    9. person buys drugs
    10. company gets paid
    11. PROFIT!!! PROFIT!!!
    --
    cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday May 19 2016, @11:39PM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday May 19 2016, @11:39PM (#348554) Journal

      I.G. Farben is rumored to be interested as well. Who says you cannot change corporate culture?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fishybell on Friday May 20 2016, @12:11AM

      by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 20 2016, @12:11AM (#348567)

      people suspect to cause chronic health issues

      Suspecting it doesn't make it true.

      That said, burn in hell Monsanto.

      • (Score: 2) by arulatas on Friday May 20 2016, @01:48PM

        by arulatas (3600) on Friday May 20 2016, @01:48PM (#348748)

        That is what they said about cigarettes/smoking/tobacco and cancer.

        --
        ----- 10 turns around
  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Friday May 20 2016, @12:24AM

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 20 2016, @12:24AM (#348571) Journal

    I've tried to come up with something witty and funny or insightful or whatever...

    ...all i come up with is 'Sh*t', because if this is allowed to go through, that is what we are all in for.

    Might as well just move to the fucking woods and go native or something, or....

    Really. Just sh*t.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2016, @03:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2016, @03:18AM (#348612)

      ... move to the fucking woods and go native ...

      Sorry, that option isn't really available anymore. Say you live in the woods and shoot a deer for food with bow and arrow (or a gun, your choice). Yesterday it was probably munching on GM corn or soy in a nearby farm field, which includes residue of RoundUp...

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2016, @04:43AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 20 2016, @04:43AM (#348627)

    Not surprising. In the own words of Bayer's CEO Marijn Dekkers Bayer designs its products for the market, not for poor people [pnhp.org], almost along the line of the other Martin, Shkreli.