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posted by martyb on Tuesday June 05 2018, @07:13AM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-worry...-just-take-two-Bayer®-asprin-and...-oh,-wait dept.

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: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:24AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:24AM (#689226)

    I don't think those are mild words. They're a clear directed attack on independent thought. For one, he is equating his company (Bayer) completely owns a 4,000-year old global craft (agriculture), and secondly, he is discarding concerns about the long-term ecological effects of his trade as "ideological differences".

    Let's use the same argument on different topics:

    religion is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from killing these heretics

    our country is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from building this wall

    our security is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from hoovering up all this data

    productivity is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from shipping slaves across the globe

    femininity is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from eradicating the white devil

    our future is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from exterminating this race

    (godwinning is allowed, other posters have already explained why)

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  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday June 06 2018, @10:58AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 06 2018, @10:58AM (#689257) Journal
    Again, you're just wrong here. Let's look at your examples, such as:

    religion is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from killing these heretics

    Note that none of these examples have anything to do with the Baumann quote. They just share a common grammatical structure. Grammar is not a source of aggression. For example, consider the mellowness of this example:

    Pub hopping is too important to allow ideological differences to stop us from drinking beer.

    Crafting statements which are deliberately looking for a fight ignores that the same grammatical structure can be used to craft statements that are pretty damn innocuous. We'll just have to look at the context, the action being called for, whether it be "stop us drinking beer" or "stop us from shipping slaves across the globe".

    Here, it's "to bring progress to a standstill", which I bet the majority of people would consider a net bad thing to do. While I grant that there are parties who want to bring progress to a standstill, why should we respect them for that belief? The world isn't in a state where one can hit the pause button and not expect a few hundred million or more deaths as a result.

    Moving on, your assertions as to what Baumann said are absurd. He didn't not attack independent thought. He did not claim Bayer owns agriculture. And "concerns about the long-term ecological effects of his trade" are indeed ideologically based. That doesn't make them wrong (what makes that sort of ideology commonly wrong is indifference to context and any attempts to reduce or increase the risks of those ecological effects).

    Finally, stupidity is not morality. You need to learn some critical reasoning here. The crafting of such statements is a routine act of mild propaganda. One doesn't contest such things by blowing them way out of proportion. It just makes you look like an idiot.

    Here is a more effective strategy. You're not advocating the halting of progress in GMO foods, right? But rather that such research proceeds in a cautious and responsible manner. Thus, a sound rebuttal is to point to actual GMO work that you do support (and why you support it) as a counter. For example, "Mr. Baumann claims to support progress, so do we. But risky GMO projects that cause considerable ecological harm aren't progress. Here are some projects which we feel take the proper sort of precautions which weren't taken by Monsanto prior to this buyout..."