Not everyone was pleased with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approval of German drug and chemical giant Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto this week. After Bayer agreed to sell $9 billion worth of canola, soybean, and vegetable seed businesses, as well as its Liberty herbicide business to BASF, the DOJ gave the thumbs up to the $66 billion deal.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the announcement:
“Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto culminates the latest and most disturbing round of consolidation amongst the handful of companies that control both U.S. and global agricultural markets. Three massive companies now control the markets that supply agricultural inputs like seeds, traits, and chemicals. This extreme consolidation drives up costs for farmers and it limits their choice of products in the marketplace. It also reduces the incentive for the remaining agricultural input giants to compete and innovate through research and development.
“While we appreciate the significant divestitures agreed to as part of this approval, Farmers Union condemns DOJ’s continued rubber-stamping of mergers in the food and agriculture arena. We will now focus our efforts on ensuring the promises made by Bayer and Monsanto throughout this approval process are kept. The company must continue to increase the productivity of American family farmers by delivering localized solutions in seed, trait, and crop chemical innovation.”