The Name Monsanto is Gone – Bayer Will Drop Name From New Mega Corporation
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
Monsanto: Your name is erased but your history still haunts the world today.
Called the “merger from hell,” the newly approved mega-merger of Bayer and Monsanto is sending waves of dread through the health conscious community. Turns out, it’s causing Bayer a little dread, too. Apparently, the protests against Monsanto from environmentalists, consumers and farmers put a giant dent in the reputation that Bayer must now carry around.
“The company name is and will remain Bayer. Monsanto will no longer be a company name,” chief executive Werner Baumann announced today.
AP reports that this move happened after years of environmentalists “badly damaged the company’s brand.”
Bayer’s $63-billion (54-billion-euro) buyout of Monsanto — one of the largest in German corporate history — is set to close Thursday, birthing a global giant with 115,000 employees and revenues of some 45 billion euros.
The Monsanto brand “was an issue for some time for Monsanto management,” noted Liam Condon, president of Bayer’s crop science division, adding that the US firm’s employees were “not fixated on the Monsanto brand” but “proud of what they’ve achieved”.
“It’s understandable that Bayer wants to avoid having bought Monsanto’s negative image with the billions it has spent on the firm,” said Greenpeace campaigner Dirk Zimmermann, urging “a fundamental transformation in the new mega-company’s policies.”
He accused Bayer of having “no interest in developing future-proof, sustainable solutions for agriculture”.
Bayer has put massive resources behind the deal, raising $57 billion in financing including a new share issue worth six billion euros announced Sunday.
It will also sell large parts of its existing agrichemical and crop seeds business to BASF in concessions to competition authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.
Once the buyout and the sales to BASF are completed, Leverkusen-based Bayer’s crop science business plus Monsanto will account for almost half its turnover, with most of the remainder coming from pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter health products.
At around 19.7 billion euros in 2017, Monsanto and Bayer’s combined agriculture sales outweighed those of competitors ChemChina, DowDuPont and BASF, according to figures provided by Bayer.
“We estimate that Bayer will become number one in seeds and number two in crop protection globally” following the merger, analysts at Standard and Poor’s wrote Monday.
Instead of spending its money on safer products, Monsanto spent it on trying to take down the IRAC that said glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” It has spent money on trying to penetrate protest groups and drag farmers into court when Monsanto’s seeds contaminate (ruin) those farmers’ crops.
Dropping the name “Monsanto” won’t help Bayer with its PR spin. Friends of the Earth Germany genetic modification expert Heike Moldenhauer said:
If Bayer wants to be rid of Monsanto’s bad reputation, it should demonstrate that it’s different.
For example, Bayer could stop selling products containing glyphosate and end its lobbying to deregulate new genetic modification technologies.
The name “Monsanto” may be gone for now – but the company cannot run from the human misery it has caused. From Agent Orange to those dying from cancer today who only have one last breath to call them out. From superweeds in the United States to nearly ruining an African nation with inferior product. From glyphosate in umbilical cords to breakfast cereal and on wheat crops. All the many, many lies such as genetically engineered crops will feed the world and lead to less pesticide use. There are so many more of Monsanto’s blots on our history, that, sadly for the people harmed, cannot be swiped away with an eraser.
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