What will the Bayer-Monsanto merger mean to the world?

Should we tremble? The merger of Bayer and Monsanto could give this conglomerate control of most of the world's seeds and pesticides and establish a global transgenic model, in addition to creating a powerful big data system

In September of this year, the merger of Bayer and Monsanto was announced in an operation of 66 billion dollars, the most important of the business year. The operation has yet to pass regulatory obstacles, so it would not be carried out properly until the end of 2017, according to several calculations. However, the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer already generates enormous speculation and even planning of the German pharmaceutical giant, which considers even eliminating the name of Monsanto to continue selling its agricultural products without the bad image that the name has earned by the development of transgenics and products such as the infamous orange agent, used in the Vietnam War. On the other hand, Bayer's lineage is not so neat either, although this company enjoys a much better reputation for the great acceptance of its flagship product, aspirin. Bayer introduced heroin as a cough medicine at the end of the 19th century and later worked at the service of the Nazi party (something that certainly does not make it unique, since this was very common among all types of companies during World War II).

For many, the union of these two companies is an example of how corporate power already surpasses political power and in this case a union that is seen as little less than evil. The Avaaz site has generated a request to stop this merger (you can participate here). Avaaz maintains that: "Global corporations are already too large to be regulated, and the agricultural industry is concentrated in the hands of six huge companies. Uniting two of the most gigantic, with a terrible history of abuse of our health and our ecosystems, it's a horrible idea. " In addition, he maintains that Bayer produces pesticides that are killing bees, which is a very serious global problem.

If the merger is consummated, this will mean that Bayer-Monsanto will be able to provide a kind of unique and definitive service for the farm, with a wide range of pesticides and transgenic seeds. It is believed that they would control up to 60% of the seeds, 70% of the pesticides and most of the patents of the world's transgenics. Experts believe that this could end small local businesses, some of which still defend another more traditional agriculture model. According to a report, this could make the entire crop and livestock system vulnerable because of its uniformity. The other issue that this merger would allow is that pharmaceutical and agricultural companies become a powerful force for big data, controlling information on seeds, soil, climate and new genomic information.

Bayer has already announced a plan to provide food to the population, in response to a future where extreme weather will affect supply and production (it is planned to use GM foods to correct this). The above is part of its Bayer Crop Science program, the division of the company that could absorb Monsanto (eliminating the black name of this brand). A slightly more perverse reading, already based on the conspiracy theory, could suggest that by controlling both the food and pharmaceutical industry they will be doing a round business: a world that feeds on toxic products (in food, but also in the environment) and then receive the drugs to alleviate (and chronify) the conditions generated by a diet like this.