EU Commission Launching Probe Into Germany’s Bayer Possible Monsanto Acquisition
AP Photo/ Kamil ZihniogluBusiness17:19 22.08.2017(updated 17:21 22.08.2017) Get short URL
The European Commission said on Tuesday it was launching an in-depth investigation into the proposed acquisition of US biotechnology corporation Monsanto by Germany’s Bayer pharmaceutical company.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The commission said it had concerns that the merger could reduce competition in pesticides, seeds and traits.
“Seeds and pesticide products are essential for farmers and ultimately consumers. We need to ensure effective competition so that farmers can have access to innovative products, better quality and also purchase products at competitive prices. And at the same time maintain an environment where companies can innovate and invest in improved products,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said, as quoted by the statement.
Bayer is a leading producer of insecticides and Monsanto is best known for developing genetically modified seeds to increase crop yields.
Founded as a food additive company in 1901, Monsanto operates in 61 countries and is the world’s leading producer of genetically engineered seeds and chemical herbicides.
In a letter, a coalition of 24 farm, consumer and rural advocacy organizations urged the US Department of Justice to block a proposed merger between agribusiness giants Bayer and Monsanto, claiming the that farmers and families would suffer from a resulting vegetable seed monopoly.
Meanwhile, the nonprofit group Organic Consumers Association said that the five international judges in the Monsanto Tribunal, a civil society initiative, have ruled that US agricultural corporation Monsanto has engaged in activities that violate basic human rights.