Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Location: Westminster, LONDON, SW1A 2HB.
|Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 9:32 pm Post subject:
|Bayer's $66bn takeover bid of Monsanto called a 'marriage made in hell'
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders leads outcry over merger, saying deal is ‘a threat to all Americans’ and should be blocked by regulators
Bayer headquarters in Germany
Rupert Neate in New York
Wednesday 14 September 2016 21.19
German chemical giant Bayer’s $66bn (£50bn) deal to buy controversial US agrochemical giant Monsanto and create the world’s largest seeds and pesticides company is “a threat to all Americans” and should be blocked, Bernie Sanders said on Wednesday.
Speaking shortly after the deal was announced, the Vermont senator, who ran against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, said: “The attempted takeover of Monsanto by Bayer is a threat to all Americans.”
“These mergers boost the profits of huge corporations and leave Americans paying even higher prices. Not only should this merger be blocked, but the Department of Justice should reopen its investigation of Monsanto’s monopoly over the seed and chemical market.”
He called for the proposed takeover to be blocked and for a fresh investigation into Monsanto’s current control of the seed market.
The proposed deal, the biggest corporate takeover deal so far this year, follows a wave of consolidation in the seeds and agriculture industry and has raised concerns among politicians, scientists, regulators, farmers and activists who called the deal a “marriage made in hell”.
Bayer raises Monsanto cash takeover offer to $65bn
Werner Baumann, chief executive of Bayer, which is most famous for developing aspirin, said “the combination of our two great organizations [will] deliver substantial value to shareholders, our customers, employees and society at large”.
But farmers and environmentalists warned the deal could lead to a reduction in seed variety, an increase in genetically modified crops and higher seed costs and therefore crop and food prices.
The proposed takeover is likely to face intense regulatory scrutiny in the US and Europe, particularly as it quickly follows two other mega-deals in the agriculture industry and would leave control of almost two-thirds of the world’s seeds and pesticides in the hands of three firms.
Analysts at Bernstein Research said they thought there was only a 50:50 chance of the deal winning regulatory clearance. “We believe political pushback to this deal, ranging from farmer dissatisfaction with all their suppliers consolidating in the face of low farm net incomes to dissatisfaction with Monsanto leaving the United States, could provide significant delays and complications,” they said in a research note. Because of the difficulties expected in getting the deal through, Bayer has agreed to pay Monsanto $2bn if the tie-up falls apart because of competition concerns.
Friends of the Earth described the takeover, which will see Bayer pay $128 per share – a 44% premium on Monsanto’s share price before the proposed deal was first revealed in May, as a “marriage made in hell”.
— Adrian Bebb (@AdrianBebb)
September 14, 2016
Bayer-Monsanto takeover a 'marriage made in hell'. #glyphosate #GMO #neonics #bees https://t.co/dIb6QIySFm pic.twitter.com/JSe05H0kTw
Adrian Bebb, Friends of the Earth’s food and farming campaigner, said the proposed takeover “threatens to further lock in industrialised agriculture at the expense of nature, farmers and the wider public” and warned that “this mega corporation will be doing its best to force damaging pesticides and GM seeds into our countryside”.
Campaigners promised further protests, which have already been held around the world since Bayer made its first approach for Monsanto in May.
They are concerned that the deal could lead to Monsanto, which has been described as “the most evil company in the world” for its role in developing deadly herbicide Agent Orange in the 1960s and more recently its role at the forefront of genetically engineered crops, could introduce GMO seeds in Europe.
Hugh Grant, Monsanto’s Scottish chief executive, hit out at environmentalists saying their concern about GM crops “drives me a little bit nuts” and said they should be more worried about how to feed a fast-growing global population while using less water as global temperatures rise.
“You think about two billion new citizens, you think about a warming planet. You think about water. These are appropriate conversations,” he said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday. “The thing that drives me a little bit nuts. The frustrating piece is this is such a polarized debate. And I don’t think it should be because we’re going to need all these kinds of agriculture.”
John Colley, professor of international business at Warwick Business School said: “Bayer’s acquisition of ‘Frankenstein’ crop producer Monsanto could be a horror story for both Bayer and its customers: the farmers.”
“Apart from Monsanto’s shareholders, who have hit the jackpot, this looks like a lose-lose bid. Bayer have been forced into paying too much and face major integration and competition authority risks.
“The farmers will lose out as product ranges are rationalised and attempts are made to increase prices.”
Bayer’s shares were up 1.3% to €105.60 in afternoon trading in Frankfurt, and Monsanto shares were 1.1% higher at $107.20 in New York.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Joined: 30 Jul 2006
Location: East London
|Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:24 pm Post subject:
|'Monsanto and Its Minions Are Poisoning Us: How Can We Defend Ourselves?':
'Monsanto (soon to be Bayer) and their minions are poisoning us. Yet another independent peer-reviewed scientific study (article linked below) has confirmed that Monsanto’s notorious weedkiller, Roundup, sprayed on most major agricultural crops and animal feed, including corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, cotton, wheat, alfalfa, and beans–contaminating the majority of the non-organic foods in U.S. grocery stores, restaurants, and school lunch cafeterias–is toxic, even at the routine parts per billion or trillion level ingested by most Americans everyday.
Roundup is everywhere, in our food, in our cotton clothing, in our urine, in our breast milk, in the rain, in our drinking water, rivers, fish, and wildlife. Following up on the declaration of a respected scientific panel of the World Health Organization in 2016 that Roundup (active ingredient glyphosate) likely causes cancer, compounded by numerous studies linking Monsanto’s top-selling herbicide to hormone disruption, birth defects, kidney damage, and other diseases, the question we should be asking today is not whether we need more proof that the Biotech Bully of St. Louis is deliberately poisoning us for profit, aided and abetted by indentured scientists, media hacks, and politicians; but rather how do we drive Monsanto’s Roundup and Roundup-tainted foods off the market?
Hint number one: don’t hold your breath for the Trump administration, Congress, or the regulatory agencies to ban or even restrict the use of Roundup and the thousands of other pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and chemical fertilizers contaminating our food and water and destroying our soils’ ability to sequester carbon and re-stabilize our dangerously out of control climate. Trump’s new regime is filled with “business as usual” Monsanto cheerleaders, Wall Street bankers, and corporate cronies who love industrial agriculture and America’s fossil fuel suicide economy.
Hint number two: don’t expect Big Food companies, fast food giants, retail supermarket chains, school cafeterias and institutional food providers to voluntarily remove Roundup and other agri-toxics from their product lines and menus.
Hint number three: don’t rely on the fraudulently labeled “natural,” “all natural,” or “non-GMO” brands of companies such as Ben and Jerry’s, Dannon, General Mills, Kellogg’s, or Whole Foods’ 365 brand, to keep Roundup and other poisons out of your food....'
'Britain's most used pesticide is linked to a serious liver disease which can be fatal, shocking new study claims':
'A weedkiller commonly used on UK food crops and gardens has been linked to a serious liver disease by British academics.
Minute quantities of glyphosate, sold under the brand name Roundup by Monsanto, caused a fatty liver disease in a feeding study using rats.
The research was led by Dr Michael Antoniou, of Kings College, London, who said the findings raise serious concerns for human health.
He called on regulators to re-think both the use of Roundup on farms and the risk to humans caused by residues in food......'
'...Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, spider-like blood vessels, jaundice, fluid build-up and swelling of the legs.
Dr Antoniou said: 'The findings of our study are very worrying as they demonstrate for the first time a causative link between an environmentally relevant level of Roundup consumption over the long-term and a serious disease.
'Our results also suggest that regulators should reconsider the safety evaluation of glyphosate-based herbicides.'
Glyphosate or Roundup is the most commonly used weedkiller on British farms and around the world. It is also sold as a weedkiller for household gardens...'
'...Supporters of GM farming, such as the former Conservative Food and Farming Secretary, Owen Paterson, have used the fact GM crops and farming techniques have been used in the USA for 20 years as proof they are safe.
The British research, which has been peer-reviewed by experts to ensure the study was properly conducted, is the first to identify a risk to human health.
Our results also suggest that regulators should reconsider the safety evaluation of glyphosate-based herbicides
Dr Michael Antoniou, of Kings College, London
Experts at King's College used cutting edge profiling methods to examine the livers of female rats fed an extremely low dose of Roundup over a two year period.
Dr Robin Mesnage, a research associate at Kings, said: 'The concentration of glyphosate that was added to the drinking water of the rats corresponds to a concentration found in tap water for human consumption.
'It is also lower than the contamination of some foodstuffs.'
The team examined the livers at a molecular level and found evidence of cell damage, serious fatty liver disease and areas of dead tissue or necrosis.
They concluded: 'The study is unique in that it is the first to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup at a real-world environmental dose and a serious disease condition.
WHAT IS NAFLD?
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the term for a range of conditions caused by a build-up of fat in the liver.
It's usually seen in people who are overweight or obese.
A healthy liver should contain little or no fat. It's estimated that up to one in every three people in the UK has early stages of NAFLD where there are small amounts of fat in their liver.
Early-stage NAFLD doesn't usually cause any harm, but it can lead to serious liver damage, including cirrhosis - which can be deadly, if it gets worse.
Having high levels of fat in your liver is also associated with an increased risk of problems such as diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.
If detected and managed at an early stage, it's possible to stop NAFLD getting worse and reduce the amount of fat in your liver.
Source: NHS Choices
'These results demonstrate that long-term consumption of an ultra-low, environmentally relevant dose of Roundup at a glyphosate daily intake level of only 4 nanograms per kilogram of body weight per day, which is 75,000 times below EU and 437,500 below US permitted levels, results in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
'Regulators worldwide accept toxicity studies in rats as indicators of human health risks. Therefore, the results of this latest study may have serious consequences for human health.'
The fact the research has been peer reviewed and published in the journal Scientific Reports means the methods have been scrutinised and verified.
The Crop Protection Association, which speaks for Monsanto and other chemical companies, questioned the validity of the King's study.
The CPA said: 'Glyphosate is amongst the most thoroughly tested herbicides on the market, and those studies by expert regulators have consistently concluded that glyphosate does not pose a risk to public health.
'Glyphosate is a crucial tool in a farmers' armoury. To put things in perspective, glyphosate is less toxic than baking soda, table salt, the caffeine in our coffee and many other products we all use or consume regularly.'
'Crop Protection Society' my Aunt Fannie; 'Monsanto Protection Society' would be a far more truthful name for this group of Monsanto cheerleaders.
And Glyphosate is used on most wheat and barley in the UK, and shortly before harvest, which means we get it in our bread and beer...
I have sent 'Crop Protection' an email:
'Hi Crop Protection Association,
In view of the fact that you have questioned the validity of the King's study by Dr Michael Antoniou, as per below:
Britain's most used pesticide is linked to a deadly liver disease
Minute quantities of glyphosate, sold under the brand name Roundup by Monsanto, caused a fatty liver disease in a feeding study using rats, researchers from Kings College London found.
'...The CPA said: 'Glyphosate is amongst the most thoroughly tested herbicides on the market, and those studies by expert regulators have consistently concluded that glyphosate does not pose a risk to public health.[/b]
'Glyphosate is a crucial tool in a farmers' armoury. To put things in perspective, glyphosate is less toxic than baking soda, table salt, the caffeine in our coffee and many other products we all use or consume regularly.'...'
is it safe to assume will you be backing up your 'opinion' by replying to the peer reviewed article in Scientific Reports, because it is hardly ethical to not do so whilst pouring scorn on the Review in quotes to the Daily Mail?'.
'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.