Monsanto, the folks who brought you Roundup and all those patented Roundup Ready genetically modified crops they peddle, was the target and marches and rallies in more than 400 cities across the global today by folks angry at the firm’s control of so much of the world’s food supplies.
Big Agra’s been in a state of flux of late, with major mergers in the offing, as BBC News reported Thursday, when Bayer announced it wanted to buy the company:
There has been speculation for some months that Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed company, could become a target for either Bayer or BASF.
Bayer, which has a market value of about $90bn, is the second-largest producer of crop chemicals after Syngenta.
Monsanto, which has a market capitalisation of $42bn, attempted to buy Swiss rival Syngenta last year.
However, Syngenta ended up accepting a $43bn offer from ChemChina in February, although that deal is still being reviewed by regulators in the US.
Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto is expected to be bigger in value than the ChemChina-Syngenta deal.
More from Reuters:
Deutsche Bank analysts said a deal could shift Bayer’s center of gravity to agriculture, accounting for about 55 percent of core earnings, up from roughly 28 percent last year excluding the Covestro chemicals business Bayer plans to sell.
That would have a negative impact on sentiment among Bayer’s healthcare-focused investor base, the bank said.
Bayer, which has a market value of $90 billion, said the merger would create “a leading integrated agriculture business”, referring to Bayer’s push to seek more synergies from combining the development and sale of seeds and crop protection chemicals.
Most of the major agrichemical companies are aiming to genetically engineer more robust plants and custom-build chemicals to go with them, selling them together to farmers who are struggling to contend with low commodity price.
And, just for the fun of it, some voideos from around the world and an image or two.
First, the march in Saarbrücken, Germany, from Heidi Schmitt:
March against Monsanto, 21.05.2016 in Saarbrücken
On to Paris, via Ruptly TV:
France: Parisians rally against Monsanto
Several thousand protesters took to the streets of Paris on Saturday for the ‘March against Monsanto,’ in a demonstration against multinational agrochemical corporation. Protesters held banners reading: “GMO/Pesticides = the next sanitary scandal” and “GMO no thanks.”
The activists are protesting against Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) products and the alleged monopoly that Monsanto has in the food supply market.
Saturday’s march will mark the fourth annual ‘March against Monsanto.’ The march is set to take place in over 400 cities in more than 40 countries around the world.
Then off to Innsbruck, Austria with Klaus Schreiner:
2016 Monsanto Marsch Innsbruck
And then back to France and a march in Bordeaux from Gilbert Hanna:
Contre Monsanto and CO à Bordeaux marche internationale
Next, Amsterdam, via kafx:
March against Monsanto
And an image from Basel, Switzerland, via GM Watch:
Then to Toronto, via SupportLocalScene:
March Against Monsanto 2016 at Yonge & Dundas
Yonge and Dundas sees the Millions March Against Monsanto 2016 marching in downtown Toronto, Canada, May 21st 2016.
Next, an image form New York by Alex Beauchamp:
Then to Japan with Ruptly TV:
Japan: Thousands protest against Monsanto in Tokyo
Several thousand protesters took to the streets of Tokyo for the ‘March against Monsanto’ on Saturday, in a demonstration against multinational agrochemical corporation.
Finally, via GM Watch, a scene from China: