The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Bayer to Drop Monsanto Name After $63 Billion Takeover
The German pharmaceutical company will also retire the St. Louis-based corporation's 117-year-old name.
"Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio," Bayer announced Monday.
Fortune pointed out that name-changes during acquisitions is unusual, especially when a company is very recognizable. However, as one of the world's most hated companies, ditching Monsanto's name was not only expected, it was likely Bayer's best way forward.
Monsanto's historical line-up of products includes banned and highly toxic chemicals such as 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant Agent Orange); PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl); and Lasso, a herbicide banned in Europe. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's best-selling weedkiller RoundUp, is the most widely used pesticide in the world and likely the most controversial. Monsanto is also the largest maker of genetically modified (GMO) seeds, giving them major hand control of the world food supply.
Activists have also condemned the company's pursuit of lawsuits against small farmers to protect its patents on seeds.
Bayer announced its intention to acquire Monsanto in May 2016, a move that will create world's largest integrated pesticides and seeds company.
Critics have dubbed the purchase as a "merger from hell." A recent poll found that the vast majority of surveyed farmers were concerned that the integrated company will use its dominance in one product to push sales of other products. They also expressed fears that that the merged entity will control data about farm practices and increase pressure for chemically dependent farming.
"We aim to deepen our dialogue with society," said Bayer CEO Werner Baumann, in a statement. "We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It's the only way to build bridges."
President Trump's Department of Justice approved a deal in which Bayer agreed to the largest divestiture in American antitrust enforcement history. The drug-maker will sell assets worth roughly $9 billion to chemical giant BASF.
"Innovation is vital to produce more healthy, safe and affordable food for a growing population in a more sustainable manner. The combination of the two businesses will allow us to deliver more innovation faster and provide solutions tailored to the needs of farmers around the world," said Liam Condon, Bayer board member and president of the crop science division, in a statement. "Going forward, our teams in the labs and in the field will be able to take a much more holistic approach to innovation as we address the enormous challenges we face in agriculture."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Elizabeth Henderson
The certified organic label has helped save many generational farms and enabled people like me, who do not come from agricultural backgrounds, to become successful farmers. Organic farming has brought environmental benefits—healthier soils, freedom from toxic pesticides and herbicides—to 6.5 million acres in the U.S.
By Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
You've probably heard the buzz around collagen supplements and your skin by now. But is the hype really that promising? After all, research has pointed to both the benefits and downsides of collagen supplements — and for many beauty-conscious folk, collagen isn't vegan.
By Marlene Cimons
Neil Pederson's introduction to tree rings came from a "sweet and kindly" college instructor, who nevertheless was "one of the most boring professors I'd ever experienced," Pederson said. "I swore tree rings off then and there." But they kept coming back to haunt him.
By Daisy Brickhill
Each morning, men living in fishing communities along Ghana's coastline push off in search of the day's catch. But when the boats come back to shore, it's the women who take over.
By Sam Nickerson
Links between excess sugar in your diet and disease have been well-documented, but new research by Harvard's School of Public Health might make you even more wary of that next soda: it could increase your risk of an early death.
The study, published this week in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that drinking one or two sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) each day — like sodas or sports drinks — increases risk of an early death by 14 percent.
Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."