Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Bayer to Drop Monsanto Name After $63 Billion Takeover

Business
Conan / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Bayer plans to complete its $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto on Thursday after receiving all required approvals from regulatory authorities.

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

An aerial view of a crude oil storage facility of Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) in the Krasnodar Territory. Vitaly Timkiv / TASS / Getty Images

Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.

Read More Show Less
Examples (from left) of a lead pipe, a corroded steel pipe and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. U.S. EPA Region 5

Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

By Dave Cooke

So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.

Read More Show Less

By Richard Connor

A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.

Read More Show Less
Ian Sane / Flickr

Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.

Read More Show Less