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
Europe is gearing up for another extreme heat wave that could set all-time records for several European countries.
Micro-Naps for Plants: Flicking the Lights on and off Can Save Energy Without Hurting Indoor Agriculture Harvests
By Kevin M. Folta
A nighttime arrival at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport flies you over the bright pink glow of vegetable production greenhouses. Growing crops under artificial light is gaining momentum, particularly in regions where produce prices can be high during seasons when sunlight is sparse.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) former head of the Office of Air and Radiation who was instrumental in drafting policies that eased climate protection rules and pollution standards is under investigation by a federal watchdog for his dealings with the fossil fuel industry he was supposed to be regulating, according to the New York Times.
It's no secret that the Trump administration has championed fossil fuels and scoffed at renewable energy. But the Trump administration is trying to keep something secret: the climate crisis. That's according to a new analysis from the watchdog group Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) who found that more than a quarter of the references to climate change on .gov websites vanished.
By Adrienne Hollis
Climate change is a threat multiplier. This is a fact I know to be true. I also know that our most vulnerable populations, particularly environmental justice communities — people of color and/or low socioeconomic status — are suffering and will continue to suffer first and worst from the adverse effects of climate change. Case in point? Extreme heat.