By Jamie Corey
September 29, 2016
Bayer announced this month that it plans to purchase Monsanto, the controversial chemical corporation that has been sued around the world over its products and practices. Nowadays,Bayer has a more consumer-friendly corporate reputation, but it too has a checkered past. (Bayer’s history as a German company during the Nazi era is well documented.)
According to Vox, if regulators approve the $66 billion deal, the merger would create the largest agribusiness giant in the world, “selling 29 percent of the world’s seeds and 24 percent of its pesticides.”
Selling nearly a third of the world’s seeds actually means owning a huge portion of the seed stock on the planet. And, Monsanto has spent decades genetically modifying seeds to make them compatible with its chemical pesticides and herbicides, as with Roundup-ready corn. Those are the kinds of chemicals and modifications that can’t be washed off.
In the U.S., citizens have been waging major campaigns to try to get GMO products labeled and/or to prevent the use of GMO crops in their communities. These efforts have been attacked by Monsanto and other chemical corporations, which have worked to defeat citizen democracy through subterfuge—as with the deceptive ads that beat back California’s proposition on GMO labeling and with a “preemption” bill in Oregon to trump local ballot measures that passed overwhelmingly in two Oregon counties that banned GMO crops.
That preemption bill was similar to other anti-local democracy measures peddled by theAmerican Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
From fracking bans to minimum wage and GMO labeling, ALEC and its politicians have successfully driven preemption efforts with its “model” legislation throughout different parts of the country at the behest of giant corporations.