Top executives from Bayer, Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical, and Syngenta testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, making a case for why federal regulators should approve the mega-mergers, which stand to fundamentally reorganize global agriculture.
The executives in attendance argued that the proposed mergers would combine their companies’ expertise and allow for greater efficiency in serving farmers and consumers.
The consolidation of these six highly competitive companies into three juggernauts has left many farmers and consumers uneasy. Consumers advocates say they worry the mergers will usher in a new era of sterile crops soaked in dangerous pesticides.
Farmers worry that less competition in the marketplace will give the merged companies an ability to increase prices of seeds and chemicals—something that would be particularly harmful during a time when US farm incomes are dropping.
The side effects of massive consolidation are possible price hikes and less competition in the marketplace. The mighty American Farm Bureau lobby expressed some trepidation.
That’s part of the case that National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson made to senators, warning that approval of the mergers would lead not only to higher prices, but also less innovation and fewer products from which farmers can choose.
From that perspective, the mergers are as much about maintaining profit and staying financially healthy as they are about the development of new technologies.
Left unsaid by the companies was that, with the exception of Bayer, the USA and European giants have experienced shrinking sales. As Republican senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina put it, Dow’s numbers look like the EKG of a heart attack patient.
Yahoo / ABC Flash Point News 2019.