Bayer's desperate bid to rehabilitate Monsanto will fail - experts to RT
As Bayer takes over Monsanto to create the world's biggest agrochemicals firm, the German pharmaceuticals company's problems are just beginning, experts tell RT.
While the merged company will lose the Monsanto name, Bayer will be inheriting each and every lawsuit attached to the company. Around 4,000 suits have been filed against Monsanto in the US alone with some 2,000 legal hearings still pending.
One of the biggest trials, scheduled in June, is based on allegations that the company had been suppressing the cancer risk of Roundup, its herbicide glyphosate, for decades.
The German company has tried to provide assurances that the merger will make things better. "We aim to deepen our dialogue with society," Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in the statement earlier this week. "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."
But that has failed to convince health activists since Monsanto products will remain on the market. "If we are talking about progress to try and find new herbicides, that simply hasn't happened. And they may have reached the end of their line," Jeffrey Smith, a former politician, consumer advocate and health activist, said in an interview with RT.
"If you are talking about progress to try and convince Americans and the rest of the planet that Roundup is safe. Well, they have been doing that."
The expert highlighted that Monsanto had created an entire plan to co-orchestrate public outcry, when they knew that the World Health Organization was going to declare glyphosate a "probable human carcinogen".
"They ghost-wrote studies, they ghost-wrote opinion pieces," Smith said. "Documents also showed that they had their own man inside the Environmental Protection Agency working quietly on behalf of Monsanto and blocking additional research that might have indicated and verified that it was a carcinogen."
"I don't know exactly what Bayer means by progress but it doesn't look good," the expert added.
According to Smith, the decision to purchase Monsanto was based on a kind of desperation. "Researchers in Germany told me that their pharmaceutical line was drying up and they needed to diversify. Unfortunately for them, they chose Monsanto. Monsanto is actually looking at a precipice, a lot of their fortunes are at risk right now," he said.
At the same time, the controversial takeover arouses fears that the two giants will form a monopoly that could drag down smaller rivals in the sector, leading to their bankruptcy, as well as hitting farmers' pockets.
"You're looking at a very big conglomerate now, because Monsanto was a giant and Bayer is a giant in health and agriculture, and now you are combining those, when you create a giant company that controls all of these assets," Steve Malzberg, TV host and a political commentator told RT. "It'll make it harder for smaller companies that just specialize in one or two of the functions of Bayer."
"It's going to affect farmers and it's going to affect all of us in the long run," the expert said, warning that the new corporation aims to become a one-stop shop for the agricultural world.
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