News

2018-03-08 |

Concerns Over a Monsanto - Bayer Merger

Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, has until 5th April to reach a final decision as to whether or not to approve the takeover of Monsanto by Bayer. If the company wins conditional antitrust approval for its $62.5 billion bid, the merger would create a company with a share of more than a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticides market.

The consideration of the merger has already been a lengthy process. Bayer has moved to resolve some of Vestager’s main concerns after she opened an in-depth probe into the deal in August. To placate opposition voices, the corporations have divested some key assets (such as Bayer’s LibertyLink) to reduce the appearance of monopolistic market control but the deal may be permanently blocked unless Bayer makes more significant concessions.

It is generally assumed that if approved, the merger would create a risky consolidation of corporate power that could make life more difficult for farmers using pesticides and manufactured fertilisers. These mergers could threaten food sovereignty around the world by limiting the ability of farmers to make independent choices for themselves, and lock them into damaging and detrimental contracts. It is certainly essential that EU regulators properly investigate before it’s too late.

2018-03-06 |

Natural Soybean and Grain Alliance developing non-GMO opportunities for Arkansas farmers

A new organization aims to help Arkansas farmer realize opportunities in non-GMO food and agriculture markets. The Natural Soybean and Grain Alliance (NSGA) was established in 2015 after co-founders Kelly Cartwright and Lanny Ashlock helped develop the edamame food soybean industry in Arkansas.

“We’re trying to develop markets for non-GMO soybeans,” says Cartwright, NSGA’s executive director.

NSGA worked with the University of Arkansas’s soybean breeding program and begin licensing non-GMO, value-added soybean seed varieties to sell to the state’s farmers. The soybean varieties include high-protein food- and feed-grade varieties and a high yielding commodity grade variety called DrewSoy 5.0. The soybean is insect and disease resistant and has performed well in university trials in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri.

NSGA’s goal with the three non-GMO soybean varieties is to “add value to the bottom lines of producers,” says Cartwright.

Arkansas is one of the leading state producers of non-GMO soybeans in the U.S. Five to 10 percent of Arkansas’s soybeans are non-GMO, there is significant production of natto and edamame soybeans, and the University of Arkansas is well-known for its non-GMO soybean breeding program.

2018-03-06 |

Monsanto concealed effects of toxic chemical for decades, Ohio AG alleges

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued agricultural giant Monsanto on Monday, alleging the company concealed dangers posed by a toxic chemical compound it manufactured for nearly a half century.

In the suit, filed in the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court in Cincinnati, prosecutors argued that the company should pay for the clean-up of what it says are dozens of rivers, lakes and other water bodies contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

2018-03-06 |

Research showing organic techniques restore soil carbon could expand the seal’s appeal

New research showing organic farming more effectively restores soil carbon and reduces the cause of climate change compared to conventional techniques could sway more shoppers to buy organic – especially as conscious consumerism continues to rise.

2018-03-05 |

Expert witnesses to face off in Roundup cancer hearing

Both sides of Roundup cancer lawsuits present experts at hearing on March 5

A Daubert Hearing for the federal Monsanto Roundup litigation is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 5, 2018 at US District Court, Northern District of California in San Francisco. More than 365 Roundup cancer lawsuits against Monsanto have been combined in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL - In re Roundup Products Liability Litigation - Case Number: 3:16-md-02741-VC) before US District Judge Vince Chhabria. The hearing will begin at 10:00 AM on Monday in Courtroom 8, 19th Floor and will continue at various start times throughout the rest of the week.

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