The Bayer and Monsanto deal
German pharmaceutical and crop science company Bayer wants to acquire US GMO seed giant Monsanto - to become the largest supplier of agricultural chemicals.
German multinational Bayer wants to buy US agrochemical company Monsanto for an incredible $66 billion: it’s a marriage that made headlines around the world. In addition to the hotly debated weed killer glyphosate, Monsanto also produces genetically modified seeds. But what does this blockbuster deal mean for consumers, farmers, agriculture and food supplies around the world? Many farmers find glyphosate, which is the most frequently used herbicide both worldwide and in the EU, an effective tool to protect crops, but critics say it’s carcinogenic. Despite these misgivings, Brussels recently approved the use of glyphosate in the European Union for another five years, concluding that the chemical "should not be classified as a substance that causes genetic damage or disrupts reproduction" and "there is no evidence to link glyphosate to cancer in humans, based on the available information". Agricultural chemicals are a big business around the world, and that shows no signs of changing any time soon. But the industry is promising more modern and effective forms of use in agriculture, largely through what they’ve dubbed "digital farming" using apps. These apps provide farmers with key crop planting and harvesting data directly to their smartphones or tablets. It’s not entirely altruism, however - the apps also advertise and sell company products directly to farmers. These advances notwithstanding, the merger of Bayer and Monsanto would appear to be a risky one. Why is Bayer CEO Werner Baumann willing to take on a company whose negative image could tarnish the traditional Bayer brand name? Filmmakers Ingolf Gritschneder and Michael Heussen spoke to both proponents and critics of the Bayer Monsanto mega-merger and filmed at Monsanto's research labs in the United States. In South America and India, they met scientists and farmers who have already experienced the impact of monocultures, Monsanto seeds and pesticides. _______\
In this 42 min documentary is by Deutsche Welle ( DW ) - Germany's public international broadcaster
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