Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Monsanto sign

Monsanto accepted Bayer's $66 billion takeover bid last week—the latest in a series of mega-mergers in the agrochemical industry. (Photo: AP)

Over 700,000 People Urge DOJ to Reject Biotech Mega-Mergers

'The shocking consolidation in the biotech seed and agrochemical industry turns our food system over to a cabal of chemical companies, undermining family farmers and consumers'

Nika Knight

Hundreds of thousands have signed petitions calling on the U.S. Department of Justice and elected officials to block three proposed mega-mergers of chemical and biotech behemoths: Bayer-Monsanto, Dow-Dupont, and ChemChina-Syngenta.

"Additional consolidation will increase prices and further limit choices for farmers, while allowing Monsanto and friends to continue pushing a model of agriculture that has given us superweeds, superbugs, and health-harming pesticides."
—Marcia Ishii-Eiteman,
Pesticide Action Network

"The continuing consolidation of seed and pesticide companies essentially creates a monopoly of toxicity in control of the world's seed market and food supply. These agrichemical giants threaten the availability and genetic diversity of seeds that are critical to a sustainable food system and to our ability to respond to the impacts of climate change," Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety, said Tuesday.

The petitions signed by over 700,000 people were delivered by nine consumer advocacy and environmental groups—including Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club, Pesticide Action Network, Friends of the Earth, and Center for Food Safety, among others—as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee met Tuesday to examine the wave of consolidation in the biotech and agrochemical industry.

"I'm afraid this consolidation wave has become a tsunami," said Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as the hearing opened.

"Just six corporations already dominate worldwide seed and pesticide markets," commented Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, senior scientist with Pesticide Action Network, in a statement released by the groups. "Additional consolidation will increase prices and further limit choices for farmers, while allowing Monsanto and friends to continue pushing a model of agriculture that has given us superweeds, superbugs, and health-harming pesticides. Instead, we need to invest in agroecological, resilient, and productive farming."

Kiki Hubbard, director of advocacy for Organic Seed Alliance, noted that all farmers "experience the negative consequences of seed consolidation. Organic farmers in particular are already underserved by the industry because the dominant players only invest in seed technologies and chemical production systems that are in conflict with organic farming practices."

"The last thing that U.S. agriculture needs now is more concentration," added Michael Sligh of the Rural Advancement Foundation International. "What farmers need is more regionally and locally-adapted seeds choices and more biodiversity. Concentration lead to higher seed prices for farmers and lower take home pay."

"The shocking consolidation in the biotech seed and agrochemical industry turns our food system over to a cabal of chemical companies, undermining family farmers and consumers," noted Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. "We urge federal regulators to block these pending mergers to prevent further corporate control of our food system."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Coalition Urges Biden to Make 'Transformative Change' in Approach to Global Food and Agriculture

"This pro-corporate agriculture agenda must change under your watch."

Andrea Germanos ·


Mondaire Jones Warns Against Watering Down Human Infrastructure Proposals

The New York Democrat is advocating universal programs, not means-tested ones, for programs in the Build Back Better plan.

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Threatening Key Climate Provision: Reports

"To take it out is to decide that climate change isn't a problem."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Make a Gesture of Humanity': Pope Francis Urges Pharma Giants to Release Covid-19 Vaccine Patents

"There are countries where only three or four percent of the inhabitants have been vaccinated."

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Fumes After Sanders Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper Calls Out Obstruction of Biden Agenda

"Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation," wrote Sanders. "Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo