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As Bayer Ditches Monsanto's Toxic Name in Merger, Green Groups Say There's No Erasing Its "Toxic Legacy"

"This merger will create the world's biggest and most powerful agribusiness corporation, which will try to force its genetically modified seeds and toxic pesticides into our food and countryside."

An activist dressed as an ear of corn and protesting against the U.S. agriculture company Monsanto attends a rally following a protest march attended by approximately 30,000 people against the upcoming G7 summit on June 4, 2015 in Munich, Germany. (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Monsanto may soon be dead in name, but its "toxic legacy" lives on.

That's how Friends of the Earth responded to the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer's announcement on Monday that it will ditch the name "Monsanto" after its merger with the globally reviled agrochemical giant is finalized later this week.

"Bayer will become Monsanto in all but name unless it takes drastic measures to distance itself from the U.S. chemical giant's controversial past," Adrian Bebb, a food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, said in a statement responding to Bayer's decision. "If it continues to peddle dangerous pesticides and unwanted GMOs then it will quickly find itself dealing with the same global resistance that Monsanto did."

Food safety groups and environmentalists have argued Bayer and Monsanto's "merger from hell"—which won approval from President Donald Trump's Justice Department last week—will tighten the stranglehold a few powerful corporations have on the global agriculture market, endangering people and the planet.

"This merger will create the world's biggest and most powerful agribusiness corporation, which will try to force its genetically modified seeds and toxic pesticides into our food and countryside," Bebb told the Guardian on Monday. "The coming together of these two is a marriage made in hell—bad for farmers, bad for consumers and bad for our countryside.”

After Bayer's $62.5 billion purchase of Monsanto is complete, the company will be named simply "Bayer."

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