For Immediate Release
Advocates Urge Feds to Reject Danone-White Wave Merger
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
WASHINGTON - “Today, the French food and beverage manufacturer Danone announced plans to buy the U.S.-based WhiteWave, whose product lines include Horizon Organic milk and Wallaby Organic. This takeover is the latest in a string of high profile, big money deals in the food and agribusiness industries.
“Mega-mergers like this and the others we’ve seen in recent years allow powerful, wealthy food companies to seize control of the entire food chain, from seed to supermarket. The $10 billion deal would double Danone’s footprint in American supermarkets and expand its portfolio beyond Dannon yogurt and Evian bottled water to products like Horizon Organic milk, Earthbound Farms organic salads and Silk brand soymilk.
“The biggest food companies are snapping up organic brands that inspire more consumer confidence than ones marketed by conventional food manufacturers. These mega-deals consolidate corporate power in the hands of only a few giant food companies, in turn limiting choices for consumers while raising retail prices. These bigger firms also underpay independent farmers for their products, undermining the economic viability of family farms.
“We urge the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to stand up to merger mania in the supermarket and block this deal that will harm farmers and consumers.”
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.