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Bayer takeover could result in Monsanto name change camouflage attempt


(NaturalNews) Given that the Monsanto name has become something of a dirty word, especially among health-minded individuals, it is no surprise that Bayer is considering changing the company's name should their acquisition proceed successfully.

The German drug and crop chemical manufacturer is most widely known for their pharmaceutical endeavors. Changing the Monsanto name to something a little more palatable would indeed be in their best interests, if they want to protect their own brand. Before becoming a GMO seed giant, Monsanto was known for creating Agent Orange. Agent Orange was used as an herbicide during the Vietnam war, to help eliminate forest cover. However, what Agent Orange is most known for is not its ability to kill plants, but rather its ability to maim people. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers were grievously harmed or killed by the chemical spray. Vietnam claims that at least half a million children were born with serious birth defects, and upwards of 2 million people continue to live with the side effects of Agent Orange, such as cancer and other illnesses.

This Is Money reports that in an interview after the merger was announced, the chief executive of Monsanto, Hugh Grant, said that he was open to a potential name change. Grant stated, "The key is less about the name and more about the products developed." Of course, one can be sure that a $66 billion offer might make just make the transition a little bit easier.

The two companies announced their plans to merge following Bayer's third attempt at acquiring the biotech giant. Offering $128 per share finally managed to catch Monsanto's eye. The Bayer-Monsanto deal follows the merging of other big-name companies in the pharmaceutical and agritech industries. Markus Manns, a fund manager of Union Investment – which is one of Bayer's top 12 investors – said, "Bayer's competitors are merging, so not doing this deal would mean having a competitive disadvantage." It is reasonable to conclude that the people at Bayer might feel that the name "Monsanto" could also put them at a competitive disadvantage.

There are many reasons why Monsanto has gotten a bad reputation over the years. In addition to their Agent Orange fiasco, other chemicals that they have developed have also proven to be harmful to both humans and the environment. Roundup, in particular, has been subject to massive scrutiny, and for good reason. The World Health Organization recently declared one of its primary ingredients, glyphosate, a probable carcinogen. It has also been linked to chronic and fatal kidney disease.

Changing the name of Monsanto will not change this fact, nor will it erase Monsanto's sordid past. A different name will not prevent their morally bankrupt future; it will simply disguise it. The Bayer-Monsanto merger will have catastrophic consequences that will be felt by farmers and consumers alike. The merging of these two companies will grant them a nearly insurmountable monopoly on many crops, including cotton, corn and seeds in general. A seed monopoly will result in higher prices for farmers, and inevitably, higher prices at the grocery store. There will be less variety, and our food supply will become increasingly fragile as corporate control increases. Fewer seed varieties means a less stable food supply, and one that is more easily targeted and decimated by disease. Organic fruits and vegetables may also become harder to find.

Clearly, changing the name of their organization would not only help to eliminate their association with the vast amount of harm caused by Monsanto and their products, but would also help to minimize recognition of their new conglomerate. Do you think they plan on going public with Monsanto's new name? Perhaps in a few months we'll hear about some new company Bayer has decided to merge with.





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