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Some farmers, activist critics concerned agri-business mergers could increase costs, reduce biodiversity

| | August 31, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Three mega-mergers of agricultural chemical and seed companies are reshaping global food production and prompting fears of higher costs for farmers and higher food prices for consumers.

They are also prompting concerns for environmentalists and others about their impact on biodiversity since the even-larger corporations will promote genetically modified seeds and the pesticides and herbicides that make them effective.

Critics of the mergers of the China National Chemical Corp. (ChinaChem) with Swiss chemical and seed company Syngenta, Dow Chemical Co. with DuPont, and Germany’s Bayer with St. Louis-based Monsanto say the new companies will promote agriculture that is dependent on their patented chemicals rather than focusing on innovation.

“This is monopoly capitalism in action,” said Marion Nestle, the Paulette Goddard professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University. “The fewer the companies, the more they call the shots and the more impervious they are to complaints about unfair business practices”

After health care, finance and insurance and communications industries, agribusiness ranked 9th overall in lobbying spending at $65.7 million so far this year, even beating out defense which was which was ranked 10th.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Mega-mergers in agribusiness raise concerns about food costs, biodiversity

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