Fact checking Senator Elizabeth Warren: Does Monsanto dominate the global seed market?

| | February 15, 2019
bayer monsanto
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Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has put regulating the power of large firms at the center of her campaign. She often speaks about the big banks, but recently, she trained her sights on agribusiness.

“By rubber-stamping the Bayer-Monsanto merger, the Justice Department is handing control over one quarter of the world’s seeds and pesticides market to one ginormous agribusiness,” the Massachusetts senator posted on Facebook Feb. 4….

There are different ways to slice the data. [some] analysts put Bayer at 33 percent of global seed sales and 22.9 percent of agrichemical sales.

Either way, Warren’s number is a reasonable shorthand. But we found opinions mixed on what Bayer’s hefty market share means.

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The regulatory process took many months and Bayer had to sell substantial business lines to win approval. “Rubber-stamped” gives the wrong impression that it happened without scrutiny or conditions.

The market share number is generally correct. However, Bayer plays a commanding role in the sale of some seeds, such as corn and soybeans, and not in others. And the experts we reached described the limits of control, even when one or two firms dominate a market.

We rate this claim Half True.

Read full, original article: Warren: U.S. rubber-stamped deal; Bayer-Monsanto now controls 25% market share

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