Category Archives: Agrochemical Industry

Corporate Control

CBAN – May 2019 – Bayer – an introductory flyer

The markets for genetically engineered (also called genetically modified or GM) crops are dominated by four seed and agrochemical companies. The high level of corporate concentration in the seed market has already meant higher prices, limited choices for farmers, a narrowing of genetic diversity in crops, and stagnating innovation.

Corporate Mergers

Between 2017 and 2018, a series of mergers took place between the largest seed and agrochemical companies in the world:

  • Dow and DuPont merged to form a new company called DowDuPont and its agricultural division is called Corteva Agriscience. Corteva is expected to become a stand-alone company in 2019.
  • China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) bought Syngenta. Syngenta now exists as a subsidiary of ChemChina.
  • Bayer acquired Monsanto for US$63-billion. Monsanto’s name was dropped, and the joint company is now called Bayer.

More mergers and changes continue. For example, the Chinese chemical company SinoChem is expected to acquire ChemChina, to create the world’s largest chemical company.

Canada and other governments had to approve the mergers before they were finalized:

Corporate Concentration

The markets for genetically engineered (also called genetically modified or GM) crops are dominated by four giant seed and agrochemical companies. Before Bayer bought Monsanto in 2018, Monsanto was the world’s largest seed and biotechnology company, and Bayer was the world’s second-largest agrochemical company. Four companies now control 67% of the global seed market and 70% of the global pesticide market.

  • The two largest seed companies, Bayer and Corteva (DowDuPont), now control 54% of the global commercial seed market.
  • The two largest agrochemical companies, Bayer and Syngenta, now control 47% of the global agrochemical market.
  • Bayer, after buying Monsanto, owns 33% of the seed market and 23% of the agrochemical market.
  • ChemChina-Syngenta now owns the largest market share of agrochemicals at 23.5%.
  • DowDuPont’s new agricultural division, Corteva Agriscience, owns 21.3% of the global seed market and 11.3% of the agrochemical market.
  • BASF now owns 12.4% of the agrochemical market, after buying assets from Bayer that Bayer was required to divest in order to purchase Monsanto. BASF now owns Bayer’s glufosinate-ammonium herbicide (brand name “Liberty”) products and the GM “Liberty Link” seeds that are tolerant to it.
  • The company FMC now owns 4.6% of the agrochemical market, after buying the pesticide assets DuPont had to sell in order to get regulatory approval from the European Union for its merger with Dow.

These companies control most of the genetic engineered seeds planted in Canada and around the world:

Of the 33 GM herbicide-tolerant crops approved for growing in Canada that could be on the market (there is no government tracking of plantings): 22 are owned by Bayer, 6 by Corteva (DowDuPont), and 3 by Syngenta (ChemChina).

In 2007, before the new mergers, the six largest seed and agrochemical companies (Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, Dow, Monsanto, and DuPont) accounted for over 98% of all GE crop acres in the world. Monsanto’s GE traits were approximately 85% of the total GE acreage.

Between 1996, when the first GE seeds were introduced, and 2011, the market share of the world’s three largest seed companies more than doubled, from 22% to 53%. The share of the top three agrochemical companies grew from 33% to 52.5% in the same period.

Several of these companies also regularly “cross-license” or share their patented traits with each other, reinforcing their market power. About half of all commercial GM seeds with stacked traits are the result of cross-licensing between companies.

Source: ETC Group

SOURCE

Can farmers grow money? Video 42 min

DW Documentary – Sept 9, 2019 – Video 42 min

What kind of agriculture do we really want? How sustainable, regional, animal-friendly and expensive can it be? These and other pressing issues are part of a debate about radical agricultural reform of policy currently going on in Brussels.

When negotiations on the common agricultural policy from 2020 are held in Brussels, one of the more contentious issues will be how to redistribute 60 billion Euros in EU agricultural subsidies. How will MEPs prioritize their options? Will they reach independent decisions or cave in to the big agricultural conglomerates and special interest groups? Our exclusive report uncovers their close ties with politicians in both Brussels and Berlin and shows how efforts to make farming more environmentally sustainable are being stymied.

VIDEO 42 MIN

True cost of cheap food is health and climate crises, says commission

The Guardian – Jul 16, 2019 – Damian Carrington

The commission said agriculture produced more than 10% of the UK’s climate-heating gases and was the biggest destroyer of wildlife Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA

The true cost of cheap, unhealthy food is a spiralling public health crisis and environmental destruction, according to a high-level commission. It said the UK’s food and farming system must be radically transformed and become sustainable within 10 years.

The commission’s report, which was welcomed by the environment secretary, Michael Gove, concluded that farmers must be enabled to shift from intensive farming to more organic and wildlife friendly production, raising livestock on grass and growing more nuts and pulses. It also said a National Nature Service should be created to give opportunities for young people to work in the countryside and, for example, tackle the climate crisis by planting trees or restoring peatlands.

“Our own health and the health of the land are inextricably intertwined [but] in the last 70 years, this relationship has been broken,” said the report, which was produced by leaders from farming, supermarket and food supply businesses, as well as health and environment groups, and involved conversations with thousands of rural inhabitants.

“Time is now running out. The actions that we take in the next 10 years are critical: to recover and regenerate nature and to restore health and wellbeing to both people and planet,” said the commission, which was convened by the RSA, a group focused on pressing social challenges.

The commission said most farmers thought they could make big changes in five to 10 years if they got the right backing.

READ ON…SOURCE

Busting the Food Monopolies

Counterpunch – May 30, 2019 –  ANTHONY PAHNKE – JIM GOODMAN

Photograph Source: lyzadanger Derivative work: Diliff – CC BY-SA 2.0

The problems are clear – overall, farm incomes in 2018 reached a 12-year low. As 2019 unfolds, a positive turnaround is uncertain. In Wisconsin, farm bankruptcies continue, and the ongoing trade dispute with the Chinese government led by the Trump administration continues to pull down grain prices.

Food industry monopolists are behind the dismal economic reality of rural America.

According to data compiled by the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2012, the four largest food and agriculture companies controlled 82 percent of the beef packing industry, 85 percent of soybean processing and 63 percent of pork. Market concentration drives up the prices that farmers pay for inputs, such as seeds, and forces them to accept lower prices due to the lack of any pretense of a competitive marketplace.

Farmworkers – according to some estimates numbering approximately three million – are forced to work for next to nothing as the landowners that employ them receive prices that are well below the cost of production. The inequity of the market that oppresses farmers and farmworkers does not benefit consumers either. According to Food and Water Watch, the prices that consumers pay at the grocery store have remained steady as those who produce our food struggle to make ends meet.

Not everyone in the food industry is hurting. In 2018, Brazilian agribusiness giant JBS, the world’s leading beef and pork processor, Land O’Lakes, a major player in dairy processing and seeds, grain marketer Cargill and the meat processor and marketer, Tyson, all increased their profits over the 2017 fiscal year.

Many of these same actors have been accused of breaking antitrust laws. Recently, Tyson, Cargill, and JBS have been accused of fixing prices to increase profit margins at the expense of farmers and ranchers. In another settlement, Tyson agreed to an out of court payment to food system workers for wage theft. Land O’Lakes, has also settled out of court for fixing prices on eggs and milk, while Dean Foods, paid dairy farmers millions just a few years ago for price fixing.

The economy is rigged and Washington has done nothing outside of the $12 billion “farmer aid package” that was issued in 2018, and yet another ad hoc $16 billion bailout that was announced May 23rd. With a final twist of the knife, the USDA eliminated the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), and with it, any hope for anti-trust enforcement in the meatpacking industry.

Truth is, farmers don’t want to put taxpayers on the hook. Farmers want fair trade and an end to Trump’s tariffs, a personal fight that has created uncertainty in the marketplace. The Booker/Pocan/Tester Bill is a start, but more can be done. The Democratic candidates need to talk about corporate concentration and antitrust seriously, starting with the Progressive Era Sherman, Clayton and Federal Trade Commission Acts. Over one hundred years ago, these laws were created to investigate and punish corporations for anti-competitive practices — such as mergers, price fixing and rigging contracts.

The Reagan administration, challenged the federal government’s antitrust philosophy, claiming that “bigger was better,” and that relaxing antitrust law enforcement would benefit everyone. Since the Reagan era, efforts to dismantle antitrust enforcement have been put on steroids in every sector of the economy. We know how the game has played out. Corporations cash in as farmers and farmworkers see their incomes plummet, and consumers get swindled at the grocery store.

The Department of Justice – at the federal and state levels must launch serious investigations into the illegal practices of agribusiness corporations, including the effects of mergers and acquisitions on food system workers. Next, breaking up corporations must be seriously considered – this means overturning past mergers, as well as looking into breaking up the corporate processors, retailers, and distributors that currently control the food system.

Anti-trust enforcement, like the greed it seeks to beat down, is never ending . The enforcement of anti-trust laws means continual oversight and regulation of corporate practices. This will require increased funding for the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to support a staff committed to public, not corporate service.

For decades Democrats and Republicans have let corporate concentration and power grow, while the incomes of farmers and farmworkers shrink. We have seen a steady erosion of regulation, when we need more of it. It’s heartening that the Democrats have realized that rural America is out there, and that market concentration is a very real problem. Taking on the monopolists is a serious task; now, it’s up to the Democrats to decide if they are truly willing to invest in our food system and rural America.

Anthony Pahnke is the Vice President of the Family Farm Defenders and Assistant Professor of International Relations at San Francisco State University. 

Jim Goodman is a repurposed dairy farmer from Wonewoc, Wisconsin and board President of the National Family Farm Coalition. Jim can be reached atr.j.goodman@mwt.net and Anthony at anthonypahnke@sfsu.edu

SOURCE

VIDEO: GMO – Seeds of Destruction – Lecture by F. William Engdahl – 94 min

Opendox SE – Stockholm the 9th of April 2014 – Posted by CCFSH Apr 10, 2019

The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation

GMO – SEEDS OF DESTRUCTION by F. William Engdahl – LECTURE, April 9th, 2014

One of the most important video lectures you will ever see on the history of the GMO industry and their agenda…CCFSH.

Opendox.se and Anarchos present F. William Engdahl’s lecture about GMO – genetically modified organisms; Monsanto; international politics of patenting plants and animals; central governance of all food production; controlling human birth rates and depopulation programs.

F. William Engdahl (born August 9, 1944) is an American German freelance journalist, historian and economic researcher. After earning a degree in engineering and jurisprudence from Princeton University in 1966 (BA), and graduate study in comparative economics at the University of Stockholm from 1969 to 1970, he worked as an economist and free-lance journalist in New York and in Europe. His first book was called A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. In 2007, he completed Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation. Engdahl is also a frequent contributor to the website of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Anarchos is a Swedish publishing house which provides works with alternative world views and ideas from authors and researchers like F. William Engdahl, David Icke, Bill Still and many more – often translated from to Swedish.

VIDEO of LECTURE (93 min)

or Youtube VIDEO of Lecture (93 min)

SEEDS OF DESTRUCTION: THE HIDDEN AGENDA OF GENETIC MANIPULATION

by F. William Engdahl – Reviews from Goodreads – Apr 9,2019

Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation: William F. Engdahl – Goodreads rating 4.3 out of 5

This skillfully researched book focuses on the effort of a tiny socio-political American elite to gain control over the very basis of human survival: our daily bread. Control the food and you control the people. It’s no ordinary book about the perils of GMO. Engdahl takes the reader into the corridors of power, into the back rooms of labs, behind closed doors of corporate boardrooms. He cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain control over food production worldwide. If it often reads as a crime story, that should be no surprise: that is what it is. Engdahl’s carefully argued critique goes far beyond the familiar controversies surrounding the practice of genetic modification as a scientific technique. An eye-opener and must-read for all those committed to social justice and World peace. http: //globalresearch.ca/books/SoD.html

Marijan Jost, Prof of Genetics, Krizevci, Croatia – Back cover: “If you want to learn why biotech corporations insist on spreading GMO seeds around the world – you should read this carefully researched book. You will learn how these corporations want to achieve control over all mankind, and why we must resist…”

Anton Moser, Prof of Biotechnology, Graz, Austria – Back cover: “The book reads like a murder mystery of an incredible dimension, in which four giant Anglo-American agribusiness conglomerates have no hesitation to use GMO to gain control over our very means of subsistence…”.

Dr. Arpad Pusztai, biochemist, formerly of the Rowett Research Institute, Scotland – Back cover:” What is so frightening about Engdahl’s vision of the world is that it is so real. In this new age of ‘free markets’, everything – science, commerce, agriculture and even seeds – have become weapons in the hands of a few global corporation barons and their political fellow travellers.”

Related reference from Dr. Shiv Chopra’s book: “Corrupt to the Core” – back cover

Dr. Shiv Chopra’s name has become synonymous with food safety. With full support of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada – a 50,000 member union of scientific and professional public service employees. Dr. Chopra and his colleagues refused to approve various harmful drugs such as Bovine Growth Hormone, Baytril, and Revalor_H, for use in meat and milk production. They opposed a series of prime ministers and health ministers who had little or no regard for public safety. They defied gag orders, spoke publicly to the media, and testified at many Senate and parliamentary committees. The courts supported Dr. Chopra and his fellow scientists. Today, the dangers of these drugs are internationally recognized. Chopra’s fight against the totally avoidable sources of Mad Cow Disease, calling the bluff on the Anthrax scare, and warning about the myth of safe and effective vaccines are equally inspiring stories.

Here is a full account of how government corruption endangers the public food supply. This book contains a blueprint for the establishment of food safety and security: Dr. Chopra’s “Five Pillars of Food Safety,” which was presented in April 2008 to the Canadian Parliament by MP (NDP) Paul Dewar.

Seeds of Destruction Review

BONUS: VIDEO LECTURE by William Engdahl on Seeds of Destruction (93 min)

Or Youtube VIDEO LECTURE (93 min)