On June 7, 2018 Bayer finally gained approval from the US Department of Justice to purchase Monsanto for 62.5 billion dollars. After an initial slight increase on the NASDAQ exchange from $ 29.96 per share on June 6, to $31.67 on June 16, the company’s value has been on a downward trend ever since. Today it’s stock has sank as low as $20.28 per share. Now investors are left wondering how much farther it will go, while Clean Food Advocatesaround the world celebrate. So how exactly did two of the biggest multinational companies merging result in such a dramatic nosedive?
Last month, in a landmark court case, Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 million in damages to Dewayne Johnson who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2014 after years of using RoundUp. The Jury found Monsanto acted with
“malice… because they knew what they were doing was wrong and doing it with reckless disregard for human life.”
Bayer maintains that glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp is safe, but at least 8,700 lawsuits are currently waiting to be heard relating to Monsanto’s glyphosate products, with hundreds of new lawsuits being added weekly.
While Bayer-Monsanto’s falling is good news for some and bad for others, it’s hard not to see this as Karma in action. After all, it was Monsanto who brought the world Agent Orange, heroine, and GMO’s. Activists have relentlessly protested them in recent years. But Bayer, who brought the world Nerve gas and Neonicotinoids responsible in part for mass bee die offs in modern times is hardly a hero coming to rescue bad seed (Monsanto’s new name is Bayer Crop Science, btw).
For years Big Biotech has taken advantage of the revolving door politics of D.C. to make themselves seem unstoppable. Many concerned citizens have lost hope over the years in a climate where the rich get richer, and the big corporations keep merging and growing more powerful. But finally, we have a light at the end of the tunnel. Now, even the big food companies like General Mills that have been using grain harvested using glyphosate as a desiccant which end up in the product are being taken to court (class action link).
It seems divine justice is finally catching up with the corporations which have left most of us high and dry for so many years. The question is, as these big corporations fall, and others catch on and start giving consumers the more healthy, eco-friendly options being demanded, will we continue to support them, or will we support the local, good companies who have not taken advantage of us?
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