As the dust starts to settle after new EU farming rules were proposed, Adrian Bebb, food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, looks ahead at their likely impact
Reacting to Bayer's decision to drop the Monsanto name as part of its near-complete takeover of the agribusiness giant, Adrian Bebb, food and farming campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said:
"Bayer will become Monsanto in all but name unless it takes drastic measures to distance itself from the US chemical giant's controversial past. If it continues to peddle dangerous pesticides and unwanted GMOs then it will quickly find itself dealing with the same global resistance that Monsanto did."
The food and farming system in the EU is the result of different policies coming together over many decades. I now includes policies and laws connected to agriculture, food production, trade, food safety, seeds, environment, climate, nature protection, health, rural development, workers' rights and many more.
Nature protection efforts are being undermined by the European Commission’s failure to consistently challenge Member States on illegal nature destruction, warn four nature NGOs in a new publication today.
Commenting on the announcement today by the European Commission to provisionally approve the acquisition by German chemical company BASF of parts of Bayer's Crop Science business, clearing the way for the Bayer-Monsanto merger, Adrian Bebb, Senior Food Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said:
Today, the European Commission published a proposal for a directive on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the food supply chain.
Friends of the Earth Europe, Oxfam, Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) and the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) welcome the new directive and call on the European Parliament and member states to strengthen the Commission’s proposal.
The European Commission today approved the merger of Bayer and Monsanto, paving the way for the creation of the world's largest and most powerful agribusiness company.
The approval is subject to the two companies selling off a series of assets, including a number of seeds and pesticide products. However, given that the agribusiness sector is already highly concentrated, these businesses will be bought by similarly large competitors.
New polling shows citizens are against the planned merger of agribusiness giants Bayer and Monsanto, with a majority (54%) thinking it is "very" or "fairly important" that the European Commission blocks it – more than three times the number who think it would be unimportant .
The YouGov survey results from Germany, France, Spain, Denmark and the UK also shows that the merger gives 47% of EU citizens "serious" or "very serious" concerns, while just 11% think the merger offers any potential.
In a major show of strength, 33,000 people from across Europe – including hundreds of farmers and 160 tractors –protested at the weekend in Berlin, demanding a radical reform of the current food and farming system and an end to industrial agriculture.