Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the deal would lead to greater investments in technology that could help American farmers. (Sept. 20) AP
The name Monsanto is no more but not necessarily for reasons that would satisfy the seed and pesticide company’s many critics.
Monsanto, often assailed for its impact on the earth and on human health, will shed its moniker after German giant Bayer officially acquires the company on Thursday.
While health and agricultural firm Bayer had been considering axing the Monsanto brand for some time, the decision to abandon the name was made official Monday.
“Bayer will remain the company name,” Bayer said in a statement. “Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio.”
The deal was set in motion in September 2016, when Bayer agreed to pay $66 billion for Monsanto amid a global shakeup fueled by sluggish crop prices.
The agribusiness merger won conditional U.S. antitrust approval in May after the companies agreed to sell off $9 billion in assets to preserve competition.
Monsanto long has been a lightning rod for what critics say is its role in environmental degradation and perpetuation of harmful chemicals.
Bayer signaled Monday that it would take steps to “strengthen its commitment in the area of sustainability” after the Monsanto deal is complete.
“We aim to deepen our dialogue with society,” Bayer Chairman Werner Baumann said in a statement. “We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill. We have to talk to each other. We need to listen to each other. It’s the only way to build bridges.”