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Article

19 Sep 2017

Author:
David Burrows, EU Observer

EU competition laws fail to take into account the effects Bayer-Monsanto merger could have on environment, public health & food security

Mega-mergers in the food and farming sector have become commonplace, but EU competition laws do little to help commissioners keep check on the impact this could have on the environment, public health, and food security... 12 months ago [...] news broke of the "definitive merger agreement" between the German pharmaceuticals firm Bayer and US seed producer Monsanto. There would be "significant and lasting benefits for farmers: improved sourcing and increased convenience to higher yield, better environmental protection and sustainability", from the €55 billion ($66bn) deal, a statement said... A year on and the companies have already missed their self-imposed deadline to complete the deal, with the EU just one of 30 jurisdictions where the deal has not yet received antitrust clearance... In August, an in-depth investigation was launched by EU commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who cited "concerns" that competition could be reduced in the markets for pesticides, seeds and genetic traits - resulting in higher prices, lower quality, less choice, and a stagnation of innovation. [also refers to Amazon, Wholefoods, Tesco and Booker]