New Delhi, January 20, 2018: Raising objections to the proposed merger between Monsanto and Bayer, Dr Vandana Shiva on Saturday submitted her comments and objections to the Competition Commission of India through an email and courier.

Bayer-Monsanto merger if comes through will be the largest cash acquisition. It is pegged at USD 66 Billion. Not only will it have a huge impact on the agri-business of the Europe and United States, but will have consequences globally for farmers and citizens. The proposed merger is perhaps one of the biggest convergences of agribusiness and pharmaceuticals which will adversely affect competition and free trade not only in India but the world.

Speaking in this context Dr. Shiva said:”The Bayer Monsanto merger is not arithmetic issue of economic concentration. It is a political issue. If the mergers go through, it will be spelling the end of peoples’ rights, democracy and constitutional safeguards. In 20 years time Monsanto has illegally captured the cotton seed sector violating biosafety laws and corrupting regulatory agencies.”

She said, “Indian farmers have suffered for Monsanto’s profits and their Bt cotton has left a legacy of poison and death all over the cotton belts of India. Bt cotton which claimed to control pest has failed and now farmers are also dying because of pesticide poisoning.”

“Monsanto illegitimate monopoly is based on the false claim of having a patent on Bt Cotton seeds. India’s patent laws do not allow a patent on seed all that Monsanto has is patent on the method of introducing Bt genes into Cotton. Yet it has used this false claim to a patent, it does not have to lock the Indian seed industry in fraud licensing agreements, collecting illegal royalties from farmers which is the root cause of their distress. Monsanto even has challenged the competition commission of India, when it is investigating Monsanto’s Bt cotton monopoly,” she said.

“An approval of the merger will, therefore, be an approval genocidal monopoly that continues to kill our farmers,” she noted in the letter to the CCI.

To conclude she stated that, “Bayer and Monsanto have based their application for merger on false claims and misleading information. They are therefore liable to pay penalty. At a time when Monsanto is illegally spreading Round-up ready Bt cotton to millions of acres without approval, Bayer Monsanto claim that they are withdrawing from the Round-up Ready market. The merger application falsely claims that Monsanto is no longer in cotton seed business. Monsanto is pretending to have sold business to a four year old company Tierra Agrotech with a paid up capital of 1 lakh rupees. This asset sale needs urgent investigation”.
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Navdanya means “nine seeds” (symbolizing protection of biological and cultural diversity) and also the “new gift” (for seed as commons, based on the right to save and share seeds In today’s context of biological and ecological destruction, seed savers are the true givers of seed. This gift or “dana” of Navadhanyas (nine seeds) is the ultimate gift – it is a gift of life, of heritage and continuity. Conserving seed is conserving biodiversity, conserving knowledge of the seed and its utilization, conserving culture, conserving sustainability.

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