As far as major chemical conglomerates go, it’s hard to top the newly formed Bayer-Monsanto mega corporation in terms of sheer size and market control.
At the time of their merger, the two companies, now under the Bayer and Bayer Crop Science umbrellas, were expected to own more than 25% of the world’s global seeds and pesticides market.
The sheer size and power of the new company led an activists’ push for it to be considered a monopoly, but the merger got the thumbs up from anti-trust regulators anyway. After skating by largely on the strength of its name, and its connections in the world of government and business, the newly-formed Bayer corporation seemed to be on solid ground.
But now, many investors aren’t so sure of its immediate financial future after what’s being called one of the biggest losses in German stock market history.
“Biggest Destruction of Capital in German Stock Market History?” Bayer Loses Billions
After some initial confusion, a federal judge upheld a landmark cancer verdict recently for Dewayne Johnson, the terminally ill groundskeeper from California, although his original punitive award was slashed from $250 million to $39 million.
The verdict was significant in a multitude of ways, most notably because of its establishment of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as being carcinogenic in humans yet again in a major court decision (the World Health Organization’s IARC originally called it a “probable human carcinogen” in spring 2015).
But it also has taken a huge chunk out of Bayer’s bottom line, which could take an even bigger hit thanks to the 8-9,000 similar cancer lawsuits still pending in court, as noted in this report from the Organic Consumers Association.
The once-promising Monsanto acquisition is now being seen as a liability by scores of investors, and the damage is already being done on a massive scale.
According to Holger Zschaepitz, a German financial analyst, Bayer may have just experienced the “largest destruction of market capitalization in German stock market history” as a result of the Monsanto acquisition, estimating that Bayer’s losses in recent months have already hit about 57.7 billion Euros ($65.8 billion in U.S. dollars) so far.
In total, the company’s losses due to the thousands of lawsuits pending could end up in the $800 billion range when it’s all said and done.
The Future of the Monsanto-Bayer Corporate Behemoth Remains Hazy
So, what does the future hold for the Bayer-Monsanto alliance?
For starters, more toxic chemicals are on the way, as a leaked investor report recently revealed a tentative new five-step plan to poison our food with even more toxic chemicals and GMO seeds.
In Creve Couer, Missouri where the former Monanto headquarters rests, Bayer recently put up signs for its newly enhanced, multi-billion dollar American GMO division, which could mean the unleashing of dozens of new unlabeled GMO crops on unsuspecting Americans.
In other words, it’s business as usual for the newest incarnation of what many activists have dubbed ‘The Most Evil Company in the World,’ only this time the German agricultural and pharmaceutical giant is the one calling the shots and taking all the heat from people who simply want a return to the pre-World War II farming system of putting the health of people and the land first.
With so much work required to make homegrown organic food more available and affordable in the United States (up to 80% of organic food on grocery store shelves is imported according to one recent report, oftentimes from faraway places like China or Turkey), it’s clear that we have a long way to go to create a food system that works in the best interests of all people.
Bayer and Monsanto will be a major player for the foreseeable future, but thanks to the courage of truth speakers like Johnson and many others, it looks as if the battle for the heart and soul of America’s food system is not going to be one without major headaches and financial casualties for the new mega corporation, to say the very least.
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