Don’t Let Them Fool You: Bayer & Monsanto

So, doing my normal morning news catch ups and I came across something that should strike fear into the hearts of, well, everybody.

Bayer, pharmaceutical giant, put forth a $66 billion dollar offer to buy Monsanto, the GMO-creating, planet-ruining superstar. What this will mean is all seeds and pesticides will come from the same exact company. Monsanto is already horrible in that they require seeds be purchased every year (rather than storing seeds for reuse), thus removing options for farmers and creating a dangerous cycle of mono-cultures.

Monsanto:

To give you guys a brief run-down the horrors Monsanto has unleashed upon the world, I’ve complied a short list of the more “effective” creations:

  • Agent Orange: made of Dioxin. It causes Parkinson’s, birth defects, ALS, psychological problems, a wide array of cancers, tumors, and kills any plant life it comes into contact with. This has left lasting impacts on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and even Veterans’ Rights groups have sued the US government over its use. (Interestingly enough, it was also dropped on North Korea, but that usually is left out of the discussion…)
  • DDT & PRBs: a pesticide since known to cause cancer (specifically linked to breast cancer), male infertility, miscarriages, birth defects and learning disabilities, and nervous system problems.
  • rBGH: genetically modified bovine (cow) growth hormones designed to make cows produce more milk. It is currently banned in Canada and the EU. Though more research is needed, it may be linked to cancers in humans; cows that are given the hormone get frequent infections which requires farmers give them more and more antibiotics which filter down to our milk and dairy.
  • Aspartame: the common artificial sweetener linked to: eye problems, migraines, weight gain, diabetic issues, can magnify mood disorders, hearing loss, increased risk of seizures, and possibly even blood cancers.

There is a documentary I’ve not yet seen called SEED: The Untold Story (https://www.collectiveeye.org/products/seed-the-untold-story-home-use?variant=31007091409). I listened to an interview with the directors and they describe how 94% of the world’s seed varieties are LOST and basically gone forever. The commercialization of agriculture truly was an awful route taken around WWII. Food crops grew quickly but loss much of their nutritional value and quickly required more and more pesticides – polluting farming communities, the environment at large, and creating “super-bugs” that need new and more toxic chemicals to kill them as they evolve and adapt.

Bayer:

Now Bayer is a company that I knew less about. I’ve done research all morning and the following are my big take-aways:

  • It got its start in 1899 with Aspirin, one year after producing Heroin as a children’s cough medicine (ignoring obvious signs of addiction)
  • During WWI they produced chlorine and mustard gas for use in gruesome trench warfare (isn’t the connection between these 2 companies and their war-industry profits unsettling enough?!)
  • Here’s where is gets really nasty:
    1. in 1925, Bayer merged with fellow chemical companies BASF and Hoechst. Together they formed IG Farben.
    2. IG Farben was the single largest donor to Hitler’s campaign, thus becoming the biggest company in Germany during the Nazi reign.
    3. They produced ALL the Nazi’s explosives.
    4. IG Farben employed slave labor through their “factory” camps at Auschwitz and Buna-Werke, where thousands upon thousands of poor souls were sent to die.
    5. If that wasn’t enough, the Holocaust slaves were forced to work and mine the materials to produce Zyklon B – the very poison used in the gas chambers during the mass-killings the Nazi’s gladly paid IG Farben to facilitate.
    6. The infamous “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele was funded by IG to carry out his depraved, torturous experiments. They wanted his results.
  • Post WWII during the Nuremberg Trials, IG Farben was explicitly called out for it’s sick profiteering off of the horrors of the war and 24 of its board members were indicted on war crimes against humanity. Of the 24, 13 went to prison but the sentences were an absolute joke. Money REALLY DOES buy freedom – when you have enough of it it doesn’t matter what harm you’ve caused.
    • The Chief Prosecutor, Telford Taylor, warned: ‘These companies, not the lunatic Nazi fanatics, are the main war criminals. If the guilt of these criminals is not brought to daylight and if they are not punished, they will pose a much greater threat to the future peace of the world than Hitler if he were still alive.’ -http://www.gmwatch.org/gm-firms/11153-bayer-a-history

  • By the 1950s the company was split up. The assets were divided amongst Bayer, BASF, and Hoechstand; run by the same people, financed by the same money, working with the same impunity.
  • In the 1980s, their hemophilia drug, Factor VIII, was found to be tainted with HIV. They continued to sell it in Asia and Latin America.

THERE IS HOPE, however. A merger of this size cannot just be brokered by the individual companies, it must be approved. It is an obvious violation of anti-trust laws and would give the super company an unfair monopoly. This is bad for everybody and could be a unifying issue is these times so riddled with outright hate for the “other side.” Once people wake up we will all realize that unless you’re in the 1%, we’re all on the same team!

https://www.bayermonsantomerger.com/ is a great place to start and see a well put-together overview. Please spread the word, find petitions, and resist!

Sources:

https://news.vice.com/article/bayers-takeover-of-monsanto-would-create-the-worlds-largest-agricultural-supplier

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2001/sep/09/gm.food

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