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27 de marzo | | | | |

EU grants approval to merger of agribusiness corporations and consolidates a global monopoly; interview with Adrian Bebb of Friends of the Earth Europe

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In light of the approval by the European Commission of the $130 billion mega-merger between agribusiness corporations Dow Chemical and Du Pont, and anticipating similar authorizations for other agribusiness giants, organizations warn that a mega-monopoly has been consolidated with a complete control over agrochemicals and commercial seeds.

The EU´s decision in favor of the merger of US groups Dow Chemical and DuPont was made known today, March 27. The merger is valued at 130 billion dollars, according to a press release issued by the EU.

Although the decision adopted in Brussels includes some “conditions” to ensure it “does not reduce price competition for existing pesticides or innovation”, according to the EU, organizations of peasants, family farmers, pastoralists, environmental activists and rural workers point out that it sets a precedent in favor of agricultural monopolies.

The decision for the abovementioned US corporations foretells the EU´s opinion with reference to two other mega-mergers planned in the same sector: the acquisition by Chinese group ChemChina of Syngenta (Switzerland), a decision expected before April 12, and the merger between Monsanto (US) and Bayer (Germany).

A threat for food and farms

Friends of the Earth Europe, together with other two hundred organizations, consider that these three mega-mergers represent a major threat to our food sovereignty, family farming, food and family farms themselves.

This according to an open letter sent to the European Commission and the EU Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, which claimed that this will “exacerbate the problems caused by industrial farming – with negative consequences for the public, farmers and farm workers, consumers, the environment, and food security”.

Real World Radio interviewed senior food and agriculture campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, Adrian Bebb, to ask him about this decision. “We are seeing six of the world´s largest agribusiness companies coming together to merge, so we´ll end up with only three companies in the end who will control a lot of the world´s food supply”. “This has huge implications for what farmers plant, what foods we eat and also what physical power these companies have when it comes to decisions about our food and farming future”, said Bebb. He also stated that they will worsen the climate crisis through the exacerbated promotion of industrial farming.

“It is a really big threat for our food sovereignty and food security in the future”, not only in Europe or the US, but also in countries of the Global South, said the member of Friends of the Earth. And he added that these mega-mergers should be resisted and stopped.

About the processes of resistance against these mega-mergers, he stated that a larger level of coordination between small-scale farmers, governments and the organized civil society is required.

“We´ve got to build public resistance, and we have to do that quite quickly” “We are going to see much bigger campaigns and awareness growing over the coming weeks and months”, said Adrian Bebb of Friends of the Earth Europe.

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