The American Antitrust Institute, along with Food & Water Watch and the National Farmers Union penned a letter to the Department of Justice denouncing the Monsanto-Bayer merger. The groups say the deal would likely harm competition, farmers and consumers.
The letter notes that the merger would complete a sweeping restructuring of the agricultural biotechnology industry, creating the “Big 3” companies where just two years ago, there were six major rivals. Roger Johnson, NFU’s president, pointed out that the merger is likely to affect not only the markets for genetically-modified seed, but also for important non-genetically modified, or “conventional” seed. Johnson says: “Farmers want and deserve choice in what they plant, with seed that is appropriate to their region and climate.”
The letter notes that over time, firms have cut back on their conventional seed offerings, making it more difficult and costly for farmers to secure appropriate seed.