Over the last month or so, there have been many articles about Monsanto that seem as if they could be beneficial for us common people. I started seeing articles about how Monsanto is trying to buy or merge with European chemical giant Syngenta, but being denied by them. The world seemed to receive a big win when Syngenta rejected Monsanto’s $45 billion bid because anytime Monsanto fails to gain a foothold in a continent that they don’t have much power in is a great thing.
It looked as though things were getting even better when a few days later, Monsanto tried to change its name. This is an old marketing technique known as Re-Branding. Usually, the goal behind it is to change the name of a company or a product that has gotten a bad reputation for itself. If it sounds like they are being sneaky and trying to trick people, that’s because Re-Branding attempts to do just that. This technique works really well for smaller to medium companies/businesses, also for individual pharmaceutical drugs; but for a company of Monsanto’s size, notoriety and long history, it would not have the same effect. Far too many people know who they are and know all about their products; not to mention their ethically questionable business practices are easily spotted. All those things combined makes their new identity almost impossible to remain a secret for long.
Monsanto’s busy summer does not stop there.
It also came out that they want to move their headquarters to England, where there are lower corporate taxes. This move may seem like a no brainer for an evil corporation like Monsanto, but they have so much political power in America with their lobbyists and people high up in the government, that it actually makes the move seem very strange.
After seeing all three of these things, I got very excited and thought the same thing as many others who follow Monsanto closely thought– that they Monsanto is feeling the pressure of the American people not wanting their seeds in the food supply anymore. Vermont passing their labeling law and Monsanto’s first losing quarter in the last few decades are clear indicators of this. So, their actions appeared as an attempt to cling to the power they have had for over 110 years.
Or so I thought…
According to the St. Louis post dispatch, Syngenta and Monsanto are still very much in negotiations and the relocation and name change are part of this. Apparently the name change will be the parent company when the two biotech giants merge and create a monopoly. The article states that only the legal department will be moving, not the entire headquarters. The manufacturing side of operations will stay in the US. This seems to be for tax reasons only.
Therefore, it seems that Monsanto is just being Monsanto: trying to gain more control over the world’s food supply. However, this doesn’t mean they are not losing the control they have. The loss of money that started in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year in 2014 has not stopped. According to the news release of their financial results, their total Seeds and Genomics segment and Agricultural Productivity segment netted 500 and 400 million less through the first 6 months of 2015 than they did through the same period of 2014. The price per share has also continued to drop. This is only going to get worse for them in the coming months and years with more people understanding how dangerous the products from the biotech industry really are.
Once Vermont starts enforcing their labeling bill next year, their profits will more than likely plummet because people there will really start to avoid products with GMO’s. I believe a snowball effect will happen (as far as the labeling of GMO) in the states that border Vermont that have already passed labeling bills with the caveat of needing a bordering state to also label them– and now that criteria is met. Once this happens, people all over the country will start demanding a national labeling law.
Until then, we will just have to stay vigilant by not lining the pockets of Monsanto. We also need to be active in letting the politicians know that we want the labeling and are vehemently opposed to them making national laws to ban states’ rights to impose a label.
Please sign this petition to stop a law like this.