Tester Demands Justice Department Reject Monsanto-Bayer Merger

Senator States Proposed Merger Will "Undermine Rural America"

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester is demanding the U.S. Justice Department reject the proposed $66 billion merger of agribusiness giants Monsanto and Bayer.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Tester slammed the proposed merger that will further consolidate the input market for family farmers to purchase seeds and pesticides. Tester said the merger will undermine competition, lead to higher prices for consumers at the grocery store, and reduce the research and innovation family farmers need to increase their yield.

“If corporate agribusiness is allowed to increase control over family farms by consolidating control of the inputs, consumers will also suffer,” Tester said. “The significant pricing power that would result from this merger would drive up costs throughout the food production process, increase prices for consumers on the grocery shelf, reduce competition and undermine rural America.”

The proposed merger was announced last week and is subject to approval from the Justice Department, Committee for Foreign Investment in the United States, and foreign antitrust agencies.

According to ETC Group, if approved, the new corporation will control nearly 30 percent of the world’s seeds and nearly 25 percent of its pesticides.

This is the third major agriculture business acquisition currently pending approval along with the proposed $130 billion merger of Dow and DuPont and the $43 billion purchase of Syngenta by a state-owned Chinese chemical company.

If all three mergers are approved, three corporations will control 62 percent of the world’s seeds and pesticides.

From 2010-2014 the overall population of rural America declined for the first time ever. In his letter, Tester emphasized that a major reason for this trend is the rapid consolidation of the agriculture input industry.

Tester’s letter to Attorney General Lynch is available HERE.