Tester Statement on Trump’s Meeting with Bayer and Monsanto

Controversial merger would ‘severely hurt farmers and consumers across the nation’

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester, a third generation Montana farmer, issued the following statement after President-elect Donald Trump met with representatives from Bayer and Monsanto to discuss their controversial proposed merger:

“If approved, the Bayer-Monsanto merger would severely hurt farmers and consumers across the nation. This merger makes the big guys bigger and creates a marketplace that squashes the family farms and ranches that feed this nation. It’s my sincere hope that President-elect Trump will recognize the damage that this proposed merger will do to rural America.”

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.

Tester is concerned that less competition and choice in the seed and pesticide marketplace will lead to higher input costs for Montana’s family farmers and ranchers. In September, Tester wrote a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to reject the merger.