The closing sets the stage for the 117-year-old agribusiness brand name "Monsanto" to be dropped by Bayer. Monsanto's efforts to promote genetically modified crops have been the subject of much controversy from anti-GMO activists, and the U.S. company has spent millions of dollars over the years on brand and corporate ad campaigns to improve its overall image.
"Monsanto is kind of the poster child for a larger movement against GMO," said Katherine Paul, associate director of the Organic Consumers Association, a consumer advocacy organization and longtime critic of Monsanto. The nonprofit also has a pending lawsuit against the company's Roundup herbicide brand.
In a statement issued Thursday, Monsanto said: "We're extremely proud of all we've accomplished as Monsanto, and are eager to continue to accelerate innovation in agriculture as we look forward to a future under Bayer."