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Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

Letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions Opposing Biotech Mergers

February 13, 2017

Jeff Sessions, Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530

Re: The Proposed Dow-DuPont, Monsanto-Bayer and Syngenta-ChemChina Mergers

Dear Mr. Sessions,
On behalf of our millions of members and supporters around the country, the undersigned organizations oppose the impending mergers of the world’s largest agrochemical and seed companies. The proposed mergers—of Dow Chemical with DuPont, Monsanto with Bayer AG, and Syngenta with ChemChina—are each problematic on their own, with many likely negative impacts on farmers, businesses, workers, and consumers. When taken together, they pose the threat of major oligopolistic outcomes in the industries of farming inputs, research, development, and technology.

We urge the United States Department of Justice to conduct a thorough investigation to determine the impacts of these takeovers (alone and most importantly in combination) and to enjoin the mergers when it becomes clear that these impacts will prove detrimental to farmers, businesses, workers, consumers, the environment and our American food system.

In December 2015, U.S. chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont agreed to a $130 billion merger.1 They plan to streamline agricultural operations, creating a company that unites DuPont’s and Dow’s seed and crop protection businesses. The resulting company would be one of the world’s largest seed and pesticide conglomerates, controlling 17 percent of global pesticide sales and approximately 40 percent of America’s corn-seed and soybean markets.2 This year, multibillion dollar German pharmaceutical and chemical giant, Bayer AG, made an offer of $66 billion to acquire Monsanto, Co., which Monsanto accepted.3 The resulting company would be the largest agribusiness in the world, selling 29 percent of the world’s seeds and 24 percent of pesticides.4 Even before the mergers began, these seed and agrochemical companies held inordinate market power, with Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta collectively ontrolling more than half of the global seed market.5

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