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Paying $62 billion For One of the World’s Most Hated Companies

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Touch the Soil News #387 Industrial agriculture is materially defined by the GMO seeds and toxic chemicals it uses. Bayer AG from Germany just announced on May 23, 2016 that it made an all cash offer to buy Monsanto for $62 billion. If the deal comes together, it will create the world’s largest seller of GMO seeds and farm chemicals. This is the largest all-cash offer ever made in the history of capitalism. Bayer AG will become one of the most deeply indebted companies as it plans to assume approximately $9 billion of Monsanto debt, sell new Bayer Ag stock for $15.5 billion and borrow another $37.5 billion. Announcement of…

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Striving for Power Via Farm Chemicals, GMOs and Seed Patents (part 1 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News #379 Historically we have followed the Monsanto company whose operations have ignited domestic and global protest. Operating at a lower public profile are two other companies (Syngenta and ChemChina) whose business lines are similar to Monsanto’s – genetic modification of plants, agrochemicals and patenting seeds for private corporate ownership. In an unsuccessful attempt last year (2015), Monsanto tried to acquire Syngenta – to create the world’s largest biotech and agrochemical company. Syngenta management spurred the deal, essentially saying Monsanto was not a suitable partner. Earlier this year, ChemChina (China National Chemical Corporation) – a state-owned enterprise by the Chinese government – made a bid to acquire…

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The Battle to Control What We Think About Food

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Touch the Soil News #219 We’ve all heard the expression putting a “Spin” on information or truth. The “spin” essentially means that by turning and twisting information, you can drop the truth and add false ingredients. We were particularly interested in a report that just came out called “Spinning Food.” The upshot of the report is that Industrial food companies create “Front Groups” that look like legitimate enterprises, but are used to put a “Spin” on the story of food. The authors of the report include Kari Hamerschlag, Anna Lappe and Stacy Malkan with support from Friends of the Earth. Cover of the special Spinning Food report (courtesy of Friends…

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Is Monsanto Perceived as the World’s Number 1 Villain Corporation? (Part 2 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News #110 –– includes 1 video While the world protests Monsanto, the question often arises: Who is Monsanto? This is a difficult question to answer. Monsanto reported that as of year-end 2014, it has assets of $22 billion and a whopping debt load of $14.1 billion. In this regard, Monsanto’s creditors are indirectly large stakeholders. So in some ways, the creditors are one of the faces of Monsanto. However, Monsanto’s creditors do not have a voting voice and are therefore more interested in Monsanto’s earnings, not what the company does to get its earnings. Stockholders use their votes to influence the business practices employed. We can also…

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