Touch the Soil News #380
Unlike private-sector mergers, the pending ChemChina acquisition of Syngenta will not only become a powerful market force, it will be politically charged as the Chinese Government will be the sole owner. Unlike other mergers, where the stockholders of the company being sold often get most of their payment in the form of stock in the new company – this deal is all cash.
Being able to write a check for $43 billion at one time – to payoff Syngenta stockholders – will further establish the Chinese Government as being one of the singularly most powerful capitalistic forces in the world.
ChemChina is betting on being able to sell to farmers around the world more expensive (high tech GMO seeds and agrochemicals) thus creating a more profitable market. Unfortunately, millions of struggling farmers around the world can ill-afford higher costs. Unfortunately, billions of people around the world can ill-afford greater agrochemical residues in their bodies. Unfortunately, GMOs represent a decimation of the diversity of seeds and food.
China’s National People’s Congress. The Congress will be facing more decisions and political turmoil if the ChemChina and Syngenta deal closes. Protests at home and abroad regarding market concentrations and GMO issues will continue to escalate.
This raises the question: if the ChemChina deal goes through, will the Chinese government become the focus of global GMO and chemical farming protests? Reuters News just reported that a group of 400 Chinese citizens in an unprecedented action – signed a letter to protest the merger of Syngenta with ChemChina.
While there are concerns in the U.S. relative to ChemChina’s control of the current Syngenta facilities in America, the issue may be more than just China versus the U.S. The issues include how consolidated and incorporated capital runs roughshod over nations, peoples and the planet.
Elsewhere around the world, protest and objection to the ChemChina/Syngenta merger are mounting and coming to surface. In an open letter to Xi Jin-ping (President of China), Li Ke-qiang (Premier of China) and the people of China some 27 organizations (mostly from Switzerland where Syngenta is) are protesting the merger. In addition, scientists and experts from Canada, the United States, Russia, Spain and China have also signed the letter in protest.
The letter objects to the merger as over the past decade the world has witnessed – with much concern – how six multinationals, including Syngenta, have taken control of more than 75% of the world’s high-tech seed and pesticide markets. The increased control of these multinationals has led to the rapid erosion of farmers’ seed systems and public breeding programs.
Following is an informative video clip on the ChemChina buyout of Syngenta: