[9 March/Euro Fruit]

BASF were in talks with Bayer to acquire their seed business, whilst Bayer were trying to address anti-trust regulators’ concerns over its planned merger with Monsanto. Any deal would be dependent on the acquisition of Monsanto. The merger would make it the world’s largest maker of seeds and pesticides. BASF said the deal was an opportunity to enhance its seed platform and the position of its agricultural solutions business. According to a recent survey, 93.7 percent of farmers were concerned that the potential merger would negatively impact them. Their top three concerns were that the company would use its dominance in one product to push sales of other products, control data about farm practices, and increase pressure for chemically dependent farming. Senior Food Futures Campaigner at Friends of the Earth, Tiffany Fick-Haynes, urged the Department of Justice to listen to farmers and block the Bayer-Monsanto merger.