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Groups urge Attorney General to block seed-chem mergers

OCM president Mike Weaver

A coalition of more than 300 farm, food, consumer and environmental groups is calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to block proposed seed and chemical company mergers.

The groups made their request in a letter to newly-confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Mike Weaver, president of the Organization for Competitive Markets, tells Brownfield the mergers would hurt both farmers and consumers.

“To let ChemChina and Syngenta merge? Dow and DuPont, and Bayer and Monsanto? How is that going to help the American consumer, let alone farmers? I think it’s just going to be a detriment to everybody,” Weaver says. “We’re already in a situation where giant, multinational corporations are taking over agriculture in this country—and if we don’t do something about it, they’re going to run agriculture, period.”

Weaver says he’s optimistic that the Trump Administration will block those mergers.

“President Trump campaigned on being for the little guy and standing up for the little guy,” he says. “Well, Monsanto and Bayer aren’t exactly little guys. But they’re definitely going to affect the little guy, those being the farmers.”

“We farmers and rural folks are those who came out and supported him in his campaign and voted for him and put him in that office. So I hope he keeps us in mind.”

The groups urge Sessions to prohibit the mergers on the on the grounds that they will drive up food and farming costs, threaten global food security, curtail innovation, threaten the health of farmworkers, and limit farmer choice.

AUDIO: Mike Weaver

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