Bayer Gobbles Up Monsanto

Bayer Gobbles Up Monsanto

German pharmaceutical company Bayer has the go-ahead to acquire U.S. seed and agrochemical company Monsanto for $66 billion. The new firm will be called “Bayer” rather than “Monsanto” because Americans associate the former with children’s aspirin and the latter with Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, glyphosate, GMOs, and other now-unpopular products.

Like many German corporations, Bayer has its own dark history. It was once part of the IG Farben conglomerate, which made Zyklon B gas for Third Reich death camps, and Bayer itself used Jewish slave labor in its wartime factories.

But memory is short, so “Monsanto” is out and “Bayer” is in. As Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing puts it, “Bayer and Monsanto merge into a new company called ‘Bayer’ because Nazis have a better reputation than Big Ag.”


“Monsanto is about to disappear. Everything will stay exactly the same,” Zoë Schlanger, Quartz

“Why ‘Monsanto’ is no more,” Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

“Monsanto to ditch its infamous name after sale to Bayer, Rupert Neate, The Guardian

“Bayer Can Drop The Name Monsanto, But Can’t Erase The Hate,” Elisabeth Dostert, Suddeutsche Zeitung, via Worldcrunch


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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