Now that big bad Monsanto is gone, will consumers still hold a grudge against genetically-engineered crops and associated tools?

On May 29, the Department of Justice (DoJ) approved the merger of Bayer AG and the Monsanto Company, dependent on certain divestitures of their seed, GE traits and pesticide business to BASF.

Some consumer groups will do everything they can to prevent that “out of sight out of mind” trick from happening. 
On June 5, the consumer group Center for Food Safety issued this release:

Bayer to Drop the Monsanto Name After Takeover

This week, the $63 billion takeover of Monsanto by the German pharmaceutical and life sciences company Bayer will be finalized. Today, Bayer announced that it will retire the U.S.-based Monsanto’s 117 year-old name. Bayer will remain the company name, and Monsanto will no longer be a company name. Monsanto’s acquired products, including products such as the herbicide Roundup, will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio.
“Given the international rejection of GMOs, and Monsanto’s brand name being in shambles, it is not surprising that Bayer has decided to drop the name altogether,” stated Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety. “However, Bayer should not assume that just by dropping a name they have dropped the liability. The worldwide food and environmental movements know that Bayer is now the “new Monsanto.”  



While Bayer (aka “new Monsanto”) may not have the baggage that Monsanto did, will the elimination of the Monsanto brand matter?

Not for everyone. 

Organic proponent Chuck Benbrook wrote a blog post about “concrete actions” that Bayer should do to make a clean break from the “ethics” of Monsanto. 

GMO critics will be hard to appease, no matter what firm takes the lead.

Witness the debate going right now on on Southern Gardens Citrus Nursery, LLC; Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Permit for Release of Genetically Engineered Citrus tristeza virus.

From the notice:

“APHIS considers this genetically engineered CTV to be a biological control agent since it is a biological organism intended to help manage citrus greening disease. Issues to be addressed in the EIS include the potential environmental impacts to managed natural and non-agricultural lands, agricultural production systems, the physical environment, biological resources, human health, socioeconomics, federally listed threatened or endangered species, and cultural or historic resources. We are requesting public comment on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement and a Preliminary Pest Risk Assessment."

Here are a few of the comments so far:


  • I am fully in support of testing the genetically modified citrus tristeza virus against citrus greening. CTV has been present in the US since at least the 50’s and has not caused any harm to humans consuming infected citrus products. Citrus greening is a devastating disease and threatens the entire industry worldwide. Any and all options should be on the table as this is a matter of national security.


  • Stop it. Stop destroying this planet with gmos. They are not needed and they are driving everything and everyone into extinction. Stop wasting taxpayer dollars on fraudulent claims that result in profit for only a few corporate heads, and start taking care of the planet to keep its water, food, and air clean and free of contamination.


  •  Why would you even consider such an irresponsible action without tests that have conclusive results to all people, places and things that could be irreversibly affected?!Very Concerned Citizens and Consumers!


With more than 2,200 comments, the USDA also is getting plenty of input on the  notice for "Establishment of a National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard"

From that docket:

  • As a health conscious and food growing family, we do not agree with BE FOODS or the fact that you plan to allowing labeling to hide the BE OR GMO ingredients in foods sold. 



Pass the aspirin...