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Bayer-Monsanto Merger Could Be Disastrous for Bees, People A proposed mega-merger between two of the world’s biggest agrochemical and biotech companies would be a disaster for farmers and consumers — and would likely escalate the already dangerous die-off of bees, monarch butterflies and other vital pollinators that threatens the future of our food supply.

Those are among the urgent reasons why NRDC is calling on the Justice Department to reject the takeover of U.S.based Monsanto by German conglomerate Bayer AG. The blockbuster joining of these onetime rivals would be a “lose-lose situation for farmers, consumers and pollinators,” says NRDC Senior Attorney Rebecca Riley.“For

everyone, that is, except Monsanto and Bayer.” The combined behemoth would further shackle farmers to the companies’ patented lines of genetically modified crops and the deluge of agrochemicals designed to go with them. These include glyphosate, the herbicide that is wiping out milkweed,

the primary food source of monarch butterflies, and a class of insecticides called neonics, a prime culprit in the alarming decline of bee populations. Already among the most consolidated and least competitive industries, big agribusiness — led by Monsanto and Bayer — has put the squeeze on farmers by dramatically raising the price

of seeds and chemicals, even as the prices farmers receive for many crops have stagnated or declined. Meanwhile, the rising torrent of toxic agrochemicals has produced an environmental nightmare for bees, monarchs and other pollinators. Yearover-year double-digit losses of U.S. honeybee colonies have continued for a decade, while monarch populations have plummeted by more than 90 percent since the mid-1990s. Scientific studies have repeatedly linked the devastating losses of bees and monarchs to the skyrocketing use of neonics and glyphosate, yet Bayer and Monsanto appear all too eager to double down on an even more chemical-soaked agricultural future, engineering a new generation of genetically modified crops designed to withstand increasingly potent pesticide cocktails. Monsanto has predicted that the corn seed of 2025, for example, will have 14 separate genetic modifications to allow farmers to drench it with five different kinds of herbicide. “Monsanto and Bayer have already wreaked ecological havoc on America’s pollinators,” says Riley. “Combined, they would be poised to unleash a whole new era of pesticideintensive farming.”

It's Time for Us to Stand Up and Fight

By Rhea Suh, President

Over the past five decades, presidents from both parties have furthered environmental protections for the American people, creating a quality of life

and a standard of living that are beyond reproach. And we have done all of this while continuing to grow economically. We’re all better off for these vital gains, and so are our children. We’ve seen what environmental leadership can do. We’ve seen the difference it can make for our country. President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have a golden opportunity to build on this record. Instead, they’ve vowed to roll back this progress and dismantle our nation’s very ability to have and enforce environmental regulations. Suddenly we would move from being the first among nations for our environmental protections to being behind some of the worstpolluting nations in the world. Whatever people voted for in November, whatever vision they had for what makes America

great, it certainly wasn’t going back to the days when the air was thick with smog or the rivers so polluted they spontaneously combusted. Still, with the help of the billionaires and fossil fuel backers he’s named to his cabinet, Trump and congressional Republicans are poised to launch what’s already shaping up to be the worst executive and legislative assault on our environment in history. If we care about the fate of our lands and waterways and the life they support, if we care about American values of equity and justice for all people, if we care about leaving our children a livable world, it’s time for citizens to stand up and fight this extremist agenda. And that’s exactly what NRDC is going to do.

T O P R AT E D B Y C H A R I T Y N AV I G AT O R . O R G N AT U R A L R E S O U R C E S D E F E N S E C O U N C I L 40 WEST 20TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10011 WWW.NRDC.ORG/NATURESVOICE NATURESVOICE@NRDC.ORG | 212.727.4500

EDITOR IN CHIEF STEPHEN MILLS, MANAGING EDITOR LIZ LINKE WRITERS JASON BEST, SHANTI MENON DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP GINA TRUJILLO

HELP PROTECT FUTURE GENERATIONS

Make a bequest to NRDC and defend our natural heritage for decades to come. LEARN MORE AT NRDC.ORG/FUTURE

Black bear, Alaska

LEAVES © MASTERFILE; BLACK BEAR © SARKOPHOTO/ISTOCK; CROP SPRAYER © GAVIN BAKER PHOTOGRAPHY/SHUTTERSTOCK

N R D C VO I C E S

Nature's Voice Spring 2017  

All of the environmental projects and victories described in Nature’s Voice are made possible through the generous support of Members like y...

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