American seed and agrichemical corporation Monsanto will get a name change after German pharmaceutical company Bayer’s acquisition.
The routinely vilified corporation that makes Roundup and controls the genetically engineered seeds for the biggest U.S. crops will no longer be known by its 117-year-old name now that Bayer has overcome all the necessary regulatory hurdles and gained approval from the U.S. government.
“Bayer will remain the company name. Monsanto will no longer be a company name. The acquired products will retain their brand names and become part of the Bayer portfolio,” Bayer said in a statement Monday.
In ditching the name Monsanto, Bayer may be trying to avoid the negative associations and attempt to rebrand as a company more open to environmental concerns.
“We aim to deepen our dialogue with society,” Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in the statement. “We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill.”
The corporate name is disappearing; however, the products — including Roundup, the best-known pesticide on the market — will retain their brand names.
Monsanto has been dogged by activist claims that the company’s genetically modified seeds and pesticides are detrimental to the environment and human health. The company has fought lawsuits in Europe and the U.S. about the health risks of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup. California listed glyphosate as a chemical known to cause cancer in 2017. (RELATED: The Guardian Freaks Out Over Docs Showing Common Foods Carry Traces Of Weedkiller)
The incorporation of Monsanto’s products into Bayer’s business will be official later this week, bringing a years-long merger to an end.
The Department of Justice announced an agreement in late May that allowed Bayer to buy Monsanto for $66 billion after selling some of $9 billion of its own agribusiness properties. The DOJ said it is the largest anti-trust related divestiture in history.
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