Dicamba herbicide products designed for use with GMO cotton and soybean have been pulled from the marketplace, or at least are in the process of being pulled. This is the result of a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs including the National Family Farm Coalition. Todd Gleason talked with the president of NFFC about the reasons why the farmer organization felt compelled to go to court to keep Dicamba, in this latest form, off the market.
Monsanto used to be a chemical company that made herbicides. It then transitioned to a genetic-traits company that produced seeds. Now, as it is set to merge with Bayer, the Chief Technology Officer for Monsanto looks to be casting the St. Louis based agricultural giant into the data-science world of Apple and Samsung. Todd Gleason has this interview with Robb Fraley from the 2017 Illinois Soybean Summit in Peoria.
The combined agriculture business will have its global Seeds & Traits and North American commercial headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, its global Crop Protection and overall Crop Science headquarters in Monheim, Germany, and an important presence in Durham, North Carolina, as well as many other locations throughout the U.S. and around the world. The Digital Farming activities for the combined business will be based in San Francisco, California.
Advancing Together is the company website dedicated to explaining the deal. Bayer employs 116,800 people around the planet. Monsanto employs more than 20,000 of which about 12,000 are based in the United States.
When the merger is complete, scheduled for sometime in 2017, the combined company will be nearly balanced with approximately half of its assets in the agricultural sector and the other half in healthcare.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including Monsanto shareholder approval of the merger agreement and receipt of required regulatory approvals. Closing is expected by the end of 2017.
The U.S. Senate’s agricultural committee has reached a food labeling bill agreement that could set aside the state of Vermont’s GMO law. Ranking members Pat Roberts of Kansas, a Republican, and Debbie Stabenaw, a Michigan Democrat, announced a digital codes compromise. If the full Senate and the House pass the legislation food packages containing a narrowly defined set of genetically engineered ingredients would include a digital disclosure code or an on package symbol or language that the Agriculture Department would approve. The code, which could be scanned by a smartphone, would be accompanied by the sentence, “Scan here for more food information”.
The compromise narrowly defines genetically modified for the purposes of food labels. Only ingredients derived from GMO’s made by transferring genes from one organism to another would require labeling. Foods made with ingredients where the genetic code is edited - a deleted or duplicated gene for example - would not require the GMO notifications.