News-in-Transition

18 July 2017

 - China is gobbling up major seed businesses to satisfy its growing appetite for food firms.

Two weeks ago, state-owned ChemChina finalized its $44 billion purchase of the Swiss pesticides and seeds giant, Syngenta. It was China’s biggest foreign takeover of all time. On Tuesday, Dow Chemical (DOW) announced that an agriculture fund backed by the Chinese government would pay $1.1 billion for its Brazilian corn seed and research business.

Chinese firms have spent $91 billion over the past decade purchasing nearly 300 foreign companies involved in agriculture, chemicals and food, according to Dealogic.

Why the massive spending spree?

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22 June 2017

 - Following months of negotiations and various offers, Germany-based Bayer has finally sealed the deal with Monsanto, purchasing the seed giant for $66 billion. The merger is reported to be the largest all-cash deal on record.

The purchase means a lot of things, and none of them good for consumers. For one, it strengthens the monopolization of the world’s food supply. It also means more genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and chemicals to be doused on them.

Now, some are predicting the merge could also mean the takeover of the marijuana industry. Monsanto has an intimate business relationship with Scotts Miracle-Gro, “a convicted corporate criminal– and Scott’s Miracle-Gro is trying to take over the marijuana industry,” according to Big Buds Mag.

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15 February 2016

 -  The Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul suspended the use of the larvicide Pyriproxyfen, used to treat water to combat the spread of the mosquito carrying the Zika virus, the regional government said Sunday.

In a communique, the state government said that "the suspension was communicated to the 19 Regional Health Coordinating Authorities, which in turn will inform the respective Municipal Monitoring services" in all cities in the state.

The measure was taken after doctors with the Argentina-based Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns organization and the Brazilian Collective Health Association, or Abrasco, questioned whether the larvicide might be linked with microcephaly.

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11 February 2016

 - A report from the Argentine doctors’ organisation, Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, challenges the theory that the Zika virus epidemic in Brazil is the cause of the increase in the birth defect microcephaly among newborns.  

The increase in this birth defect, in which the baby is born with an abnormally small head and often has brain damage, was quickly linked to the Zika virus by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. However, according to the Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, the Ministry failed to recognise that in the area where most sick people live, a chemical larvicide that produces malformations in mosquitoes was introduced into the drinking water supply in 2014. This poison, Pyriproxyfen, is used in a State-controlled programme aimed at eradicating disease-carrying mosquitoes.

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11 January 2016

 - As the food fight over genetically modified food (GMOs) rages on in the U.S., six major food manufacturers—including Nestle, PepsiCo and Mexican baking company Grupo Bimbo—have been slapped with fines by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice for concealing the presence of GMOs in their products.

According to teleSUR, the respective companies are facing fines ranging from $277,400 to just over $1 million, amounting to $3 million in total.

The ministry’s decision came after a 2010 investigation carried out by Brazil’s Consumer Protection Agency, Senacon, which detected GMOs in various food products sold by the companies in Brazilian markets.

Senacon accused the companies of violating Brazilian consumer rights, including the right to information, freedom of choice and the right for protection against abusive corporate practices, teleSUR reported.

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Calendar of Events

Group healing events for the remainder of 2017:

21 August - Total Solar Eclipse

22 September - Equinox

21 December - Solstice

Boycott Israeli Goods