Watchdog groups are sounding the alarm after two of the oldest and largest corporations in the United States—DuPont and Dow Chemical—announced Friday plans to merge into a $130 billion giant, thereby establishing the world’s biggest seed and pesticide conglomerate.
The new behemoth, named DowDuPont, would then be split into “three independent, publicly traded companies through tax-free spin-offs,” according to a joint corporate statement marking one of the the largest deals of 2015.
These companies would focus on agriculture, material science, and “technology and innovation-driven Specialty Products company,” the statement continues. Together, they would form the second-largest chemical company world-wide.
The merger, if it goes through, is expected to slash numerous jobs.
And it would expand the influence of two Big Ag players, with the combined venture retaining control over “17 percent of global pesticide sales and about 40 percent of America’s corn-seed and soybean markets,” according to the calculations of Washington Post analysts.
Rights groups warn that this large share would be very bad for people and the planet—and called on the Department of Justice to block the merger.
“The Department of Justice needs to block this merger to prevent the further corporate control of the basic building blocks of the food supply.”
—Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch
“Just a handful of large chemical companies including Dow and DuPont already control most of the seed supply used to grow crops like corn and soybeans, as well as the herbicides that genetically engineered seeds are designed to be grown with,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of advocacy organization Food & Water Watch, in a statement released Friday.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT