Poll: Europeans Reject Controversial Bayer-Monsanto Marriage

Majority think EU should refuse merger of agrochemical giants

A majority of European citizens are opposed to the $66 billion takeover bid of Bayer for Monsanto ahead of a key decision by EU regulators this week. Over 50 percent of French, German, British, Danish, Spanish and Italian citizens think the merger, which would create the largest agrochemical company in the world, should be stopped, according to a new Yougov poll commissioned by Avaaz.

EU Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, is set to announce her decision on the takeover before August 22. Already more than 1 million people have called on Vestager to stop the deal, which would give Bayer/Monsanto control of a quarter of the world’s seed and pesticides markets.

Nick Flynn, Avaaz legal director: “If the EU allows this merger one company will control a quarter of the world's seeds and pesticides, putting our farmers and our food chain at the mercy of the largest agrochemical monopoly in history. It’s working farmers and average citizens that will suffer most if Bayer/Monsanto is given that kind of power over the price and production of our crops."

This controversial merger would create an agricultural monopoly that has been criticized by environmental and farming groups as well as lawmakers. Leading concerns include the merger's impact on the prices of food, seeds and pesticides as well offering less choices for farmers and consumers. According to a legal brief that Avaaz recently filed with the EU Commission, the merger would also lock farmers into genetically modified and pesticide-addicted monocultures.

Americans are also concerned about the merger. In a Public Policy Polling (PPP) of 1,506 registered voters in early June, 9 out of 10 Americans believe the Bayer-Monsanto merger poses serious threats to jobs, independent farmers, and food safety.

The controversial merger is being considered as Europe is set to decide on the future of two of Monsanto and Bayer’s largest cash-cows: glyphosate and neonicotinoids. Glyphosate was recently listed by the state of California to be “a chemical known to cause cancer,” while neonicotinoids are most famously known for causing the collapse of bee populations.

Ends

Contact for requests and interviews: [email protected] or René Engel, 0049 151 6512 8526 / [email protected]

The poll results in detail:

The EU has until August 7* to decide upon the merger. In your opinion, should the EU?

Rule against the merger / Allow the merger / Don`t know or no answer

  • Denmark: 56% / 12% / 32%

  • France: 55% / 11% / 34%

  • Germany: 55% / 18% / 27%

  • Italy: 57% / 23% / 20%

  • Spain: 52% / 32% / 16%

  • United Kingdom: 55% / 9% / 36%

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov. Total sample size was 8184 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25st – 31st July 2017. The survey was carried out online in Germany, Italy, UK, France, Spain and Denmark. The figures have been weighted for each country and are representative of each country’s population (aged 18+).

*The review was extended to August 22. At the time of conducting this poll, the deadline was set for August 7.*