tv Doc Film - Harvest of Greed - How Bayer and Monsanto could Reshape Agriculture Deutsche Welle April 12, 2018 7:15am-8:01am CEST
in calling for photography dramatic pictures from the front lines capturing street full moments in time and even risking death. she gave her life to tell the stories of people who ended up killing. women or photographers starting may third on d. w. . bush the germany is a strong country. that we have achieved so much we can do this and if something him we must overcome it in the. going where it's uncomfortable global news that matters g.w. made for mines. agro
chemicals and genetic modification they are at the heart of the new pharmaceuticals mega merger buyer and months until. today the commission has just decided to give a conditional approval to buy us plans to buy on sun two under our european merger rules. the two companies have research facilities that are shaping the future of agriculture and they set themselves an ambitious goal to feed the world. now u.s. authorities have to approve the deal fire boss van about money is doing his best to win over u.s. president on will trump. people around the world have been protesting against what sato for decades many are now fearful of the consequences that may result from the biggest merger in german post-war history writes stock the seeds and animal husbandry must stay in the hands of farmers if not. all of us it's
a multi-billion dollar business buyer won't do anything any differently than one sample. what does the future hold for a buyer and what will the merger mean for people all over the world. st louis missouri this is the starting point for a journey that will take us across three continents in our quest for insight into this record breaking deal. with the global workforce of over twenty thousand in sales of fourteen point six billion dollars monsanto is a goliath in the agricultural sector and one subject to massive controversy. television crews are not normally allowed to enter this high security research center. behind these closed doors scientists are working on products that won't be
on the market for another decade this area is off limits to our camera we are allowed to film this chipping machine taking a sample from a corn kernel the aim is to duplicate only the best genetic information the brave new world of monsanto. one of these plants was grown conventionally the other is genetically modified. the second one survives the visit by the hungry caterpillar for monsanto it's just one of many examples of the company's superior technology challenges we have to you know provide you know the kind of technology that's going to drive the increase in farmer productivity around the world you know really takes the. the combination of channels drinks in biology and data science with their strengths and chemistry in the combination been able to bring the biology the chemistry and the data science together is really part of the magic . then about women who has headed germany's buyer group since two thousand and
sixteen explains what that magic willing tale to the shareholders. to. the acquisition of money will enable us to further consolidate buyers position and create significant added value in the long term. in spite of protests bowman is determined to go through with the mega deal it would make buyer until now known primarily as a pharmaceutical giant the world's largest agro chemicals group. but what are the ultimate goals of buyer and its boss our next stop is in man sato's backyard the us midwest joe raven has been a month sato customer for years together with his father he runs one of the biggest farms in southern illinois only two kinds of crops are grown here sorry beans and corn. ribbons by monsanto
products in large quantities both scenes and round up a weed killer that contains the herbicide life estate. this is the future of farming as envisaged by men sato. traditional cropping methods are very much a thing of the past here. mr walker chop chop beans by hand member do not as young kid get a group of us how that's how we took care to tell you clean the field. now with glavis a going to round up i mean that made a world changer for us. really made. the efficiency so much better. several times a year the father and son team spray their fields with life est now common practice among conventional farmers in the us who use far larger quantities than a customary in europe for example. within days the chemical kills off nearly
everything only one side is genetically modified corn and soybeans survive. round treat. enables farmers to control their we so they don't have to do the extensive tillage and what we now know is that practice when farmers are plowing their field in there turning over the dirt that causes both lots of water and it causes c o two release it uses a lot of energy and so the environmental benefits the impact of using round up in protein no till i go culture has been a big boon for farmers in europe in both north and south america. but like many other monsanto customers the ravens do have their doubts is there really no other option. and g.m. the only economically viable solution to food production i've heard it since
nineteen sixty four were back in high school for you do world feed world there's always been painted green no i don't i don't think that's a slogan and it sounds good they're not worried about us they're worried about sowing their product to us that's the other day they have to make money for the company whatever it takes and that's around the world some of the soybeans and corn grown by the ribbons are exported overseas although the farming of genetically modified grain is largely banned in europe it can be imported in the form of animal feed. life for six months and it was cash cow soon be making billions for buyer two. then of aman has always had an eye on profits for the company shareholders for years before joining the board he was a numbers crunching financial expert a man in the shadow of the executives. he first drew up figures for
a possible monsanto takeover seven years ago once he became c.e.o. himself in may two thousand and sixteen his moment had come. because this entire deal is closely associated with him does that sometimes make you money easy. no not at all. we conducted an extensive analysis of the potential transaction and concluded it was the right move for the company to make use of government so it's known i assumed my new position in the firm around the same time i'm completely behind it i'm totally convinced that this is the right move for the company but also for our customers and that's why i've never felt uneasy about it and this is what this i'm just making this me but it was an emotional. moment appears not to see any potential risks involved in the sixty six billion dollars deal in contrast to many people who work at buyers headquarters in. sports to have sounded warnings about the consequences of the mega merger. losing risks will arise that are
not so visible right now. once the deal is closed it will be in time for its implementation and i personally believe that will be very difficult due to the differences in german and american corporate culture it is easy given the its there will be risks that cannot currently be anticipated but that xander is also the risk connected to the company's all in the workforce will they support the entire enterprise yeah it will very benefit from this merger because as soon as your own employees are against it the company is going to fail. officially by our says that the majority of the workforce supports the deal but when we talk. to people under the condition of anonymity it's a completely different story one well connected employee tells us about the many discussions taking place in house. he says people are appalled because of the other company in question he was struck by how that seemed to be the case at all hierarchical levels. before the fact
a great deal of time and money were invested in polishing bios image including in terms of its new corporate strategy under the tagline science for a better life. the worker says anyone familiar with monsanto his business practices can tell you their methods are just the opposite. even among by our employees monsanto is notorious for its ruthless business practices. fire does not seem to encourage criticism whether internal or from the outside. at the last annual shareholders meeting the company had the venue in van closed off but protesters came down the less. fire claims it has to protect itself from terrorists so it sort of attempt to regulate people entering the venue they didn't want to see us at all but the court said we are within our rights so we are allowed to demonstrate here today. in.
these protestors are ordinary citizens consumers and those more directly affected by the merger farmers. among the farmers is apparent schmidt's who drove his tractor to the demonstrations. he tries to avoid using weed killers and he gets his seed from the previous harvest. in genetically modified plants that's rarely possible. if i am no longer able to plant my own seat to a pharmacy i've done for thousands of years the. when i see a need to defend myself. down this is for me going to me so then. if it becomes just a matter of money and i have to justify everything i do out in the field. then it's time to take a stand against it. and it's
up or it's a small farm that's been in his family for five generations although he started out with conventional farming fifteen years ago he decided to make the transition to organic production. he grows vegetables and cereal grains. he's also an active member of alternative farmers associations that are concerned about the methods being promoted by monsanto. monsanto for the commercial for example monsanto will try to create a type of wheat that is resistant to round up which will kill everything else on top but it also means that afterwards the soil is dead to. our soil here is actually a living organism that is vital for the entire plant and its health. and so do we continue to tolerate such things. in south american countries where they grow a lot of soya cotton and the like plants are sprayed intensively with ground up.
with life aside to dog which is the active ingredient with boredom with in the meantime lots of weeds that become resistant so they just use more roundup of the tents and it's not surprising that traces of life are say can be found everywhere in the bloodstreams of people who consume ordinary food. was finished by mentioning the. life is saved and g.m. seeds are they a blessing when it comes to feeding the world or an incalculable hazard for humans and the environment. it's a matter of growing concern all over the world. in argentina where the use of life to say it is widespread people are reporting rising cancer rates and frequent deformities in newborn babies. dr demi unders an aussie from the university of her sario deduces the causes from his to testicle surveys. oh cool studies show that
children of farmworkers have significantly more genetic damage than those who live in cities. and have no direct contacts with the agricultural industry. they need. to be. he also sees a connection between shocking birth defects and the use of life associate. this with these studies have been published they allow us to draw very clear conclusions . there is a very definite link between the influence of toxins and health problems in the minds of the. monsanto and buyer question the reliability of these and similar investigations. script. there are over three thousand studies showing they're going to say it is a very safe product when used properly and pull book or. a condition discus or stated the things you hear in the public debate are ultimately
based on. misinformation about the risks of this product. so we think that even if it does belong to our company is a good product and its license should be renewed which is. obvious to most. for the end of twenty seventeen the e.u. had to decide whether to approve that renew offered life is eight consulting those studies was part of the process but how many are actually independent and which were commissioned by monsanto some politicians believe the studies that conclude life say it is harmless are credible others side with the critics. as there are big question marks was to use decision on the license for quite frustrated industrial interests me including the studies commission for industry and set the benchmark for the evaluation of the e.u. . but people would expect us to to sions to conduct neutral analysis
instead they rely on studies from industry and they come mostly from monsanto. just there aren't even any checks on whether forth monsanto delivers is actually correct it's tantalus this is. a scandal that has inspired mass protests and even rock concerts in argentina. one of the leading activists is rolling montenegro winner of the alternative nobel prize here outside the activists won a rare victory over global corporation monsanto their protests prevented the construction of what would have been one of the world's largest seed factories. their slogan for whether monsanto monsanto out. the activists say monsanto's negative image in argentina will rub off on bio. it would be a smart move by monsanto to change its name because buyer has
a good reputation and people respect. now the two want to merge and that's why i believe that in the course of this whole process buyer will ultimately lose. and as they went. and bought the buses. now there's practically nothing left to run sandoz gigantic project the shell structures that had already been built were demolished by the company months ago. and. there aren't even any signs indicating that the land belongs to monsanto for the people of the municipality mugginess argentinos the place has become a symbol of successful resistance. it is yellow and this was such have become monsanto's biggest seat factory but instead it's been a massive defeat. both of those and this is a monument to that defeat we want to move i think it will carry
a lot more weight than the image buyer hopes to sell. a. deal of the century or have they just bought themselves some bad publicity. what does buyer expect following the merger with the globally controversy among santa group and what is the driving force behind this risky business is it really all about making buyer stronger or does venerable one see the chance to catapult himself into the small circle of the world's most powerful c.e.o.'s. the son of a baker he learned early about the cornerstones of our diet grain and bread now he could have a major impact on the world's food supply. so much because of the news of all this time cost pressure for us because until the name is i think i speak for the whole company when i say it's important for us to represent things we strongly believe in
and. we have no cause. as for doubt which is why we're also involved in this discussion in order to build a case using arguments based on facts and. his opponents also have good arguments the police have been called out to buyers headquarters and labor groups and a group of farmers from southern germany have traveled over three hundred fifty kilometers to make their voices heard. but people are on the defensive. we believe the genetic engineering can help to combat hunger in the world xemu some real need you don't need to tell me this lie that you want to feed the world this merger is the beginning of the end for all small holders around the world. like pastures that the protesting farmers call home a world away from labor crews and. the man who challenge the buyer a spokesman heads a co-operative dedicated to organic farming. look
at that gorgeous field of spelt and the poppies in bloom being real you don't see that anywhere else. over there you see a conventional field and you won't find a single poppy with no main divide what's it all for. we produce healthy food on the hundred all conventional crops leave behind waste and they take their souls off the environment and our health. with being dishonest classic organic farming is the answer to feeding the world. it's all to unfold also a bit of mail. which includes meat of course swabian whole swine or a local breed of pigs that became the center of a legal dispute between the farmer biller and the global corporation months at zero .
each day and then out of nowhere we find patent applications online for gene sequence at the european patent office on our picks and all of submitted by the company genetic choice philmont genetic choice not a litle list after further investigation we discovered it was monsanto subsidiary feel good reason. one said oh had deciphered the genetic characteristics of this breed and used them to claim a patent meaning that breeders would have to pay a fee. but the company had its work cut out. the scar tissue believed there was a meeting in berlin and just fourteen days later monsanto withdrew its patent on potentially gets all realms employed it showed very clearly that it pays to resist it's necessary we are misinformed so that we have to stand up for our rights as farmers. that's mine and snitched are fused to be robbed of to be callously
dispossessed of our livestock and crops on lawns and so. our next stop is the mountains of southern india a place rudolph buehler visits regularly is co-operative back home supports a partnership project with local farmers in the state of kerala. it's mainly run by christians and its patron is the archbishop of the region. like its german partners the y. an odd social services side the farms organically its products include long forgotten pepper varieties which is reintroduced into the market. it's this kind of diversity that the german and indian partner see as threatened by major corporations such as buyer and. this is the beginning of a seed bank and it's on the nursery where old varieties are now being registered.
ward gets. one hundred forty varieties of pepper a cultivated here and farmed on a large scale some are destined for germany. the cooperative in germany pays the farmers in india fifty percent more than the global market price for their organic pepper. it also serves as a model for other products. when really it's the bomb while the cotton seeds that monsanto sometimes distributes free of charge have a gene that can no longer be reproduced again this is. built in town this size so after the harvest the farmers who don't know this and use the seed again but it doesn't germinate it stays dead in the ground they lose a whole harvest and it puts the farmers out of business on the field the ball the indian the warrior. this is a case that exemplifies how dependent small farmers can become on large scale
industry. b.g. roy's husband allowed himself to be persuaded to buy the promising sounding new seeds. he took out a loan from the bank just like many other farmers for three thousand euros. but the revenue from the harvest wasn't enough for the family to repay the money i wasn't aware of just how serious the situation had become. did the ban on that but i did wonder if it ended and i did so and then they went in the early morning i realised my husband was gone and then the a door was locked from the outside but then in the liquid a cabinet office so i opened it through the window and live a candle to look for him. because the i don't know daughter but he was already ten . and. he deliberately swallowed a plant toxin the family now receive support from a local co-operative. the rising number of suicide. among indian farmers is being
looked into by social researchers and church representatives father john believes that the problems with genetically modified seeds are the real cause in addition to cultural factors. the expectation. because. the suicides in india are also being discussed at the international tribunals in the hague an expression of worldwide resistance to the american companies business
practices. first glance appears to be activist street theatre is a serious examination of the many facets of profit oriented agriculture based on providing seeds to farmers everywhere and the consequences of excessive weed eradication for example with. another issue is the influence corporations like monsanto have on governments such as in india. in this last year in a huff. increased intensity whether it be in india three hundred thousand families have committed suicide. and when the government tries to regulate the prices that are getting farmers in today. when the institutions controlling monopolies. competition court of india says you have
created a monopoly with ninety five percent control of the cottonseed. government so the. farmers from all over the world have gathered in the hague like percy schmeiser from canada. had allegedly found genetically modified rapeseed in his fields for which there was supposed to pay license fees. the farmer refused insisting he never used. it was really sweet client and who really owns the gene supply that's what it's all about. he did not have to be. any. five years or seven years of court battle which. we have to pay our court call.
right. we'll continue these underhanded practices. and as i already certain made twenty sixteen that will also manage the new operations according to our standards. stands for transparency reliability and a different style of debate. on. this with a different style of debate meaning. to deal with our customers and other interest groups in a way that is based on our values in a way that has been the company's policy for many decades. monsanto enviro dismissed the event as a circus. but the tribunal has a high symbolic value. it's staffed by trained lawyers although they don't make a legally binding judgement here. the chairwoman françoise took was a judge at the european court of human rights. descended good to have aided the
city be the primary concern of this tribunal is to see whether monsanto's practices are compatible with international human rights i think that what and this and i did that i joined. dr dumb younger as an aussie from argentina makes a presentation of some of his findings in the hague as do other scientists from asia africa and europe. the tribunals verdict monsanto violates people's right to food and health and is harming the environment it also ruled that the company influences independent science and research what they have to say at monsanto headquarters you know the accusations are not based in science they're not accurate and and it's unfortunate that you know people continue to spread these kinds of misinformation was. the message from the hague is also heard in leverkusen buyers' response is to take countermeasures both internally and externally as an employee reports there is one rule he says no criticism as far as
he knows there hasn't been any discussion of the official level within the company and that's caused a lot of frustration. and internal memo states avoid speculation and comments about the takeover or its potential impact whether on your colleagues or on external parties this includes social media. some felt they were being muzzled. we maintain an open dialogue on all issues with all information available to all parties involved in a discussion as long as the information is not of a confidential nature always about. the buyer has enjoyed a better reputation than monsanto. but the buyer brand will have to change as a result of the merger if it wants to continue doing good business in the us market . by yahoo. a lawyer says it is not the same as
big bad monsanto and that it wants to practice different business methods and i have my doubts because in south america we can see that the practices of the buyer and monsanto are basically the same there's no difference in kind. how does buyer plan to market these chemicals in seeds from the laboratory. and what role will new technologies play. brazil is one of the most important cultural markets in the world just to eat used to be an insignificant small town five hundred kilometers south of the capital brasilia but it has flourished since the early one nine hundred ninety s. when soybean and corn were planted here on a large scale. the state of the art technology from buyer and monsanto is expected to further increase eels. a small team of agronomists from sao paulo travels across the country to inspect the fields on behalf of the farmers.
the future is here it says on their car in the trunk is a drone which the team assembles in a few minutes. they use the drone to fly over the newly harvested corn fields in search of wheat. what looks like a toy is actually high tech equipment. with automatically controlled high resolution cameras. might just be. this drone is mapping the total area of the field refuse mizar that's why it has to fly higher. i don't want copter flies lower i used to compliment each other. when the post-processing phase a map is created that faithfully reproduces the ground to scale the grid so for.
three meters. the data can be analyzed anywhere for example in st louis the climate corp. purchased the global leader in weather in satellite data three years ago. data is the currency of the future and to swear by and months to expect significant dividends explains the commercial director. based on the science of our c.v. we can help farmers access. a zone map where we divide the field into zones where the darker green areas are higher productivity and the yellow in lighter green areas we can actually back off the seeding rates in these areas and save money. in the world of the climate corp farming becomes a sort of computer game that can be controlled on a touch screen satellites fly over these fields they're capturing images of the field and then you can quickly begin to see the parts of the field may have some
significant weed pressure that requires a herbicide like ground up to be applied. to the largest department on this floor is a call center for farmers they can call here any time things are not going according to plan out on the field if the world outside in the computer world aren't working well together the virtual farmer is already a reality here. this is a computer monitor that you would find in the plants or care it's called the twenty twenty seat cents it plugs right in the planter and when the tractor and the plants are running it's recording data and transmitting it right to the. data pesticides and scenes all provided and closely coordinated by months at zero. back in just a year in brazil there's still no universal mobile phone coverage the data from the drones processed overnight is transferred to the onboard computer via
a memory stick. to the map to my monitor. here in the green area i don't have to spray. i don't do any other areas i do you know when. i cook and that i've been using for months so you know i because our everything's ready and i can get going to. the walk but you perceive though. when the program is working as it should each nozzle can be switched on and off individually by the onboard computer so that the pesticide is only sprayed where there are actually we. weed free areas are left alone by our claims that the use of pesticides can be reduced by up to thirty percent. was a. farmer fabio pozen otto has great hopes in the new technologies. but
he also sees their limitations. yes if the use of this is called nisa we. it's not originally from here but it's adopted very well two conditions went up the so flippant protect itself from the sum with its own leaves and is therefore very resistant. fortunately also against. so we have to use more talks and or the writings to combat it. billed as a miracle cure life estate has lost some of its magic appeal because it's becoming increasingly ineffective thus when buzzin come in dallas brazil and argentina there's been a massive increase in the use of glyphosate compared to europe the amount of blood for say the plight perhaps terrorist trial fold in these countries and they're using more and more of and if you increase english resistance super weak sort
shouldn't really affected by even these quantities anymore. they actually overpower the socials within a few years and these areas just end up becoming fellow of. the buyer and monsanto method really be the only way to feed ten billion people in two thousand and fifty. the united nations food and agriculture organization in rome is also concerned about developments in the farming sector. at an international conference in october two thousand and seventeen experts from all over the world discussed issues including seeds and pesticides. and also the merger of buyer and monsanto which was widely criticized at the event. so in our report we have a series of recommendations. recommendations one of course is largely to say we must strengthen our capacity in each country in the world to monitor these mergers and to intervene on them as necessary to look upon the implications for the
environment the implications for food security more broadly it look asians for livelihoods what it means for the producers. is feeding the world in the future a challenge that on. the big corporations will be able to meet or is it more a matter of consolidating and expanding their own market position. it actually has a wide range of implications that are really quite frightening for us i think we could say that well what do they care there's feeding themselves or feed their family they're they're selling to their village they're not really involved in a global system that these big companies are playing and but that's not true because these big companies have enormous weight in policy they're the ones who are setting the rules for rural development in each country secondly the farmers can't pick and choose from seeds and pesticides and fertilizers they have to choose the package being dictated to them by buyer months out you were b.s.f. john deere. that package includes above all pesticides the big conglomerates best
sellers. but the f a o two sees the flipside. the appeal bottom in the top end of it we are seeing a worldwide increase in the use of pesticides create these and we take a very critical view on this because it leads to dependencies. and might cause excessive use often leads to resistance which in turn leads to new dependencies. and this makes it difficult for small holders to produce sustainably. to put up its new. nevertheless the e.u. decided to approve the use of life for say it for another five years so i'm a bit weird because it seems that the european commission and the gang member states above all germany consider the interests of the chemical industry to be more important in people's health and the environment. a green light for life.
but what will happen after the merger thirty antitrust authorities around the world examine the deal the most important of those being in washington and brussels corners of the e.u. . yes at the world economic forum in davos in january by our chief there in about one spoke with u.s. president trump about the merger. but in this when obama comes to you all by you are working. around the central question. you asked me but. it was a subsection. called it was meant to be. well the deal is still being reviewed by u.s. authorities the e.u. competition commission has approved the merger. we were able to do so because of the significant remedies the companies offered which made which mets competition concerns in for. among other things buyer
has to part with one of its pearls vegetable seed production in new nym the netherlands in any case the group hardly seems interested in such classic business anymore the competitor b.s.f. is likely to take over this area. conventional cultivation of tomatoes cucumbers another vegetables that's no longer interesting to buy a instead it will focus on corn soy and cotton spread over huge areas with genetic engineering and crop protection products such as the controversy with life estate. not to stumble things will probably turn out just as many had feared with european new multinational in the market with the blessing of the european commission and that's not good and it's not. traditional farming versus high tech big business how will our food be produced in the future.
german farmer there and schmidt at least doesn't need products from buyer and monsanto unlike many conventional farmers he continues to fight weeds with a mechanical rake rather than chemicals. even. when the sure things have to lift from but having read your report on what they dream of is using apps on pharmacy phones to access information directly from the fields for months on from marketable corn with buyers head office then deciding what seeds will be planted. content not unthinkable for may. no longer be in the kind of farm. it's important for me to make my own decisions to what risks and to choose from a wide range of methods of guns but i. still vanish on the end of. what he and others fear is the prospect of patents on seeds and livestock the use of genetic engineering and pesticides plus the digital transformation of farms with
want to. pop export the music magazine on w. . with each passing day of the continuing conflict in syria more and more children fear their future maybe fading away. with every classroom damaged or destroyed with every child witnessing the horror of war everything will be fleeing the violence and we can't risk losing an entire generation of children to death fear and despair. because they are the future of syria.
this is deja vu news live from berlin the u.s. says all options are on the table in response to a suspected chemical attack in syria but the white house also says there is no timetable for any military action this after president trump launches a tweet taunting russia promising to fire missiles at syria also coming up. facebook c.e.o. mark zuckerberg says regulation of social media may be inevitable during his last day in washington but congress could not pin him down.