Blog: Mother Earth Heals
by Liora Leah

UPDATED: The Dirty (1/2) Dozen

UPDATED: 2010 information: The Top 6 Global AgriBusiness companies, profiled by Pesticide Action Network North America

Date:   9/7/2008 3:44:26 AM   ( 13 y ) ... viewed 3068 times

Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA): Corporate Profiles

Updated:  2010

Today’s food systems are an outgrowth of a long and on-going process of economic concentration that have enabled the biggest agribusinesses to define and control food and farming. Worldwide, the top ten seed firms control 30% of the US $24.4 billion seed market and the top ten agrochemical corporations control 84% of the US $30 billion agrochemical market. Pesticide Action Network North America’s corporate profiles of the six largest pesticide manufacturers provide brief, well-documented overviews of the structure, social and environmental impacts, and influence of these powerful actors at the top of global agribusiness.

1. Bayer AG
Bayer AG is a multinational, multi-industry corporation that produces a range of chemical products including pesticides, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Over the years Bayer AG has been associated with terrible environmental scandals, bad labor practices and public health issues. The following is a brief overview of Bayer AG with an emphasis on its Bayer CropScience division.

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BASF is the world's largest chemical company. It is composed of six business segments: chemicals (plasticizers and solvents; functional solutions (
catalysts, coatings, and construction chemicals); plastics; performance products (value-added chemicals and dyes); agricultural products and nutrition; and oil and gas. One of BASF's major strategies is to capitalize on synergies amongst its diverse interests by creating huge multi-function industrial parks where plants use each other's byproducts as inputs.  Despite this emphasis on reuse of resources, BASF is a company responsible for numerous environmental disasters and the production of extremely toxic chemicals.

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3. Dow Chemical

August 2010

The largest chemical company in the U.S. and second largest worldwide, Dow Chemical is a leading producer of pesticides, plastics, hydrocarbons and other chemicals.[1] Its production processes and practices have poisoned the environment as well as consumers and workers, sometimes with dire consequences for entire communities. The company is responsible for hazardous pesticides (such as 2,4-D, Dursban, Telone and DBCP), byproducts such as dioxin, ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and Agent Orange and napalm used during the Vietnam War. In 1999, Dow acquired Union Carbide, whose pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, released methyl isocyanate and other chemicals in 1984, causing one of the worst industrial disasters in history. Recently Dow has positioned itself as one five corporations dominating the genetically engineered seed market. Dow also exerts considerable political and social influence.

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4. DuPont

August 2010

In 2010, DuPont ranked #86 in the Fortune 500  list (down 20 places from 2004). [1] DuPont is the third largest chemical producer (following Dow and ExxonMobil Chemicals). [1] According to the company's own website, it was at first "primarily an explosives company." [2] Now, the company's products include Teflon, paint, fibers, chemicals and pesticides.

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5. Monsanto

Monsanto is one of the world's leading pesticide manufacturers and is the global leader in agricultural biotechnology. Between 1996 and 1998, Monsanto followed a strategy of buying out and forming relationships with the majority of U.S. and international seed companies. As a result, the company acquired US$8 billion worth of seed and biotechnology companies globally. By 2002, Monsanto seeds were planted on 91% of all land devoted to genetically engineered (GE) crops. Many of these seeds were Roundup Ready (seeds genetically engineered for resistance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's most popular herbicide, Roundup).

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6. Syngenta

In December 1999, Novartis Agribusiness and AstraZeneca Agrochemicals merged to form Syngenta. Earlier that year, AstraZeneca was formed when Zeneca, a British lifesciences company, acquired Astra AB, a Swedish pharmaceutical corporation. Only four years earlier, Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz merged to form Novartis.

Today Syngenta is the world’s largest agrochemical producer.Furthermore, the company is the world’s leading agricultural biotechnology corporation, third largest owner of plant biotechnology patents, and third largest seed supplier.[1] In 2009, the company’s sales totaled almost US$ 11 billion.

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Related Blog:

[video/audio] Truth:Monsanto Video

On March 11 a new documentary was aired on French television (ARTE – French-German cultural tv channel) by French journalist and film maker Marie-Monique Robin, The World According to Monsanto - A documentary that most Americans won’t ever see. The gigantic biotech corporation Monsanto is threatening to destroy the agricultural biodiversity which has served mankind for thousands of years.


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