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May 20, 2015

Factbox: Sizing up Monsanto and Syngenta

By Carey Gillam

(Reuters) – Monsanto Co (MON.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the world’s largest seed company, said on Wednesday it plans to divest all of Syngenta AG’s (SYNN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) seeds and traits businesses as well as some overlapping chemistry assets to get regulatory approval for a takeover of its Swiss rival.

The $45 billion transaction would create an industry giant with combined sales of over $31 billion before any divestitures and a market capitalization of nearly $100 billion, based on current share prices. It would likely attract scrutiny from regulators in Europe and the United States.

May 20, 2015

Monsanto says would divest all of Syngenta’s seed business

May 20 (Reuters) – Monsanto Co., the world’s largest
seed company, said on Wednesday it plans to divest all of
Syngenta Ag’s seeds and traits businesses as well as
some overlapping chemistry assets to get regulatory approval for
a takeover of its Swiss rival.

Monsanto President Brett Begemann said in a statement that
U.S.-based Monsanto sees an acquisition of Syngenta as a move
toward “redefining the future of agriculture,” and is confident
it can address regulatory concerns about a combination of the
two agrichemical and seed giants.

May 17, 2015

Nine killed in gun battle among Texas biker gangs

By Carey Gillam

(Reuters) – Nine people were killed on Sunday when a simmering feud among rival biker gangs boiled over at a sports bar in Waco, Texas, resulting in gunfire and a full-blown rumble in the parking lot, police said.

The battle took place at Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill in a shopping mall in the central Texas city, Waco police said. In addition to the fatalities, several people were injured.

May 15, 2015

As it woos Syngenta, Monsanto mounts campaign to combat critics

May 15 (Reuters) – As seed and chemical maker Monsanto Co.
woos Swiss agrochemicals firm Syngenta,
Monsanto also is trying to win over consumers in key
international markets, rolling out social media and marketing
campaigns.

U.S.-based Monsanto said it has recently launched
interactive consumer-oriented websites in China, France, India,
Argentina and Brazil, in addition to a lead site launched for
U.S. consumers late last year.

May 13, 2015

U.S. honeybee losses soar over last year, USDA finds

May 13 (Reuters) – Honey bees, critical agents in the
pollination of key U.S. crops, disappeared at a staggering rate
over the last year, according to a new government report that
comes as regulators, environmentalists and agribusinesses try to
reverse the decline.

Losses of managed honey bee colonies hit 42.1 percent from
April 2014 through April 2015, up from 34.2 percent for
2013-2014, and the second-highest annual loss to date, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture said in a report issued on Wednesday.

May 13, 2015

U.S. honeybee losses soar over last year, USDA report finds

By Carey Gillam

(Reuters) – Honey bees, critical agents in the pollination of key U.S. crops, disappeared at a staggering rate over the last year, according to a new government report that comes as regulators, environmentalists and agribusinesses try to reverse the losses.

Losses of managed honey bee colonies hit 42.1 percent from April 2014 through April 2015, up from 34.2 percent for 2013-2014, and the second-highest annual loss seen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report issued on Wednesday.

May 5, 2015

EPA regulator says set to release key herbicide report, lauds biopesticides

WASHINGTON May 5 (Reuters) – The Environmental Protection
Agency has wrapped up its review of the world’s most widely used
herbicide and plans to release a much-anticipated preliminary
risk assessment no later than July, the regulator’s chief
pesticide regulator told Reuters.

The EPA review of the health and environmental impacts of
glyphosate comes at a time of intense debate over the safety of
the chemical, and after the World Health Organization’s cancer
research unit declared in March that glyphosate was “probably
carcinogenic to humans.”

Apr 29, 2015

In U.S. GMO labeling battle, PepsiCo latest target

April 29 (Reuters) – Backers of mandatory labeling for
genetically modified foods on Wednesday launched a campaign
aimed at turning back food company lobbying against labeling,
and the first target is PepsiCo.

The move comes as U.S. lawmakers are eyeing federal
legislation that would nullify mandatory state labeling laws,
such as one that takes effect next year in Vermont, and proposed
in other states.

Apr 22, 2015

Advocacy group offers U.S. testing for herbicide feared linked to cancer

By Carey Gillam

(Reuters) – An advocacy group seeking a ban on the world’s most widely used herbicide said Wednesday it is launching a U.S. public testing project to gather data on detectable levels of the herbicide in drinking water, human urine and breast milk.

The project, backed in part by organic organizations and critics of genetically modified crops, is the latest move in a brewing battle pitting agribusiness interests against consumer and environmental groups over the fate of the weed-killer called glyphosate.

Apr 22, 2015

DuPont buys microbiome firm, seeks edge in emerging crop products

By Carey Gillam

(Reuters) – DuPont (DD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is buying a California-based microbiome discovery company for development of biological crop products, a move that the chemical and crop company hopes will give it an edge in an emerging agricultural market.

DuPont’s announcement on Wednesday did not disclose how much it is paying for Taxon Biosciences Inc, but said the 15-year-old company brings a “broad intellectual property estate” that will contribute to new DuPont seed treatments, and foliar and soil applications for row crops, fruits and vegetables.

    • About Carey

      "Generalist/Commodities, with responsibilities for coverage of agricultural markets, issues and companies, including Monsanto and DuPont; as well as general and political news; and equities coverage of trucking and rail companies. Provide backstop for Treasury as needed."
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