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Chemical Brothers: Monsanto Acquired by Bayer for $66B

Bayer AG is paying big bucks to acquire the seed and weedkiller company

(Newser) - After months of courtship, German drug and farm chemical maker Bayer AG has finally reached an agreement to buy US seed and weedkiller company Monsanto, in a deal valued at $66 billion, the AP reports. In a statement Wednesday, Bayer said it's paying Monsanto shareholders $128 per share in... More »

Judge Rules Against Monsanto in Cancer Lawsuit

Former coffee farmer suing over Roundup herbicide

(Newser) - A former coffee farmer who says Monsanto's widely used Roundup herbicide caused her cancer scored a win last week when a federal judge rejected the company's request to dismiss the case. Christine Sheppard was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003, seven years after she started using Roundup... More »

Monsanto's New Goal: Wilt-Free Flowers

MIT says it's working on way to make plants 'bloom on command'

(Newser) - Monsanto may be out to conquer a new area of the plant world: commercial flowers. A post at MIT Technology Review explains that the company has applied for a patent on a technique that could make it dramatically easier to sell and ship flowers—by preventing them from wilting. The... More »

On Quiet Day, Dow Drops 8

Monsanto up 4% after unexpected offer from Bayer

(Newser) - Stocks closed slightly lower Monday after a day of wavering between small gains and losses, the AP reports. Many traders were waiting on the sidelines for more clues about what the Federal Reserve might to at its next policy meeting in June. Last week many were surprised to hear that... More »

4 Things to Know About the $62B Bid for Monsanto

Bayer announces specifics of its bid

(Newser) - A German company, in a country that's definitely no fan of genetically modified crops, has offered to buy the world's biggest producer of the seeds they come from for $62 billion—in cash. Bayer on Monday said its offer of $122 a share is a 37% premium over... More »

Cancer-Stricken Farmers Sue Monsanto Over Roundup

They allege company is hiding herbicide's dangers

(Newser) - Three cancer-stricken Nebraska farmers and an agronomist are suing Monsanto, alleging that the company misled consumers about the safety of Roundup, the most widely used herbicide around the globe. The World Health Organization labeled glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, as a likely carcinogen last year. The four Nebraskans suing... More »

'100% Natural' Quaker Oats? Not Quite, Says Lawsuit

Suit contends oats can't be labeled 'natural' with even trace levels of herbicide

(Newser) - The nearly 140-year-old Quaker Oats brand isn't as wholesome as its name might imply, according to a lawsuit seeking class-action status after trace amounts of the active ingredient in Roundup were found in some oats, which are advertised as being "100% natural," reports the New York Times... More »

Study Debunks Presence of Chemical in Breast Milk

But rival researchers aren't buying WSU's claims

(Newser) - Scientists say a potentially cancer-causing chemical used in Monsanto's popular herbicide Roundup doesn't pose a risk to babies via a mother's breast milk, despite an earlier study claiming that was in fact the case. Washington State University researchers set out to discover whether glyphosate could be found... More »

Lobbyist Insists Chemical Is Safe to Drink, Won't Drink It

French cable channel puts rep in the hot seat

(Newser) - A French TV channel is drawing attention for its grilling of a lobbyist defending Monsanto. In the interview with Canal+, Dr. Patrick Moore repeatedly insists that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular herbicide Roundup, is safe to drink. And then he repeatedly refuses to drink it, notes Raw Story... More »

Top Weed Killer Poses Cancer Risk

Ingredient in several pesticides 'probably' causes cancer: study

(Newser) - The most popular weed killer on Earth can "probably" give people cancer, according to a study posted on a World Health Organization website and in the Lancet Oncology . The study says an ingredient in several insecticides and herbicides, including the popular Roundup, is "probably carcinogenic to humans" and... More »

USDA Finds Mystery 'Franken-Wheat' Crop

'Rogue' wheat discovered beside old Monsanto testing field

(Newser) - A tremor is rippling through the US wheat industry as officials say they are investigating another crop of "rogue" genetically modified wheat—this one in Montana. The US Agriculture Department announced the find Friday at the same time it declared an earlier so-called "franken-wheat" scare in Oregon an... More »

Chinese Spy Stole Iowa Corn Seeds: Feds

FBI tracked alleged corporate spy through corn fields

(Newser) - Corporate espionage ... in an Iowa cornfield? Federal agents caught an alleged Chinese spy last week trying to smuggle highly valuable "inbred" cord seeds out of the country, prosecutors say. Mo Hailong is accused of stealing the seeds from fields in Illinois and Iowa and trying to evade FBI agents... More »

Argentines Say Agrochemicals Causing Birth Defects, Cancer

In one town, 80% of kids have pesticides in their blood

(Newser) - Argentina is the third-largest soybean producer in the world, and also grows a lot of cotton and corn. Nearly all of it is now genetically modified, since Monsanto convinced farmers to switch to its seeds and chemicals in 1996. But the agrochemicals the country's farmers use to keep up... More »

Monsanto: Sabotage May Be Behind Franken-Wheat

But scientists say this kind of thing crops up all the time

(Newser) - Monsanto still isn't sure how its banned genetically modified wheat wound up in an Oregon field, but it's got one theory: sabotage. On a conference call with reporters, the company said the so-called "franken-wheat" incident was probably the result of "accidental or purposeful mixing of seed,... More »

Farmer Sues Monsanto Over Franken-Wheat

First lawsuit to arise from discovery of GMO wheat in Oregon

(Newser) - The first lawsuit related to the bizarre discovery of unapproved genetically engineered wheat in an Oregon field has arrived, and similar suits are said to be in the works. A Kansas farmer is suing Monsanto over last week's incident, claiming it hurt US growers because wheat prices dropped and... More »

As GMO Corn Weakens, Pesticides Are Back

Rootworms developing resistance to Monsanto gene

(Newser) - In 2003, Monsanto debuted corn seeds with a gene—Bt—that generates pest-killing toxins designed to resist the ravages of rootworm. Soil insecticide use cratered as a result, with only 9% of corn acreage nationwide treated with it in 2010, down from 25% in 2005. But then things started to... More »

Monsanto Defeats Farmer in Soybean Patent Case

Supreme Court rules farmers can't grow second crop from patented seeds

(Newser) - Sometimes Goliath beats David—or Vernon, as the case may be. Seventy-six-year-old farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman has lost his Supreme Court battle with Monsanto over his use of patented soybean seeds, the New York Times reports. The court upheld an $84,000 lawsuit brought against Bowman by the agribusiness giant... More »

Farmer, 75, Takes on Monsanto

Soybean seed case hits Supreme Court this week

(Newser) - Vernon Hugh Bowman, a 75-year-old Indiana farmer, is taking on agribusiness heavyweight Monsanto in a case hitting the Supreme Court tomorrow. Monsanto says Bowman, who has been using Monsanto's soybean seeds happily for years, is infringing its patents when he plants a second crop of soybeans each year. The... More »

Anti-GMO Crusader: I Was Wrong

Mark Lynas: Science convinced me to stop fighting GMO crops

(Newser) - In the 1990s, environmental activist Mark Lynas helped start the anti-GMO movement, fighting against genetically modified food crops. But now he's done a complete 180, telling the Oxford Farming Conference earlier this month that he was wrong to "demon[ize] an important technological option which can and should be... More »

Calif. 'Frankenfood' Bill in Death Spiral After Ad War

Opponents spend $46M in GMO labeling battle

(Newser) - At first, advocates for California's Proposition 37 seemed to be skipping off to victory—but with the vote approaching, it now appears that opponents have engineered a stunning turnaround. Monsanto, DuPont, and Pepsi have spent some $46 million against the measure, which would require the labeling of genetically-modified food.... More »

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