With the record-breaking $66bn merger of US GMO company Monsanto with the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, it's time to take a closer look at both companies genocidal and monstrous criminal pasts, pasts that both companies never formally apologized for and never paid any form of compensation to their victims or their families.
Monsanto was the company that manufactured "Agent Orange" for the US army's barbaric chemical warfare in Vietnam.
Agent Orange was a powerful mixture of chemical defoliants used by U.S. military forces during the Vietnam War to eliminate forest cover for North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, as well as crops that might be used to feed them.
The U.S. program of defoliation, codenamed Operation Ranch Hand, sprayed more than 19 million gallons of herbicides over 4.5 million acres of land in Vietnam from 1961 to 1972. Agent Orange, which contained the chemical dioxin, was the most commonly used of the herbicide mixtures, and the most effective.
It was later revealed to cause serious health issues–including tumors, birth defects, rashes, psychological symptoms and cancer–among returning U.S. servicemen and their families as well as among the Vietnamese population.
In addition to the massive environmental impact of the U.S. defoliation program in Vietnam, that nation has reported that some 400,000 people were killed or maimed as a result of exposure to herbicides like Agent Orange.
In addition, Vietnam claims half a million children have been born with serious birth defects, while as many 2 million people are suffering from cancer or other illness caused by Agent Orange.
Monsanto has never apologized or publicly acknowledged its responsibility in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese. Monsanto has claimed that it bears no direct responsibility and there has never offered to pay any compensation to the victims or their families.
The same Monsanto that constantly tries to remind everyone how it "cares" about human life and the environment, and how "safe" its genetically modified food is, so safe it doesn't allow independent scientists to examine it.
Bayer pharmaceuticals is famous for the invention of aspirin. What most people don't know is that during WW2, the Bayer company ,as part of IG Farben, manufactured Zyklon B, a chemical used in the gas chambers of Auschwitz and other extermination camps.
Following the Nazi takeover of Germany, IG Farben became involved in numerous war crimes during World War II. Most notoriously, the firm's pro-Nazi leadership openly and knowingly collaborated with the Nazi government to produce the large quantities of Zyklon B necessary to gas to death millions of Jews and other "undesirables" at various extermination camps during the Holocaust.
As documents show, IG Farben was intimately involved with the human experimental atrocities committed by Mengele at Auschwitz.
IG Farben, as well as exploiting slave labor for its oil and rubber production, also performed drug experiments on inmates.
Tens of thousands of prisoners would ultimately die because of brutal work conditions and the savagery of the guards.
Several of the firm’s officials would be convicted of “plunder,” “spoliation of property,” “imposing slave labor,” and “inhumane treatment” of civilians and POWs after the war.
The company itself came under Allied control after the war ended. The original goal was to dismantle its industries, which also included the manufacture of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, so as to prevent it from ever posing a threat “to Germany’s neighbors or to world peace.”
But as time passed, the resolve weakened, and the Western powers broke the company up into three separate divisions: Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF.
Bayer has never apologized or publicly acknowledged its responsibility in the murder of over one million Jews and other nationalities. Bayer has claimed that it bears no direct responsibility and there has never offered to pay any compensation to the victims or their families.
In conclusion, even though the people who work in those companies today are not the same people who were responsible for those inhumane crimes and atrocities, the thought of the merger of these two huge corporations who both share a horrendous past, and who to this day refuse to acknowledge or even apologize for it, sends a shiver down the spine of anyone who knows anything about history.