PM Theresa May is married to capital – literally. Her husband Philip is a ‘relationships manager’ working for Capital Group, a global financial services company.
With $1.39 trillion in assets under management, Capital ranks among the world’s oldest and largest investment management organisations.
Measure that against the UK’s $2.9 trillion GDP for 2016 and you can see that Capital is a pretty big and influential player.
Earlier this year Capital Research Global Investors, a subsidiary of the group, sold off 78% of the shares it held in Monsanto. It’s a sign of the changes under way in the global food industry.
Six global corporations who control a huge proportion of what we eat are merging into three. Monsanto is being bought up by Bayer. Dupont and Dow Chemical are merging, and the China National Chemical Corporation is buying Swiss chemical and seeds company Syngenta.
Monsanto is the detested purveyor of glyphosate and patented genetically engineered seed. Bayer’s neonicotinoids have been the subject of a ban in the European Union due to their killer impact on the bee population. The corporate lobby’s big guns are firing at the EU and elsewhere trying to get the ban reversed.
The Centre for Research on Globalisation warns that:
agribusiness corporations like Bayer and Monsanto continue to promote an industrial model of agriculture that is destroying soils, water supplies, rural communities and biodiversity, and thereby slowly turning the Earth into a desert. Monsanto and Bayer are two of the most influential companies in this industry and the negative consequences of their activities are felt throughout the globe.
A merger between these two agribusiness giants would be catastrophic for people and planet. It would put more pesticides in our food and water, increase the amount of genetically-modified produce on our plates and endanger public health.
In addition, a merger of Bayer and Monsanto would increase the already massive corporate control over our food and farming systems and crush small-scale and independent farmers.
What’s driving the mergers? The food sector is in trouble. Sales are not just slowing, they’re in decline.
So the big players are obliged to become bigger.
The big institutional investors like Capital, who are the shareholders, must have their dividends. Never mind the negative impact on the quality of the food, on small farmers, on health or on the Earth.
This all adds urgency to the global March Against Monsanto #marchMay20 this weekend.
But with the present PM married to capital, you know what to expect if the Tories win the election.