Is Gigantic GMO Firm Monsanto Trying to Dodge U.S. Taxes?

'Public inspection' of the Monsanto facility at Enkhuizen, Netherlands.(Image: Luther Blisset/Wikimedia)
'Public inspection' of the Monsanto facility at Enkhuizen, Netherlands.(Image: Luther Blisset/Wikimedia)

Monsanto, one of the world’s largest agrochemical and seed giants, is planning a move to the U.K. It hopes to merge with Swiss rival Syngenta and take advantage of Britain’s lower Corporation tax rate. Critics call this most resent move by Monsanto “a scheme to avoid U.S. taxes.”

The U.S. firm is suggesting a so-called “corporate inversion,” also known as “tax inversion,” which would mean setting up a new company registered in the U.K.

Monsanto is known worldwide for it’s genetically modified (GM) agricultural foods and seeds.

Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant wrote: “A new parent company, domiciled in the U.K., would demonstrate that our merger will create a new global enterprise […] provide additional synergies. We would also propose a new name for the combined company […],” said The Guardian.

However, Syngenta rejected Monsanto’s $45 billion revised bid earlier this week. The Swiss firm said the offer included “the same inadequate price, same inadequate regulatory undertaking to close, same regulatory risks.”

In the past, Monsanto came under scrutiny in Europe after eight national governments in the European Union banned Monsanto’s MON810 maize and other forms of GMO cultivation in their counties. According to other media who quoted Koen Rovers of Alter-E.U, Monsanto wields its E.U. power from an office in Brussels, where it tries to influence public decision-making processes to increase company profits.


Stepped-over MON810 GMO Maize. (Image: Hanno Boeck/Wikimedia)

Monsanto also came under fire this week in the United States from U.S. Senator Dick Durban, who accused the GMO giant of attempting tax avoidance.

“It’s clear that Monsanto—a company that has prospered and in large part due to US taxpayer-funded programs and services—intends to reincorporate overseas […] in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes.”

A large sum of U.S. public money will be lost through Monsanto’s ‘tax inversion.’

”Hundreds of millions of dollars that could be invested in the infrastructure, education, and research […] will be lost if Monsanto is allowed to go through with this corporate inversion scheme.”

Monsanto executives will have another meeting with Syngenta’s investors and its shareholders in Europe this week, in an attempt to gain support for another merger bid.

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