Globally, just six corporations—Syngenta International AG, Bayer CropSciences AG, Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, BASF Group, and Monsanto Company—control 75 percent of the global pesticides market. These transnational corporations (TNCs) are also among the top ten seed companies who control 67 percent of the global proprietary seed market, including genetically-engineered (GE) seeds. They rake in billions of dollars in profit every year.
Agrochemical corporations in their reckless pursuit of profit have inflicted severe harm to people and the planet. The harm from the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of hazardous pesticides is aggravated by the spread of single crops, also called monocultures, and destruction of agricultural biodiversity, the introduction and expansion of genetically engineered crops, seed monopoly and patenting of GE seed varieties. The actions of the agrochemical companies have severely eroded plant diversity, traditional farmer knowledge, farmers’ food security and livelihoods. By doing so, they have disempowered farmers, especially women farmers, who have domesticated seeds, developed plant diversity, and provided food security over thousands of years.
These handful of TNCs have been allowed to grow in wealth and influence, despite their notorious record of poisoning human health and the environment and grossly violating social, economic, cultural and political rights. Corporations set the global rules, with governments and public research centres following their lead.