Bayer & Monsanto - Keep Your Fingers Off Our food!

Bayer & Monsanto - Keep Your Fingers Off Our Food!

High-level panel discussion with international guests, 27 April, University of Cologne

On the evening before BAYER’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting, 28 April in Bonn, a panel discussion on the planned takeover of Monsanto by the BAYER Group will take place in the tradition of an American Townhall Meeting. The event, in English, will happen on 27 April at 7.30 pm in the Aula 1 of the University of Albertus-Magnus-Platz, Cologne, Germany. Together with its allies, IFOAM - Organics International, Navdanya Foundation and Coordination against BAYER Dangers, ASTA of the University of Cologne, the event organizers, has succeeded in bringing together competent and prominent guests for this discussion.

The panel is made up of international experts reflecting the catastrophic effects the planned takeover would have all over the world.

Miguel Lovera will share his opinion of how this could affect Latin America. The agricultural scientist is a specialist in biodiversity and plant propagation and was responsible for the Office of Plant Protection and Seed in the government of the former President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, who was originally invited for the event. He was also one of the most important witnesses at last year's Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague.

Nnimmo Bassey is traveling from Nigeria to join us. He was awarded the Right to Livelihood Award, the alternative Nobel Peace Prize, and was President of Friends of the Earth for many years. He has been fighting for a GMO free world and was an ambassador of the Monsanto Tribunal. He has a degree in architecture and is also a well-known poet.

Andre Leu, President of IFOAM – Organics International, will also be on the panel. Pioneer and organic farmer from Australia, he has been fighting against monopolist chemical and agro-companies for a number of years. He believes that monopolistic structures in the agricultural industry put huge pressure on all those dependent on seed, fertilizer and plant protection products; consumers, food processors and, above all, farmers in the north and south. Such structures make it difficult to tackle poverty, hunger, climate change, and the loss of biodiversity.

The contribution from Johannes Remmel (The Greens), the Agriculture and Environment Minister from North Rhine-Westphalia, is bound to garner interest. As a politician committed to a paradigm shift in agricultural policy and the greening of agriculture, he will, amongst others, politically evaluate the planned acquisition of Monsanto by a global corporation in "his" state.

In addition, Axel Köhler-Schnura, spokesperson for Coordination against BAYER Dangers will report on why and how, for decades, the organization has been tirelessly shedding light on the many corporate crimes committed by BAYER and also on how they have tried to take legal proceedings against the corporation for the ecological and social problems they have caused. He will also make reference to the numerous actions taking place around the time of the shareholders' meeting.

Finally, Marie Bauer, from the Environmental Trade Union in Cologne, will take to the stage as a representative of the youth. She is active against Bayer and Monsanto as one of the main sources of the imminent global environmental disaster. In her contribution she will advocate that both workers’ and environmental movements should stand shoulder to shoulder.

Bernward Geier, Board Member at Navdanya International Foundation and Ambassador of IFOAM – Organics International will moderate the event. He says, "It is an honor and will be a great pleasure to moderate such an exciting podium event. Especially at a time, when this topic is of such great relevance and importance around the world. It is rare that a moderator has the opportunity to be part of an event with such competent, international and well-known guests. He promises, “The participants can expect interesting information and most definitely look forward to a very exciting evening."

This event is supported by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and sponsored by Rapunzel.

Media Information

The press text for the event announcement is also an invitation to the press. We would be delighted to receive your feedback. We can offer those who are interested a time slot for an interview with the panel participants or to record O-tones. We would for ask your feedback by Wednesday, April 25th. For media enquiries, please contact Bernward Geier, b.geier [at], Tel: 02245-618652, Mobile: 0160-97988850 by Wednesday, 25 April.

Pre - protest Panel Discussion 25 April at Bonn University 

A panel discussion at the University of Bonn (lecture theater 17) will take place on Tuesday, April 25, at 7:30 pm, as a prelude to the protests. In addition to the sponsors, Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft, Bonner Jugendbewegung, Mexican group of  Allerweltshauses Cologne, a Bonn Councilman and year-long BAYER shop steward will also attend. We are all moved by the question: What connects our resistance to BAYER and Monsanto?

Background Information


The Bayer shareholder meeting is taking place on 28 April in Bonn, Germany. A number of organizations including IFOAM - Organics International are planning a range of activites the week of the meeting to show their resistance to the merger of Bayer and Monsanto. 

A town hall meeting will be held 27 April at the University in Cologne. Speakers include Andre Leu, President of IFOAM - Organics International and Nnimmo Bassey, Director at Health of  Mother Earth Foundation. This event starts at 7.30pm and willl be held in English. 

You can find more information here



In addition it is planned to hold a demonstration outside the shareholder meeting on 28 Arpil. Meeting time is 7am at Platz der Vereinten Nationen, Bonn and speakers include Andre Leu. You can find more information about the event on Facebook. You can also learn more about events planned to resist the merger here (in German). 

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