Monsanto Announces Takeover of Delta & Pine Land and Terminator Seed Technology

News Release
ETC Group
16 August 2006
www.etcgroup.org
www.banterminator.org

In a quest to expand its corporate seed empire - Monsanto, the world's
largest seed enterprise - announced yesterday that it will buy the
world's leading cotton seed company, Mississippi-based (USA) Delta &
Pine Land, for US$1.5 billion. Monsanto and Delta & Pine Land (D&PL)
together account for over 57% of the US cotton seed market. With D&PL
subsidiaries in 13 countries - including major markets such as China,
India, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and Pakistan - the takeover means that
Monsanto will command a dominant position in one of the world's most
important agricultural trade commodities and that millions of cotton
farmers will be under increased pressure to accept genetically
modified (GM) cottonseed.

"This merger," says Ibrahim Coulibaly, President of the National
Coordination of Peasants' Organizations of Mali, "guarantees an
intensification of the already immense political pressure on West
African governments to accept genetically modified seeds. Delta & Pine
Land couldn't exercise the kind of clout Monsanto can. This deal is a
major threat to our farmers and food sovereignty. African farmers'
groups and civil society organizations need international support to
resist the pressure of multinational corporations and USAID on African
governments to adopt GMOs."

Sterile Cotton Bolls: Delta & Pine Land is notorious for its early
development, with the US Department of Agriculture, of Terminator
technology - plants that are genetically modified to produce sterile
seeds at harvest. Despite massive opposition from farmers, civil
society and many governments, Delta & Pine Land has repeatedly vowed
to commercialize the technology and declared that their primary market
would be in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The company claims that it
is already growing genetically modified cotton and tobacco containing
Terminator genes in greenhouses.

Over 500 organizations worldwide have called for a global ban on
Terminator Technology, asserting that sterile seeds will destroy the
livelihoods and cultures of the 1.4 billion people who depend on
farm-saved seed. In March 2006, governments at the biennial meeting of
the UN Convention on Biological Diversity unanimously re-affirmed and
strengthened the international moratorium on field testing and
commercialization of Terminator seeds.
http://www.etcgroup.org/article.asp?newsid=556

"With the takeover of Delta & Pine Land, Monsanto acquires a research
program devoted to commercializing Terminator seeds, as well as US,
European and Canadian patents on genetic seed sterilization
technology," said Hope Shand of ETC Group. "We demand that Monsanto
make a public commitment to shut down the Terminator research program
it will acquire from D&PL and abandon its Terminator patents once and
for all," said Shand.

Monsanto's Boll Weasel: Monsanto's 1998 bid to buy Delta & Pine Land
for $1.8 billion collapsed in 1999 amid global controversy over
Terminator technology. In response to massive opposition, Monsanto's
former CEO, Robert Shapiro, publicly pledged in 1999 that his company
would not commercialize sterile-seed technology. But the company's
revised 2005 pledge states that the company will not "commercialise
sterile-seed technologies in food crops" - suggesting that it would
use Terminator seeds in non-food crops (e.g. cotton?) and does not
rule out other uses of Terminator in the future.

In an email communication to ETC Group today, Monsanto spokesperson,
Lori Fisher wrote that Monsanto does not intend to use technologies
that render seeds sterile, and stands by its 2005 pledge "not to
commercialize sterile-seed technologies in food crops." [available
here: http://www.monsanto.com/monsanto/content/media/pubs/2005/focus_impacts.pdf]
The pledge also states that "Monsanto people constantly reevaluate
this stance as technology develops."

ETC Group notes that the company's pledge leaves the door open and
does not rule out future development of the technology. (1) Monsanto's
pledge allows the company to change its position on any aspect of its
pledge at any time. Cotton is one of the world's most lucrative
non-food commercial crops. Will it become Monsanto's first target crop
for Terminator genes?

Feeding Frenzy: Monsanto's acquisition of D&PL is just the latest in a
decade-long series of seed company takeovers. Monsanto became the
world's largest vegetable seed company with its January 2005 takeover
of Seminis. In April 2005 Monsanto acquired Emergent Genetics
(including Stoneville) - the 3rd largest US cotton seed company. Over
the past year Monsanto took control of more than a dozen US-based corn
and soybean seed companies. Just three months ago, D&PL acquired
Syngenta's global cotton seed business - including operations in
India, Brazil, Europe and some cotton germplasm in the US.

Global Cotton King: With the takeover of Delta & Pine Land, Monsanto
aims to insert biotech traits into cotton germplasm worldwide. Despite
growing resistance in West Africa, D&PL initiated tests on GM cotton
in Burkina Faso, Mali and Egypt in 2004. (2) Monsanto and D&PL already
control an estimated one-third of the Indian hybrid cotton seed
market. According to Monsanto, D&PL now controls one-third of the
Brazilian cotton seed market, and almost one-fourth of the Australian
market.

Monsanto's bid for D&PL comes on the heels of the collapse of the Doha
Round in Geneva on July 24. West African cotton exporting states, in
particular, were banking on the World Trade Organization (WTO)
negotiations to rollback cotton subsidies in the USA and on increased
market access in the EU for finished cotton goods. With the WTO
failure, the $4 billion US cotton subsidy remains in place and
prospects for African and Asian cotton growers look dim. This is bad
news for D&PL which lacks Monsanto's deep pockets and long-term market
opportunities. Monsanto is buying its major cotton competitor for $1.5
billion - one third less than it offered in 1998(3) before the WTO
trade talks began. From Monsanto's perspective, it's inevitable that
the US will have to drop its subsidy to large US cotton operations
and, when it does, the cotton seed business in the US will all but
disappear with the market shifting to Africa and Asia. Monsanto can
afford to wait - as long as it is the cotton seed provider and all the
seed available uses the company's genetically modified traits.

Monopoly challenge: With control of almost 60% of the US cotton seed
market after the buyout, Monsanto anticipates anti-trust scrutiny in
the US, and the company's president says it will divest its US cotton
seed company Stoneville, which controls about 14% of the US market.
"If the EU is serious about helping Africa's cotton farmers and
improving Africa's cotton export earnings, it can begin by rejecting
the Monsanto/D&PL merger in Brussels as an attack on anti-competition
policy," said Pat Mooney of ETC Group. "The merger of these two US
companies will make the removal of cotton subsidies much more
difficult and will keep cotton and cotton clothing prices unnaturally
high for European consumers. A barrier thrown up in Brussels will even
be seen inside the Beltway in Washington, DC. The boll is in the EU's
court!" said Mooney.

US Cotton Seed Market -- % Market Share 2005

Delta & Pine Land (to be acquired by Monsanto) 43.37
Stoneville (Monsanto) 13.93
Bayer Cropscience 25.32
Phytogen (Dow AgroSciences) 2.64
Others 14.74

Source: USDA; figures are for upland cotton.

If the buyout is approved, Monsanto's Stoneville and Delta & Pine Land
will together account for more than 57% of the total US cotton market.
According to the USDA 83% of the cotton acreage planted in the US in
2005 was transgenic.

Delta & Pine Land has subsidiaries in 13 countries, including
companies in North, South and Central America, Europe, China, South
Africa, Turkey and India.

Delta & Pine Land Subsidiaries (as of November 2005)
ATLED
D&M INTERNATIONAL, LLC
D&M PARTNERS
D&PL ARGENTINA, INC.
D&PL CHINA, INC.
D&PL CHINA PTE, LTD.
D&PL INVESTING CORP.
D&PL INVESTMENTS, INC.
DELTAPINE PARAGUAY, INC.
D&PL SOUTH AFRICA, INC.
D&PL INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY CORP.
DELTA PINE DE MEXICO S. DE R.L. DE C.V.
DELTAPINE AUSTRALIA PTY. LIMITED
GREENFIELD SEED COMPANY, LLC
HEBEI JI DAI COTTONSEED TECHNOLOGY COMPANY, LTD. (CHINA)
PAYMASTER TECHNOLOGY CORP.
TURK DELTAPINE, INC. (TURKEY)
D&PL SEMILLAS LTDA. (COSTA RICA)
CDM MANDIYU S.R.L. (ARGENTINA)
DELTA AND PINE LAND HELLAS MONOPROSOPI, E.P.E. (GREECE)
D&PL BRASIL, LTDA.
ANHUI AN DAI COTTONSEED TECHNOLOGY COMPANY, LTD. (CHINA)
D&PL TECHNOLOGY HOLDING COMPANY LLC.
D&M BRASIL ALGODAO, LTDA
MDM SEMENTES DE ALGODAO LTDA (BRAZIL)
SURE GROW, LLC
D&PL INDIA, LLC
DELTAPINE INDIA SEED PRIVATE LTD. (INDIA)
D&PL MAURITIUS LIMITED

Source: Delta & Pine Land, SEC Filing 10-K, November 14, 2005

For more information, please contact:

Hope Shand, ETC Group (USA) email: hope@etcgroup.org tel: +1 919 960-5767
Pat Mooney, ETC Group (Canada) email: mooney@etcgroup.org tel: +1 613 241-2267
Kathy Jo Wetter, ETC Group (USA) email: kjo@etcgroup.org tel: +1 919 960-5223
Silvia Ribeiro, ETC Group (Mexico) email: silvia@etcgroup.org tel: +52
5555 6326 64
Jim Thomas, ETC Group (Canada) email: jim@etcgroup.org

Ibrahim Coulibaly
Président de la coordination nationale des organisations paysannes du MALI
CNOP /MALI
tel: +223-228-6781
mobile: +223-676-1126
email: i_ibracoul@yahoo.fr

Notes:

1 In February 2006 the international Ban Terminator Campaign
(www.banterminator.org) revealed that Monsanto's revised pledge no
longer rejected commercialization of Terminator technology in all food
crops. [see correspondence here:
http://www.etcgroup.org/article.asp?newsid=546] In response,
Monsanto's Director of Public Policy, Diane Herndon, wrote: "We
apologize for any confusion caused by the added language "in food
crops" that appeared in the discussion of Genetic Use Restriction
Technologies (GURTs) in our last Pledge Report. We stand by our
commitment to not use genetic engineering methods that result in
sterile seeds. Period."
Monsanto's Herndon also wrote: "we are in the process of reworking our
Web site and will be able to remove the confusing language as part of
the redesign." But a half-year later, Monsanto has not corrected or
removed the confusing language.
2 Monsanto, "Delta and Pine Land Acquisition: Investor Conference
Call," August 15, 2006. www.monsanto.com
3 Accounting for inflation, Monsanto's 1998 offer of $1.8 billion
converts to $2.25 billion in 2006. Monsanto's current offer of $1.5
billion for DPL is, therefore, in 2006 terms, $750 million below its
1998 offer. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics: www.BLS.GO/CPI .)