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Bayer: Won't Use Monsanto Buy to Force GM Seeds on Europeans

The CEO of Germany's Bayer AG is promising it won't use its planned acquisition of Monsanto Co. to force genetically modified crops on skeptical Europeans.

Monsanto in September accepted an offer from Bayer to pay $57 billion to its shareholders and assume $9 billion in debt. The combination would create a global agricultural and chemical giant — and bring Bayer together with a leading producer of genetically modified seeds that are engineered to resist drought, among other things, but viewed with deep suspicion in Europe.

Bayer CEO Werner Baumann was quoted Monday as telling German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung: "We don't want to take over Monsanto in order to establish genetically modified plants in Europe." He added that Bayer accepts European resistance "even if we are of a different opinion."

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