Monsanto shareholders say no to GM labelling
Vote goes against GMO transparency at company's annual meeting
Disappointingly, shareholders at Monsanto’s annual meeting on Tuesday 28th January voted against proposals to label and assess the costs of GMOs. Monsanto’s board opposed both measures, which came from two separate shareholders, SumofUs and FoodDemocracy, with fewer than 100 shares each.
The decisions weren’t unanimous with the resolution which sought a report on the cost of GMO contamination affecting non-GMO and organic crops, receiving 6.51 percent of shareholder votes, while another asking the company to work with regulators on GMO labelling guidelines received 4.16 percent of the vote.
Monsanto executives said that the company already has stewardship practices that works to protect the co-existence of non-GMO crops with GMOs.
The company’s chief technology officer, Robert Fraley, explained the company’s position on labelling - basically, that it should be voluntary, not required by law: “We’re absolutely supportive of voluntary labeling,” Fraley said, praising the Cheerios change as an example. “That’s great. That’s the market at work, that’s companies exercising their decision on what will meet customer demand, and that’s exactly the way to do it.”
Meanwhile, companies such as General Mills have taken their own measures—the cereal company announced that Cheerios sold in the USA will now be labelled “not made with genetically modified ingredients.” Cheerios in Europe are already GMO-free.
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