On Tuesday, January 24 at 1:30 PM, Monsanto officers and shareholders will vote on a shareholder proposal to create a study of "material financial risks or operational impacts" associated with its chemical products and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The proposal represents one of the strongest signals to date that the biotech food conglomerate is facing growing consumer, legal, and regulatory uncertainties. As of today, however Monsanto has told John Harrington that they will not recognize his proxy who would speak on behalf of the resolution for only three minutes under normal circumstances.
The meeting itself is only open to shareholders but concerned citizens will be demonstrating outside the northeast entrance to Monsanto's Lindberg campus beginning at 12:00 noon. Monsanto Headquarters is located at 800 North Lindberg Boulevard in St. Louis, MO.
Adam Eidinger, an organic food activist who recently led a walk from NY to Washington DC on behalf of honest food labeling, will present the shareholder resolution on behalf of Napa, California based Harrington Investments (HII) with help from the Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA).
Eidinger will be available for interview before and after the shareholder meeting, which he will drive a "Label GMO" art car to attend. Representatives from HII and PANNA will be also available for interview before and after the shareholder meeting. Eidinger's written testimony is available by request.
In its statement recommending shareholders to vote against the HII resolution, Monsanto management stated that, "Farmers should have the freedom to choose which production method is best suited for their needs, whether organic, non-GM conventional or biotechnology traits. All of these systems can and do work effectively side by side…"
John Harrington, CEO of Harrington Investments questions the veracity of Monsanto's statement: "While I am heartened by Monsanto's sudden concern for the freedom of farmers, the unfortunate reality facing American farmers right now, is that genetic drift from GMO crops is contaminating their conventional and organic crops. This can be disastrous because many GMO crops cannot be sold to important markets, such as Europe, China and Japan. The potential legal implications for Monsanto are staggering."
Eidinger, who organized last October's a 100 person, 313 mile "Right2Know March" from New York City to the White House for federally mandated GMO food labeling says: "With the rise or Round-Up resistant 'superweeds' the company is simply telling farmers to spray even more toxic herbicides including 2,4 D, the main ingredient in Agent Orange. Many people are struggling to avoid GMOs and chemicals used on them in the food they eat due to serious health and environmental concerns yet Americans have no right to know what we are eating largely due to the close ties Monsanto has to President Obama's USDA and FDA which has ignored more than 500,000 Americans who have signed on to the JustLabelIt.org petition to the FDA."
More information about the protest may be found at http://www.facebook.com/events/340545799304131/