MON(STER)SANTO SHAREHOLDERS IN REVOLT?February 10, 2014
While I was surfing around for things and combing through emails of articles all of you had sent me, I ran across this article, dated January 7 this year, and did a double-take. It seems that some Mon(ster)santo shareholders are becoming concerned about the financial risks to their company by its management's continued pressing of GMOs:
When I read this article, I was stunned by the first three paragraphs:
"Harrington Investments, Inc. (HII) has re-filed a shareholder resolution calling for the Monsanto Corporation (MON) to disclose the real financial risks to shareholders and other stakeholders for producing genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) over the past two decades.
“Monsanto increasingly keeps stakeholders in the dark, about the true financial risks of GMOs,” said John Harrington, President/CEO of HII.
“Crop contamination is wreaking havoc on people’s livelihoods, and we’ve seen reports that GMO’s are in 75% of our food supply. The corporation spends an incredible amount of shareholder money to prevent American consumers from knowing the extent to which it controls our national food supply.”
"The resolution specifically asks Monsanto’s Board of Directors to prepare a report assessing the actual and potential financial risks posed by the company’s GMO operations, from the cost of anti-GMO labeling campaigns to the devastating fallout of crop contamination hitting farmers around the world."(emphases added)
One can readily understand why shareholders of that company would be concerned, for there is not only a growing backlash against the perceived inadequacy of the testing of GMOs already brought to market, but also a growing concern that the procedures in place are not trustworthy, given the demonstrable revolving door between the big agribusiness companies like Duponzanto, Mon(ster)santo, and others, and the agencies supposedly erected to regulate consumer products and drugs like the FDA. Recently of course, farmers and consumers received another corporate kick in the gut by the completely unjust decision of the US Supremes,
But such behavior is inevitably only growing the concern and backlash against the whole idea. More and more countries are taking steps either to prohibit certain types of GMO crops, and are challenging the push to make American patent law an international standard in international law. Additionally, I have been predicting that inevitably the BRICS nations or someone else will step in and begin to compete directly with American agribusiness by offering and selling heirloom seeds. My point in maintaining this possibility is that inevitably markets will determine the issue, and if the perception is that the markets are rigged by corporations and their lackeys in government or courts, that perception will only grow.
These market realities and breakdown of confidence is reflected in these statements:
“Add to that the hundreds of millions spent in legal fees chasing after small farmers whose land is unwillingly contaminated with Monsanto products, and the millions farmers are spending to protect themselves, and you have a corporate empire financially committed to denying the reality of what’s happened to our food supply,” Harrington continued.
In the company’s proxy statement opposing the Resolution, Monsanto stated the corporation already complies with laws addressing a corporation’s responsibility to disclose financial risk to shareholders. According to Monsanto, preparing the risk report HII is calling for “would be redundant and provide no meaningful additional information to shareowners.”
Harrington disagrees, noting corporate disclosure documents do not adequately inform shareholders, stock analysts or rating agencies of the numerous risks facing the company.
“I think the end of the GMO-secrecy campaign will be here sooner rather than later,” Harrington said. “We have farmers heading to the Supreme Court taking on Monsanto’s bullying tactics; we have farmers who don’t even plant crops for fear of contamination; and we have farmers who are afraid that in the near future we won’t even have non-GMO seeds to plant.”
"GMO products are currently banned or restricted in over 60 countries. US wheat sales to Japan and Korea were recently rejected after a rogue Monsanto GMO was found growing among non-modified export crops in the US Northwest."
Rest assured, this is not solely Mon(ster)santo's fault; blame could equally be placed at other big agribusiness giants' feet and their GMOs. But Mon(ster)santo has become the poster child, the symbol, not only for GMOS, but for the culture of corrupted "corporate science", mercantilism, and government-corporate crony crapitalism that the whole GMO issue represents. It isn't just GMOs, it's the financial derivatives, too-big-to-fail too-big-to-jail banksters, fraud on a massive scale, whether it be in mortgages or what have you. It's the whole strong-arm tactics of corrupt out of control megacorporations and the super-rich that is at issue.
The issue isn't about whether people should have the right to accumulate wealth or property. They should.
The real question is, how it is done. American agribusiness has exemplified nothing but a kind of mafia-like behavior not only against farmers here and abroad not wanting their "products," but also in its disdain and use of corrupted agencies and branches of government. The GMO issue exemplifies what "the American way" has become: government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. The public good, the individual farmer, be damned.
See you on the flip side.