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Results of the Shareholder Resolution Vote
|| 1/28/2014 || 6:26 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Item 5.07
Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders.
 
At Monsanto Company’s 2014 Annual Meeting on January 28, 2014, of the 524,909,387 shares outstanding and entitled to vote, 453,690,682 shares were represented, constituting an 86.43% quorum.  Each matter was determined by a majority of votes cast.
 
The final results for each of the matters submitted to a vote of shareowners at the Annual Meeting are as follows:
 
Item No. 1:
ELECTION OF DIRECTORS
 
All of the board’s nominees for director were elected to serve until the Company’s 2015 Annual Meeting or until their respective successors are elected and qualified, by the votes set forth in the table below:
 
 
Votes Cast For
Votes Cast Against
   
Nominee
Number
% of Votes Cast
Number
% of Votes Cast
Abstain
Broker Non-Votes
Gregory H. Boyce
408,216,045
97.88%
8,838,965
2.11%
2,482,408
34,153,264
Laura K. Ipsen
412,473,852
98.89%
4,588,762
1.10%
2,474,804
34,153,264
William U. Parfet
409,746,192
98.24%
7,299,267
1.75%
2,491,959
34,153,264
George H. Poste, Ph.D., D.V.M.
412,324,891
98.86%
4,740,463
1.13%
2,472,064
34,153,264
 
 
Item No. 2:
RATIFICATION OF AUDITORS
 
The appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for fiscal 2014 was ratified by the shareowners, by the votes set forth in the table below:
 
Votes Cast For
Votes Cast Against
   
Number
% of Votes Cast
Number
% of Votes Cast
Abstain
Broker Non-Votes
446,705,816
99.01%
4,455,708
0.98%
2,529,158
0
 
 
Item No. 3:
ADVISORY APPROVAL OF EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
 
The shareowners approved, on an advisory (non-binding) basis, executive compensation, by the votes set forth in the table below:
 
Votes Cast For
Votes Cast Against
   
Number
% of Votes Cast
Number
% of Votes Cast
Abstain
Broker Non-Votes
406,416,515
97.74%
9,355,656
2.25%
3,765,247
34,153,264
 

 
Item No. 4:
SHAREOWNER PROPOSAL ONE
 
The shareowners did not approve the shareowner proposal presented at the meeting requesting a report related to labeling of food produced with genetic engineering, as evidenced by the votes set forth in the table below:
 
Votes Cast For
Votes Cast Against
   
Number
% of Votes Cast
Number
% of Votes Cast
Abstain
Broker Non-Votes
15,387,230
4.16%
353,816,720
95.83%
50,333,468
34,153,264
 
 
Item No.5:
SHAREOWNER PROPOSAL TWO
 
The shareowners did not approve the shareowner proposal presented at the meeting requesting a report on certain matters related to GMO products, as evidenced by the votes set forth in the table below:
 
Votes Cast For
Votes Cast Against
   
Number
% of Votes Cast
Number
% of Votes Cast
Abstain
Broker Non-Votes
24,112,427
6.51%
346,147,059
93.48%
49,277,932
34,153,264
 
 
 
 
SIGNATURES
 
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.
 
                   MONSANTO COMPANY
 
 
 
Dated:  January 28, 2014
              By:            /s/Jennifer L. Woods
                   Name:         Jennifer L. Woods
                   Title:           Assistant Secretary
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SOURCE: SEC FORM 8-K



Full Text of Ballot Initiative 71
|| 1/10/2014 || 2:47 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

UPDATE: Ballot Initiative 71 became law at 12:01am, Thursday, February 26, 2015


After months of review and numerous public comments, on January 10, 2014 the DC Cannabis Campaign submitted the ballot initiative to the DC Board of Elections and Ethics. After two hearings in February and March, on April 5, 2014, the DC Board of Elections and Ethics finalized the short title, summary statement, and the legislative text for Ballot Initiative #71:

INITIATIVE MEASURE #71
SHORT TITLE

“Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014”

SUMMARY STATEMENT

This initiative, if passed, will make it lawful under District of Columbia law for a person 21 years of age or older to:

  • possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use;
  • grow no more than six cannabis plants with 3 or fewer being mature, flowering plants, within the person’s principal residence;
  • transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21 years of age or older; and
  • use or sell drug paraphernalia for the use, growing, or processing of marijuana or cannabis.
LEGISLATIVE TEXT

BE IT ENACTED BY THE ELECTORS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, THAT this act may be cited as the “Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014.”

Sec. 2. Section 401 of the District of Columbia Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1981, effective August 5, 1981 (D.C. Law 4-29; D.C. Official Code §48-904.01), is amended as follows:

Subsection (a)(1) is amended to read as follows: “(a)(1) Except as authorized by this chapter or Chapter 16B or Title 7, it is unlawful for any person knowingly or intentionally to manufacture, distribute, or possess, with intent to manufacture or distribute, a controlled substance. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, it shall be lawful, and shall not be an offense under District of Columbia law, for any person twenty-one (21) years of age or older to :

“(A) Possess, use, purchase or transport marijuana weighing two ounces or less;

“(B) Transfer to another person twenty-one years of age or older, without remuneration, marijuana weighing one ounce or less;

“(C) Possess, grow, harvest or process, within the interior of a house or rental unit that constitutes such person’s principal residence, no more than six cannabis plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants, provided that all persons residing within a single house or single rental unit may not possess, grow, harvest or process, in the aggregate, more than twelve cannabis plants, with six or fewer being mature, flowering plants;

“(D) possess within such house or rental unit the marijuana produced by such plants;
Provided that, nothing in this subsection shall make it lawful to sell, offer for sale or make available for sale any marijuana or cannabis plants.”

The following new paragraphs are added to subsection (a) after paragraph (1), and the remaining paragraphs are renumbered accordingly:

“(2) The terms ‘controlled substance’ and ‘controlled substances,’ as used in this Code, shall not include:

“(A) Marijuana that is or was in the personal possession of a person twenty-one years of age or older at any specific time if the total amount of marijuana that is or was in the possession of that person at that time weighs or weighed two ounces or less;

“(B) Cannabis plants that are or were grown, possessed, harvested, or processed by a person twenty one years of age or older within the interior of a house or rental unit that constitutes or at the time constituted, such person’s principal residence, if such person at that time was growing no more than six cannabis plants with three or fewer being mature flowering plants and if all persons residing within that single house or single rental unit at that time did not possess, grow, harvest or process, in the aggregate, more than twelve cannabis plants, with six or fewer being mature, flowering plants; or

“(C) The marijuana produced by the plants which were grown, possessed, harvested or processed by a person who was, pursuant to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, permitted to grow, possess, harvest and process such plants, if such marijuana is or was in the personal possession of that person who is growing or grew such plants, within the house or rental unit in which the plants are or were grown.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, the terms ‘controlled substance’ and ‘controlled substances’ as used in this Code shall include any marijuana or cannabis plant sold or offered for sale or made available for sale.

“(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, no district government agency or office shall limit or refuse to provide any facility service, program or benefit to any person based upon or by reason of conduct that is made lawful by this subsection.

“(4) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require any district government agency or office, or any employer, to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of any such agency, office or employer to establish and enforce policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.

“(5) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to permit driving under the influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by use or ingestion of marijuana or to modify or affect the construction or application of any provision of this Code related to driving under the influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by marijuana.

“(6) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit any person, business, corporation, organization or other entity, or district government agency or office, who or which occupies, owns or controls any real property, from prohibiting or regulating the possession, consumption, use, display, transfer, distribution, sale, transportation or growing of marijuana on or in that property.

“(7) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to make unlawful any conduct permitted by the District of Columbia Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Law 18-210; D.C. Official Code §§7-1671.01 et seq.).”

Sec. 3. Section 4 of the Drug Paraphernalia Act of 1982, effective September 17, 1982 (D.C. Law 4-149; D.C. Official Code §48-1103), is amended as follows:

(a) Subsection (a) is amended to read as follows:

“(a) Except as authorized by Chapter 16B of Title 7, it is unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inhale, ingest, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance; except that it shall be lawful for any person twenty-one years of age or older to use, or possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to possess or use marijuana if such possession or use is lawful under section 48-904.01(a)(1), or to use, or possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia to grow, possess, harvest or process cannabis plants, the growth, possession, harvesting or processing of which is lawful under section 48-904.01(a)(1). Whoever violates this subsection shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 days or fined for not more than $100, or both.”

Subsection (b) is amended to read as follows:

“(b) Except as authorized by Chapter 16B of Title 7, it is unlawful for any person to deliver or sell, possess with intent to deliver or sell, or manufacture with intent to deliver or sell drug paraphernalia, knowingly, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance; except that it shall be lawful for any person to deliver or sell, possess with intent to deliver or sell, or manufacture with intent to deliver or sell, drug paraphernalia under circumstances in which one knows or has reason to know that such drug paraphernalia will be used solely for use of marijuana that is lawful under section 48-904.01(a)(1) or that such drug paraphernalia will be used solely for growing, possession, harvesting, or processing of cannabis plants that is lawful under section 48-904.01(a)(1). Whoever violates this subsection shall be imprisoned for not more than 6 months or fined for not more than $1,000, or both, unless the violation occurs after the person has been convicted in the District of Columbia of a violation of this subchapter, in which case the person shall be imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or fined not more than $5,000, or both.”

Sec. 4. The amounts of the fines set forth in District of Columbia Code sections 22-3571.01 and 48-1103 shall be adjusted through implementing or amending legislation enacted by the Council of the District of Columbia to the extent necessary to ensure that this Act does not negate or limit any act of the Council of the District of Columbia pursuant to D.C. Code §1-204.46.

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect after a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Government Reorganization Act (Home Rule Act), approved December 24, 2971 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code §1-206.02(c)(1)).


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My First Shareholder Resolution
|| 12/9/2013 || 2:57 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

In the summer of 2013 I drafted my first shareholder resolution:


Proxy Item No. 4: Shareowner Proposal One

This proposal was submitted by Adam Eidinger, Washington, D.C. As of July 30, 2013, Mr. Eidinger indicated that he held 75 shares of Monsanto common stock. The proposal has been carefully considered by the board of directors, which has concluded that its adoption would not be in the best interests of the company or its shareowners. For the reasons stated after the proposal, the board recommends a vote “Against” the shareowner proposal.

The proposal and supporting statement are presented as received from the shareowner proponent in accordance with the rules of the SEC, and the board of directors and the company disclaim any responsibility for its content. We will furnish, orally or in writing as requested, the address of the proponent of this shareowner proposal promptly upon written or oral request directed to the company’s Secretary.

Information regarding the inclusion of proposals in Monsanto’s proxy statement can be found on page 82 under Shareowner Proposals for 2015 Annual Meeting.


Shareowner Statement
WHEREAS:

  • Genetic engineering is the direct manipulation of an organism’s genome using biotechnology.
  • For thousands of years, mankind has modified plants through grafting, artificial selection, and without the use of genetic engineering.
  • Transgenic DNA produced through modern genetic engineering is not found in natural foods and was not in the food supply of previous generations of mankind.
  • Americans have the right to know what they are eating.
  • U.S. law does not require the labeling of patented biotechnology in foods sold in grocery stores.
  • Company stands by its products and believes they are safe.
  • Due to the uncertainty regarding the potential negative side effects of genetic engineering on humans, animals, and the environment, it is imperative that the Company be transparent with customers concerning our labeling efforts.
  • The Company’s Pledge [1] says that we will ensure that “information is available, accessible, and understandable.”
  • Transparency provides consumers the power to decide what kind of foods are grown on farms and served on dinner tables.
  • Over 60 countries around the world have regulations concerning the labeling of foods produced using genetic engineering.
  • In 2002, the Company said “Food Labeling. It has Monsanto’s Full Backing” in regards to the labeling of genetically engineered foods in the United Kingdom.
  • In 2013, there was legislation introduced in over two dozen U.S. state legislatures concerning the labeling of foods created using genetic engineering.
  • The state legislatures of Connecticut and Maine have passed legislation requiring foods sold in those states to be labeled if they were produced using genetic engineering, but only 4 or more other New England states pass similar legislation.
  • The Company spent $8,112,866.55 in 2012 to prevent California residents from voting to increase transparency in their state’s food labels.
  • As of July 2013, the Company has spent $242,156.25 to prevent Washington state residents from voting to increase transparency in their state’s food labels.
  • The money spent by the Company to prevent legislation that discloses whether food produced using genetic engineering dilutes shareowners earnings per share.
  • The Company believes that nationwide regulations are needed to prevent 56 different state & territory food labeling laws.

RESOLVED: The Monsanto Board shall prepare a report, at reasonable expense and omitting proprietary information, assessing any material financial risks or operational potential impacts on the Company in order to:

  • Work with the FDA to develop food labeling guidelines for American consumers that discloses whether genetic engineering was used to produce the food;
  • Work with the FDA to develop standard threshold of 0.9% or higher for foods created with genetic engineering
  • Analyze the inclusion of U.S. patent numbers on American food labels where patented biotechnology was used to produce the food;

The report shall be available by July 1, 2014 and be posted online on our Company’s website. In order to ensure that our Company upholds its pledge of transparency, we urge a vote FOR this resolution.
[1] “Our Pledge” – Transparency: http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/monsanto-pledge.aspx



SOURCE: Page 76, Monsanto Company Proxy Statement, Securities and Exchange Commission



Overdubbed in Turkish on Voice of America
|| 10/17/2013 || 2:39 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

My August interview with Steve Baragona at Voice of America was published in Turkey today.

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Are We Eating Fishy Food? on Voice of America
|| 8/19/2013 || 2:45 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I was on Voice of America talking about the Are We Eating Fishy Food Campaign.

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E&E News: ‘Fishy food’ cars attract stares, promote GMO labeling
|| 8/1/2013 || 2:07 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

‘Fishy food’ cars attract stares, promote GMO labeling

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporterPhoto by Amanda Peterka
Greenwire: Thursday, August 1, 2013

Nikolas Schiller is used to receiving odd looks as he drives through the streets of Washington, D.C.

In fact, he can’t commute to and from work without pedestrians whipping out their smartphones to take pictures, drivers leaning out of their windows at traffic lights to ogle and children’s eyes opening wide.

That’s because a huge, brightly colored sculpture fusing a golden delicious apple and a goldfish with eyes is bolted to the top of his used black Ford Escort — which itself has bright pink stripes down its side.

“It’s been an interesting experience,” said Schiller, a 32-year-old St. Louis native sporting a ponytail, T-shirt and cutoff jeans. “I have a lot of fun driving it around. It brings a lot of joy. I see people’s faces smile, light up, point, kids laugh, giggle, people take photos — it’s not like a normal car.”

Nicknamed “Goldie,” it is one of five “fishy food” cars driving around Washington in recent weeks to promote the labeling of genetically modified food. Others carry sculptures of a corn cob, soybean, sugar beet and tomato.

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Washington Post: Mobile protest art draws gawkers in D.C.
|| 6/12/2013 || 2:36 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post

Mobile protest art draws gawkers in D.C.

By Robert Samuels June 12, 2013

What is that thing?

Parked near the U Street Metro station is a junky Ford Escort with a fiberglass whatchamacallit on top. The red structure is shaped like an apple, except for the fins jutting from its sides. It has googly eyes, a goofy smile and a face more Muppet than man.

For weeks, it has befuddled neighbors. No one knows who owns it. No one knows what it means. And yet, it’s been spotted throughout Northwest. It has been parked at the new Costco. It has made weekend revelers in Adams Morgan question their sobriety.

“I’ve been trying to figure it out for days,’’ said a man walking near the 1800 block of Vermont Avenue. Then he sighted a second structure, this one atop a Volvo. Same googly eyes, but shaped like a green bean — with fins.

A breakthrough came Tuesday morning when 32-year-old Rica Madrid was seen getting into the car with the finned green thing. Its name is “Soyna,” modeled after a soybean, Madrid said. She pointed to the apple atop the Escort: “That is Goldie.’’

Madrid and her co-workers at Mintwood Media Collective (“Communication Strategies for Social Change”) helped create the two structures to convey the message that food sprayed with toxic chemicals is, in a word, “fishy.” Hence, the fins.

The two vehicles will be part of a caravan of activists that will depart in August on a coast-to-coast trip to Seattle, making stops along the way to lobby for legislation to label genetically modified food.

Right now, the connection between the cartoonish cartop produce and the cause is a little confusing. Mock labels will be added to explain it all, Madrid admits.

Meanwhile, 300-pound structures can’t fit inside rowhouses, so Madrid and her colleagues mounted them on the cars early.

These are the toils of creating protest art. It’s hardly an unusual activity in Washington, a magnet for protesters of all sorts. But it’s jarring to see the art without the context, as Madrid and her colleagues use the cars for routine daily errands — going to work, picking people up from the airport and bulk-buying groceries.

Nikolas Schiller, 32, who drives Goldie the Apple, doesn’t mind the baffled stares. No one fully understands what’s going in their food anymore either, he says.

“That [confusion] is kind of what we’re going for,” he said.

The kids smile when they see Goldie the Apple, because Goldie the Apple is smiling at them. It’s not unusual for someone to come up to Schiller or Madrid during lunchtime, asking whether the cars are new food trucks.

As Madrid climbed into the Volvo to head to work from Shaw, a neighbor walking with her 3-year-old approached:

“What is this all about?” Sandrea Ballestero asked. “We never see you!”

“We are protesting GMOs,” she said, using the acronym for genetically modified organisms.

“Do you have a Web site?”

They do, but it’s not ready yet.

Madrid drove past the suit-and-tie set downtown, some of whom, caught up in their smartphones, paid the car no mind. A man in a blue oxford shirt and khakis pulled out his smartphone for a quick pic. A window-washer scaling the low floors of a building saw the large soybean in the reflection of the windows and cheered. A baby in a stroller near Farragut Square looked into those googly eyes and started to bawl.

Occasionally, someone will ask what she’s doing, and she’ll tell them about genetically modified food. Sometimes the person will start sharing what he or she knows about the history of hybridization or genetic engineering or selective breeding — pretty sophisticated stuff that reminds Madrid that driving the vehicle has a serious purpose.

“Some people are really knowledgeable about the subject,’’ Madrid said. “You just have to be ready for people to debate you. I mean, this is Washington.”


This article was published on the front page of the Metro Section on June 13, 2013 and obtained online from Washington Post. The article is not in the public domain but is being republished here under the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law in order to document my advocacy for honest food labeling.



The Right2Know March for GMO Labeling
|| 10/15/2012 || 2:09 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

From October 1 to October 16 2011, I worked on the Right2Know March. My duty was to oversee the movement of all belongings of the 30-50 marchers during the 300 mile march. This entailed driving a rented box truck about 20 miles each day and helping setup the day’s camp. We walked through New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, DC. On my birthday, which took place during the march, I “took the day off” and marched with everyone from an organic farm in Rising Sun, Maryland across the Susquehanna River to Camp Ramblewood in Darlington, Maryland. It was quite an amazing experience to work with such a diverse array of talented and passionate individuals.

The video above was published on the one year anniversary of the Right2Know March. It was produced by Rapunzel, one of the many sponsors of the march and features interviews with marchers. The video below was filmed, produced, and published during the first few days of the march in New York City and New Jersey.



DC Colonist Cartoon: “Court Declares State Voters Tax Exempt in D.C.” – Washington Evening Star, March 13, 1940
|| 8/10/2011 || 2:07 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

DC Colonist Cartoon published on March 13, 1940 in the Washington Evening Star

Source: Page 65 of “Our National Capital and its un-Americanized Americans” by Theodore Noyes



Text of the Department of Justice’s “Cole Memo” – June 29, 2011
|| 7/31/2011 || 1:59 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Following up on the Ogden Memo, I decided to post the “Cole Memo” below:


MEMORANDUM FOR UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS

FROM: James M. Cole
Deputy Attorney General

SUBJECT: Guidance Regarding the Ogden Memo in Jurisdictions
Seeking to Authorize Marijuana for Medical Use

Over the last several months some of you have requested the Department’s assistance in responding to inquiries from State and local governments seeking guidance about the Department’s position on enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in jurisdictions that have under consideration, or have implemented, legislation that would sanction and regulate the commercial cultivation and distribution ofmarijuana purportedly for medical use. Some of these jurisdictions have considered approving the cultivation of large quantities of marijuana, or broadening the regulation and taxation of the substance. You may have seen letters responding to these inquiries by several United States Attorneys. Those letters are entirely consistent with the October 2009 memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden to federal prosecutors in States that have enacted laws authorizing the medical use of marijuana (the “Ogden Memo“).

The Department ofJustice is committed to the enforcement ofthe Controlled Substances Act in all States. Congress has determined that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime that provides a significant source of revenue to large scale criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels. The Ogden Memorandum provides guidance to you in deploying your resources to enforce the CSA as part of the exercise of the broad discretion you are given to address federal criminal matters within your districts.

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  • thank you,
    come again!