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.
- 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  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.
 “Our Pledge” – Transparency: https://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/Pages/monsanto-pledge.aspx