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As You Sow Planting Seeds For Social Change
 

DuPont

Chemical giant DuPont is a major life science company involved in the production of genetically engineered seeds and also owns Pioneer Hi-Bred, producer of GE Liberty Link corn.

In 2013, As You Sow co-filed a shareholder resolution asking the company to be more transparent with shareholders about its internal controls associated with genetically engineered organisms. Investors holding $1.7 billion of DuPont shares supported the resolution. Along with our co-filers, we will continue to engage with the company on its GMO policies and their impact on share value.

As You Sow began raising GMO-related concerns with DuPont in 2000, joined by members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and Christian Brothers Investment Services. This coalition filed resolutions in 2000, 2002, and 2005-10, asking the company "to adopt a policy of not marketing or distributing GE agricultural products unless long-term safety testing has shown that they are not harmful to humans, animals and the environment."

These resolutions were withdrawn in exchange for an ongoing dialogue with the company. This dialogue has covered a variety of topics such as developing a code of conduct, safety testing requirements, the Biodiversity Convention, intellectual property rights vs. protection of rights of the commons, obligation of transparency of information, just compensation and protection for local agriculture, and industry leadership.

The company responded to shareholder concerns by:

  • Developing "Principles for Biotech"

  • Complying with requests for increased transparency by publicly posting product safety reports on Herculex 1 corn

  • Holding meetings with representatives of grassroots organizations and scientists critical of current practices regarding GE seed

Our 2011 resolution, requesting the company review internal controls related to potential adverse impacts associated with GE organisms, recieved 6% support from investors.

 

 



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