|Seeds of Change - E-News
Proposition 65 and state rights under attack
As You Sow, one of the leading enforcers of California's Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and
Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, finds itself in the middle of a national battle over the federal government
pre-empting state rights. Proposition 65 has been instrumental in reducing
toxic chemicals and providing informative consumer warnings
in a huge range of products and foods from
to toxic air emissions
as well as fish.
The food industry is now pushing the euphemistically named National Uniformity for Food Act (S.3128), which
purports to bring uniformity between FDA regulations and state laws but is intentionally targeting Proposition 65.
Not only would Proposition 65 be preempted but numerous important food-safety functions at local and state levels
This Act would undermine a huge range of efforts to eliminate carcinogens, such as As You Sow's work on
heavy metals in herbal supplements,
and reduce corporate accountability.
The bill is opposed by many governors,
state attorneys general, including California's Bill Lockyer, and state agricultural and food safety officials as well as many
public health and environmental groups.
Contact your U.S. Senators now and ask them to strongly oppose S. 3128.
Call the Senate switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the offices of your Senators.
Big votes, company agreements highlight AYS shareholder efforts
As You Sow filed or co-filed 12 shareholder resolutions in 2006, 10 went to a vote and 2 were withdrawn for dialogues.
This year's proxy season resulted in commitments made to As You Sow by Apple Computer to
launch its MacIntosh recycling program.
Dell Computer then responded by improving its program with free recycling of all Dell computers with no purchase requirements.
Coke and Pepsi commitment to work towards setting industry-wide beverage container recovery goals,
and an agreement by Time Warner to develop a code of conduct for its
consumer products supply chain following
a strong 21% vote on our resolution.
We also posted high vote totals for proposals to disclose political contributions at
Clear Channel Communications, Monsanto and Exxon Mobil. Our resolution at Clear Channel received 20.5%, one of the highest vote results of the year on our resolutions.
This steps up pressure on Clear Channel to make public its political contributions, a significant point of concern
since the last presidential election cycle. As You Sow secured greater transparency from Exxon Mobil following an 11%
vote with the company publishing its contributions.
Our resolution at DuPont seeking a report on internal controls dealing with the
adverse impacts of genetically engineered foods
received 7.3%, enough to file the proposal again next year. The vote is an increase from last year's vote of 6.1%.
A question from our colleagues at the meeting led the company to agree to meet to review the risk management process. Dialogue with
Starbucks is showing continued progress on GMOs so no resolution was filed there.
At Wal-Mart we were disappointed to have our resolution on worker intimidation omitted by the
SEC so shareholders were unable to voice their concerns through a vote. We intend to continue to press this
issue which is of significant concern. We co-filed a proposal on sustainability reporting which
received better than 10% keeping this concern before management.
We withdrew our resolution in exchange for agreement from Johnson & Johnson on meeting EU standards on
toxic chemicals in cosmetics and have received assurances of the same from Avon.
For a full list of our resolutions and vote results click here.
Working Asset Customer? Vote As You Sow!
Attention Working Assets Members:
Help fund As You Sow by voting for us on the 2006 Donations Ballot! Go to http://www.WorkingAssets.com/vote.
The more votes you give us, the more money we get. It's that simple.
Team Notes: Michael Passoff at EGA
As You Sow Associate Director Michael Passoff serves on this year's Environmental Grantmaker's Association (EGA) program committee and will facilitate a panel discussion on The 95% Solution - an overview of investment strategies that foundations can utilize to add value to their traditional grantmaking
(see more below).
EGA program: "The 95% Solution"
The Environmental Grantmaker's Association
(EGA) retreat will be held this year on October 7-11, 2006 in Pacific Grove, California.
The program will include a session titled
"The 95% Solution"
on aligning foundation endowments with their mission.
Foundations are required to pay out 5% of their assets annually to support their mission. But how many
consider the potential embedded in the remaining 95% to promote this same mission? This session will
provide an overview of investment strategies that foundations can utilize to add value to their traditional
grantmaking. Examples will cover shareholder activism - proxy voting, filing resolutions and company dialogues;
socially responsible investing and screening portfolios; and program related investment including community
investing and micro lending.
Environmental Enforcement Grantmaking Update
As You Sow's Enforcement Program includes grant making to community groups out of the litigation generated funds
secured through its toxics reduction program. This year As You Sow made grants to groups such as
BayKeeper for San Francisco Bay and Delta toxics reduction work,
Environmental Working Group for perchlorate testing and
Earth Island Institute for its Brower Youth Awards.
We have added new groups to our roster with
Windows on our Waters (Education of youth-pollution & runoff),
CalCOSH (Closing the Gap Project),
Amazon Watch (toxics campaigns against California based corporations).
As You Sow has granted out over $1.8 million since 1998 to over 80 different organizations!