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Socially Responsible Investor Demands Monsanto Company Allow Cameras Inside Annual Shareholder Meeting

 Socially Responsible Investor Demands Monsanto Company Allow Cameras Inside
                          Annual Shareholder Meeting

PR Newswire

CREVE COEUR, Mo., Dec. 17, 2012

GMO Food Protests Outside Monsanto 2013 Annual Shareholder Meeting

CREVE COEUR, Mo., Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Occupy-Monsanto.com
-- On Thursday, January 31, 2013, the Monsanto Company officers and
shareholders will vote on a shareholder proposal to create a study of
"material financial risks or operational impacts" associated with its chemical
products and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, the public does
not currently have the right to witness what will be the only democratic vote
of accountability on Monsanto's leadership because the company bans cameras
inside their Annual Shareholder Meeting.

"Monsanto pledges transparency, but provides very little," says Adam Eidinger,
an organic food activist and Monsanto shareholder who organized a march from
NY to Washington DC on behalf of honest food labeling in 2011. For the second
year in a row, Eidinger will present a shareholder resolution on behalf of
Napa, California-based Harrington Investments (HII) with help from the
Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA).

Monsanto Company's website has a page titled "Our Pledge" which includes a
section that says: "Transparency: We will ensure that information is
available, accessible, and understandable." (
http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/monsanto-pledge.aspx )

"By keeping cameras out of their Annual Shareholder Meeting, Monsanto is not
fulfilling its pledge to shareholders who are unable to attend, the majority
of Americans who are eating the products created by Monsanto Company's
patented technology, farmers who are keen to know about future plans of their
seed & herbicide provider, and members of the media who report on the
company," says Eidinger.

Last year Eidinger was forced to sneak an undercover camera into the Annual
Shareholder Meeting because safe food activists were concerned about Monsanto
Company's lack of transparency. The grainy footage has been viewed more than
50,000 times (see here) "I shouldn't be required to break the rules in order
to uphold Monsanto Company's pledge of transparency," says Eidinger.

The shareholder proposal Eidinger will speak for represents one of the
strongest signals to date that the Monsanto Company is facing growing
consumer, legal, and regulatory uncertainties. From spending over 8 million
dollars to prevent labeling of genetically engineered foods in California to
the upcoming Supreme Court case Bowman v. Monsanto, the Company must become
more transparent and that begins with being transparent with its
shareholders.

PROTESTS PLANNED

The Annual Shareholder Meeting itself is only open to shareholders but
concerned citizens will be demonstrating outside the northeast entrance to
Monsanto Company's Creve Coeur campus beginning at 12:00 noon. The Monsanto
Company headquarters is located at 800 North Lindberg Boulevard in St. Louis,
MO.

"When people say 'evil corporation,' it's Monsanto that first comes to mind
for many activists," says Gene Crimes, an anonymous activist with Occupy
Monsanto. "Until Monsanto changes its strong-armed tactics, they should
expect more protests in the future." In 2012 there were over 100
demonstrations against the Monsanto Company around the world, including
protests on five different Hawaiian islands, three at Monsanto Company's
headquarters in Creve Coeur, Missouri along with 60 others across the US. In
Argentina, Japan, Poland, Canada, Peru, Philippines, Spain, and numerous
others countries people protested at Monsanto Company offices on September 17,
2012. Seven people are currently facing criminal charges from blockading
Monsanto Company's Oxnard, California facility from shipping GMO seeds to
farmers for 6 hours.

"Last fall Monsanto showed that it can subvert the democratic process by
spending millions of dollars to spread lies," says Gene Crimes. By spending
over 45 million dollars to prevent GMO labeling in California's Proposition
37, Monsanto and other biotechnology & processed food companies outspent their
opposition by a factor of 5 to 1. "If Monsanto is so proud of its products,
why are they spending millions of dollars to keep Americans in the dark about
what they are eating."

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS

Eidinger will be available for interview before and after the Annual
Shareholder Meeting, to which he will drive in a "Label GMO Foods" art car.
Representatives from HII and PANNA will be also available for interview before
and after the Annual Shareholder Meeting. Eidinger's remarks will be available
by request.

In its statement recommending shareholders to vote against the HII resolution,
Monsanto management said that, "Farmers should have the freedom to choose the
production method best suited for their environments, markets and needs,
whether organic, non-GM conventional, or products improved through
biotechnology. All of the agricultural systems can and do work effectively
side by side."

John Harrington, CEO of Harrington Investments questions the veracity of
Monsanto's statement: "While I am heartened by Monsanto's sudden concern for
the freedom of farmers, the unfortunate reality facing American farmers right
now, is that genetic drift from GMO crops is contaminating their conventional
and organic crops. This can be disastrous because many GMO crops cannot be
sold to important markets, such as Europe, China and Japan. The potential
legal implications for Monsanto are staggering. With the rise of Round-Up
resistant 'superweeds' the company is simply telling farmers to spray even
more toxic herbicides including 2,4 D, the main ingredient in Agent Orange.
Many people are struggling to avoid GMO's and chemicals used on them in the
food they eat due to serious health and environmental concerns, yet Americans
have no right to know what we are eating largely due to the close ties
Monsanto has to President Obama's USDA, EPA, and FDA, which have not satisfied
more than 1 million Americans who have signed on to the JustLabelIt.org's
petition to the FDA."

More information at http://Occupy-Monsanto.com .

SOURCE Occupy-Monsanto.com

Contact: Adam Eidinger, +1-202-744-2671, gmo@occupy-monsanto.com
 
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