This is a Call to Action for a
Non-Hierarchical Occupation of Monsanto Everywhere

Whether you like it or not, chances are Monsanto contaminated the food you ate today with chemicals and unlabeled GMOs. Monsanto controls much of the world's food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide. This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto & it's enablers like the FDA, USDA, EPA, GMA, BIO, and the processed food companies that use Monsanto's products.




Monsanto Company Proxy Item No. 5: Shareowner Proposal

Posted: December 13th, 2012 | Filed under: Research | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
Proxy Item No. 5: Shareowner Proposal – Pages 74-76 of Monsanto Company’s Schedule 14A Form

This proposal was submitted by Harrington Investments, Inc., 1001 2nd Street, Suite 325, Napa, CA 94559, as lead proponent of a filing group. 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 proponents in accordance with the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the board of directors and the company disclaim any responsibility for its content. We will furnish, orally or in writing as requested, the name, address and claimed share ownership position of the proponents 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 77 under Shareowner Proposals for 2014 Annual Meeting.


Shareowner Statement

Whereas:

The labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is an increasing matter of concern among state legislators across the United States;

Whereas:

Vermont, Alaska, Maine and Nebraska have passed laws requiring labeling of GMOs and at least fifteen states have offered legislation that would require similar labeling;

Whereas:

The biological and physical movement of material derived from genetically engineered crops is difficult and sometimes impossible to control or recall;

Whereas:

Many domestic and global food markets demand foods with zero or near-zero levels of material derived from genetically modified organisms;

Whereas:

Genetically modified crops have been found to contaminate conventional (non-GMO) and organic farms, threatening farmers’ livelihoods, and affecting critical food supply, and imposing a significant financial burden on farmers seeking to satisfy markets for GMO-free products;

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 with:

  • Seed contamination, including costs of seed replacement, crop and production losses and clean up, decontamination and continued testing of affected seeds;
  • Ongoing buffer zone control, including production acreage losses and on-going maintenance required to secure or maintain access to contamination-sensitive markets;
  • Crop, production, and post-harvest losses and associated costs of market rejections, including temporary or permanent market losses resulting from GMO contamination;
  • Loss of organic or other third-party certification due to GMO contamination and any costs associated with additional record-keeping, testing or surveillance required to regain certification or retain certification on impacted operations;
  • Well water testing and/or groundwater cleanup contamination if found;
  • Removal and destruction of contaminated GMO plants;
  • Pollinator losses and related damages, e.g. to non-target organisms;
  • Soil contamination and on-going related mitigation and remediation costs; and
  • Damage to farmers’ reputation, livelihood, and standing in the community.

The report shall also discuss the impact of such a policy regarding such issues and related public policies on our customers and consumers, and shall be available by July 1, 2013.


THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMENDS A VOTE “AGAINST” THE FOREGOING PROPOSAL FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

Disclosure of material financial risks or operational impacts on the company is required by SEC reporting requirements and we take seriously our responsibility to identify, analyze and transparently report such risks or potential impacts. Existing processes and procedures are in place that are intended to ensure compliance with SEC disclosure requirements relating to the topics raised by the proponent. An additional report to restate such risks or impacts as suggested in the proposal would be redundant and provide no meaningful additional information to shareowners.

We are committed to the practice of product stewardship which includes careful attention to coexistence and identity preservation. More details are available on our website at http://www.monsanto.com/ourcommitments/Pages/product-stewardship.aspx [2] For example,

  • Our Technology Use Guide, which is updated annually, distributed to our customers and posted on our website, provides information specifically about coexistence and identity preservation to our customers, including general instructions for management of mechanical mixing and pollen flow.
  • We engage in robust, ongoing dialogue with the seed trade, agricultural value chain and academic community to address the complex subject areas encompassed by the shareowner proposal in a manner consistent with best industry practice. These are routinely discussed in these settings and are well known to the company individuals responsible for identifying and reporting material risks and potential impacts.
  • Monsanto is a founding member of “Excellence Through Stewardship,” the agricultural biotechnology industry’s global initiative for advancing best practices in stewardship and quality management. As a member, Monsanto is subject to regular global compliance audits to ensure best practices are being followed. See http://www.excellencethroughstewardship.org/ [2] for more information about this initiative.

Constructive coexistence among diverse segments of agriculture is well established and practiced. It is commonplace to find different agricultural production methods working effectively side by side based on well established practices and a long, successful history in agriculture. Careful management of these production methods is in the interest of all concerned – our company, our customers, the value chain and consumers.

  • Farmers and seed companies rely on standards and best practices in seed and grain production, harvest, handling and transportation to support production, distribution and trade of products from different agricultural systems. This is essential to preserve the identity of products to meet market specifications. Examples of identity preserved production include certified seed, specialty oil or protein crops, and crops that meet commercial contract specifications such as organic and non-genetically enhanced specifications.
  • Based on historical experience generally accepted agricultural practices to manage production to meet quality specifications have been established. Among these practices are appropriate seed sourcing, field management, storage and handling practices. This array of agricultural planning tools and practices maintains product integrity and quality specifications.
A mosaic of agricultural production systems must be preserved to enable farmer choice and meet global productivity needs. Drought in several major agricultural production regions in 2011 and 2012 is a vivid reminder of the challenges facing agricultural production and food security. Monsanto believes 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 and contribute to the varied needs of different farmers, markets and consumers and meeting the demands of a growing population.

THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMENDS
A VOTE “AGAINST”
THIS SHAREOWNER PROPOSAL
AND YOUR PROXY WILL BE SO VOTED IF THE PROPOSAL IS PRESENTED
UNLESS YOU SPECIFY OTHERWISE


[2] Information contained on this website is for informational purposes only and is not incorporated by reference into this proxy statement.


Source: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Press Release for OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto

Posted: November 23rd, 2012 | Filed under: Press Releases | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

PRESS RELEASE
11/23/2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jim Gerritsen (207) 429-9765
Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association


OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto Oral Argument Slated for January 10, 2013

Contributions Urgently Needed for ‘Farmer Travel Fund’ to Enable Family Farmers to Attend Court Session

WASHINGTON, ME – November 23, 2012 – On November 21, 2012, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., announced that it would hear the Appeal of Dismissal in Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association et al v. Monsanto at 10am on Thursday, January 10, 2013. The landmark organic community lawsuit was originally filed in Federal District Court, Southern District of New York, in March 2011.

OSGATA et al v. Monsanto challenges the validity of Monsanto’s transgenic seed patents and seeks preemptive court protection for farmers when Monsanto seed trespasses onto their farms and contaminates their crops. Should contamination occur, innocent farmers would be placed in legal jeopardy and could be held liable by Monsanto for patent infringement because of the farmers’ “possession” of Monsanto technology without having paid royalty on that “possession.”

Plaintiffs are being represented in the case by lawyers from the Public Patent Foundation, who are providing their legal services to the farmers pro bono. Plaintiff lawyer Dan Ravicher asked Monsanto for a binding legal covenant guaranteeing family farmers that they would not be pursued for patent infringement should they become contaminated by Monsanto seed. Monsanto refused to provide this assurance to the farmers.

The farmers’ Appeal brief, filed last summer, cites legal and factual errors by Federal District Court Judge Naomi Buchwald which in toto caused her to erroneously conclude that the farmers lacked standing under the Declaratory Judgment Act to seek court protection. In addition, two powerful Amicii briefs were filed in support of the farmers’ position – one by a group of eleven law professors and another by a group of fourteen non-profit agricultural and consumer organizations. These briefs will be studied by the three judge Appellate panel during their deliberations.

“American family farmers have gone to court seeking justice and protection from Monsanto. We are not seeking one penny from Monsanto,” said Maine organic seed farmer Jim Gerritsen, President of lead Plaintiff Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association. “We satisfy the requirements of the Declaratory Judgment Act. We want our day in court so that our families can achieve protection from this perverse injustice. We are prepared to prove at trial that the U.S. Patent Office improperly granted Monsanto patents on their genetically engineered seed and that those patents are invalid.”

OSGATA has re-established its Farmer Travel Fund in order to raise funds to enable family farmers to travel to the Oral Argument in January. The Farmer Travel Fund is in immediate need of contributions to support this convergence of farmers from across the United States in solidarity for the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto lawsuit effort. Plaintiffs believe it is critical that the courtroom for the Oral Argument of this major lawsuit be filled with concerned Plaintiff-farmers in order to visibly demonstrate that the case is not just an academic dispute of patent law. Rather it is a monumental issue affecting the rights of American family farmers, with implications of global significance.

About OSGATA: The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association is a not-for-profit agricultural organization made up of organic farmers, seed growers, seed businesses and supporters. OSGATA is committed to developing and protecting organic seed and it’s growers in order to ensure the organic community has access to excellent quality organic seed free of contaminants and adapted to the diverse needs of local organic agriculture. www.osgata.org

# # #

Source: OSGATA

INCIDENT REPORT: Video of GCU Field Agents visiting the GOP & Dems’ HQ on 10.17.12

Posted: October 19th, 2012 | Filed under: Incident Reports, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Occupy Monsanto visits GOP, Democrats’ national HQs on Capitol Hill; call on Romney to address issue of ‘revolving door’ between corporations and government, call on Obama to keep ’08 campaign promises on GMO food labeling.


Source: Mike Flugennock

INCIDENT REPORT: Photos from GCU Field Agents in Molokai, Hawaii

Posted: September 30th, 2012 | Filed under: Incident Reports, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |
occupy monsanto molokai44 INCIDENT REPORT: Photos from GCU Field Agents in Molokai, Hawaii signs Protest pesticides organic Molokai Kids Island HI Hawaii GMO Free Molokai Farms Demonstration Chemicals

On September 17, 2012, GCU Field Agents on the Hawaiian island of Molokai staged a Decontamination Event along the side of the road to warn drivers of Monsanto’s toxic ways.

occupy monsanto molokai48 INCIDENT REPORT: Photos from GCU Field Agents in Molokai, Hawaii signs Protest pesticides organic Molokai Kids Island HI Hawaii GMO Free Molokai Farms Demonstration Chemicals

occupy monsanto molokai17 INCIDENT REPORT: Photos from GCU Field Agents in Molokai, Hawaii signs Protest pesticides organic Molokai Kids Island HI Hawaii GMO Free Molokai Farms Demonstration Chemicals

occupy monsanto molokai38 INCIDENT REPORT: Photos from GCU Field Agents in Molokai, Hawaii signs Protest pesticides organic Molokai Kids Island HI Hawaii GMO Free Molokai Farms Demonstration Chemicals

occupy monsanto molokai7 INCIDENT REPORT: Photos from GCU Field Agents in Molokai, Hawaii signs Protest pesticides organic Molokai Kids Island HI Hawaii GMO Free Molokai Farms Demonstration Chemicals

(more…)

Organic Spies – Operation: Whole Foods Hidden Camera GMO Sting – Bait Organic, Switch to GMO

Posted: September 25th, 2012 | Filed under: Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Organic Spies conducted an undercover hidden camera sting of Whole Foods Market for selling unlabeled GMO foods.

This film shows why Whole Foods has given no money to Proposition 37, the California ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods.

Whole Foods has sold unlabeled GMOs created by Monsanto for over a decade.

More at Facebook.com/OrganicSpy


Source: Youtube

Occupy Monsanto in St. Louis: Action 2 – “Ma’am, Please Don’t Take Off Your Shirt in the Parking Lot”

Posted: September 22nd, 2012 | Filed under: Incident Reports, Photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |
01shopCrop Occupy Monsanto in St. Louis: Action 2   “Ma’am, Please Don’t Take Off Your Shirt in the Parking Lot” Whole Foods Market Street Theater STL St. Louis solicitation signs Shoppers Protest Police Picket organic Occupy Monsanto National Lawyers Guild MO Missouri Millions Against Monsanto Millennium Hotel manager International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms GMO Free Midwest GMO Free GMO Labeling gmo Free Speech Free expression Eric Herm Demonstration Costume Cashier Brentwood Boycott
Activist ties up the checkout line at Whole Foods by asking the clerk whether each of the items in her cart contain GMOs. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

Occupy Monsanto in St. Louis: Action 2

“Ma’am, Please Don’t Take Off
Your Shirt in the Parking Lot”

by Don Fitz

Several dozen people at GMO-Free Midwest, the St. Louis portion of Occupy Monsanto, went from picketing the industry-sponsored “Biosafety” symposium at the Millennium Hotel to Whole Foods Market (WFM) in Brentwood, Missouri. It was September 17, 2012, the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. Safe food activists began a series of tactics which built on previous demonstrations and caught store management and local police completely off guard.

June 9 had seen a creative picket of WFM, including a 14 foot tall coyote puppet opposed to putting genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food. The picket provided an opportunity to talk with WFM workers who have been led to believe that the store does not sell GMOs. A few shoppers joined the picket upon learning that WFM brags that it labels GMO food when it only labels non-GMO food, leaving customers uninformed about potentially contaminated products.

On August 18 a new tactic challenged WFM. WFM aggressively censors “soliciting” which it says includes telling customers of dangers that GMOs poses to health and the environment. So, we went into its parking lot with signs on top of cars saying “GMOs Contaminate Food” on one side and “WFM Sells GMOs” on the other. Other cars had the same message on window signs or on home-made bumper stickers.

Police told drivers that they could not enter the parking lot with “protest signs” on their cars. But they were hard pressed to explain what was and what was not a protest sign. They were particularly befuddled at trying to figure out if they should order the removal of bumper stickers, since so many cars at WFM have safe food slogans on them. As we discussed what constitutes a protest message, other drivers came in, parked, and let their cars with signs on top remain throughout the afternoon.

02carSign Occupy Monsanto in St. Louis: Action 2   “Ma’am, Please Don’t Take Off Your Shirt in the Parking Lot” Whole Foods Market Street Theater STL St. Louis solicitation signs Shoppers Protest Police Picket organic Occupy Monsanto National Lawyers Guild MO Missouri Millions Against Monsanto Millennium Hotel manager International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms GMO Free Midwest GMO Free GMO Labeling gmo Free Speech Free expression Eric Herm Demonstration Costume Cashier Brentwood Boycott
Eric Herm, anti-GMO cotton farmer from Texas, stands by car sign in Whole Foods parking lot. Photo: Petermann/GJEP

A new level of action

On September 17, participants from GMO-Free Midwest took activities at WFM to a higher level. A few carried signs on the sidewalk. But most walked to the front of the store.

“If you are here to protest, you need to go to the sidewalk,” the police motioned. I buttoned up my jacket over my “Genetic Engineering — Don’t Swallow It” T-shirt and walked through the police. Since we didn’t appear different from the typical WFM customer, others did the same.

Some said, “I just came here to pick up a few items” as they walked by the police, who were again unsure of what to do.

Apparently warned that we would be there, WFM staff could be heard saying “What’s happening? They’re all coming in to shop.” Safe food activist wandered through the store looking at labels carefully. They did not put items in their carts if they read, “GMO-free,” “organic,” or “365,” which is the WFM house brand.

As shoppers went through the check-out line, they picked up each item and asked the cashier if it had GMOs in it. If so, it went in the “don’t buy” pile. Cashiers often weren’t sure; and that meant it also went in the “don’t buy” pile. One cashier claimed that everything WFM sold was GMO-free, which led to each item in turn being put aside by a disbelieving shopper.

Mindful of the bad working conditions at WFM, shoppers took the opportunity to explain our concerns to every employee. And there is no better opportunity to discuss potential food contamination than doing so with a customer waiting behind you in line. WFM is particularly vulnerable to such a tactic because the vast majority of its customers are concerned about food quality, but most think that store products are GMO-free.

From chatting with us, customers found out that, though WFM products cost more than those at other grocery stores, they are very likely to contain GMOs. With a bad rep for extreme anti-unionism and buying out competitors in order to destroy them, WFM is also resented for reversing its former opposition to GMO foods. It now babbles about “informed customer choices” but fails to inform customers by labeling food that might have GMOs.

03superBug Occupy Monsanto in St. Louis: Action 2   “Ma’am, Please Don’t Take Off Your Shirt in the Parking Lot” Whole Foods Market Street Theater STL St. Louis solicitation signs Shoppers Protest Police Picket organic Occupy Monsanto National Lawyers Guild MO Missouri Millions Against Monsanto Millennium Hotel manager International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms GMO Free Midwest GMO Free GMO Labeling gmo Free Speech Free expression Eric Herm Demonstration Costume Cashier Brentwood Boycott
A “superbug,” caused by consumption of GMO crops, argues with a police officer outside of Whole Foods. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

From Shop-In to Talk-In

Many safe food shoppers asked for the manager to come and verify whether food in their cart was GMO-free. At one point, a frazzled manager began grabbing handfuls of food and pushing it aside, saying “Yes, all this food has GMOs.” The manager seemed obsessed with keeping the check-out lane flowing as rapidly as possible.

Managerial distress was caused by two dictums: WFM policy says that every customer question must be answered; and, WFM also says that shopping must be a “pleasant experience.” But the shopping experience might be made unpleasant either by a slowed check-out line or by customers watching someone being hassled by police for the crime of asking if food quality is compromised. This particular manager decided that pleasant shopping would best be maintained by confirming that a large amount of WFM items might be contaminated with GMOs.

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) had told us that WFM could order us to leave and those who refused could be arrested. But it would have been impossible for WFM to determine who constituted “us.” WFM could have brought police from inside to harass those they thought were “protestors.” But doing so would run the risk of intimidating everyday customers who go to WFM concerned with the quality of food and happen to ask a question or two about what they are buying. Its liberal façade again makes WFM more vulnerable to a shop-in than any other supermarket chain.

Our friendly shoppers left the store with a single purchased item, confirming that they were, in fact, WFM customers. Others asked what all the commotion was about and what we were trying to accomplish. Some asked if they should boycott WFM. We explained that they could help lay the groundwork for a future boycott by telling everyone they knew about the true face of WFM.

The WFM ban on “solicitation” had been broken in store aisles, in check-out lines, and at the store entrance. Unable to distinguish “protesters” from “legitimate” customers, neither WFM management nor Brentwood police could stop people from asking “Why should we be concerned about what we buy at WFM?” Getting people to ask that question was the point of the action.

04GMOfarmCrop Occupy Monsanto in St. Louis: Action 2   “Ma’am, Please Don’t Take Off Your Shirt in the Parking Lot” Whole Foods Market Street Theater STL St. Louis solicitation signs Shoppers Protest Police Picket organic Occupy Monsanto National Lawyers Guild MO Missouri Millions Against Monsanto Millennium Hotel manager International Symposium on Biosafety of Genetically Modified Organisms GMO Free Midwest GMO Free GMO Labeling gmo Free Speech Free expression Eric Herm Demonstration Costume Cashier Brentwood Boycott
GMO farmer dressed for duty outside of Whole Foods. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

From Talk-In to Gawk-In

A stiff foam-board sign with holes for zip-ties can be fastened with bungy cords to the top of a car in 10–15 seconds by people who have practiced doing it. As cops and store managers were trying to figure out if they could do anything about the growing number of GMO conversations among customers, two people fastened a six foot long sign saying that “WFM Sells GMOs” atop a station wagon. By the time the cops figured out what had happened, the two were long gone.

Cops walked over and asked the people looking at the car who owned it; but they just shrugged their shoulders. Most picketers left their sidewalk location to see what the cops were doing. Friendly shoppers walked toward the car. Customers drifted over to hear everyone asking about why police were concerned with a car that had a sign on its hood.

There’s few things that people gawk at more than cops looking at something while a small crowd looks at the cops. Barbara Chicherio asked what bothered them. “Protest signs need to be on the sidewalk and not on cars,” a cop huffed.

Barbara talked through the car signs – window signs – bumper sticker questions concerning which needed to be removed as the cop scowled. Remembering that she was wearing a “Millions Against Monsanto” T-shirt, she had a flash: “Officer,” she asked, “If everything critical of Whole Foods and Monsanto is a protest sign, do I have to take off this T-shirt?”

“Ma’am, please do not take off your T-shirt in the parking lot!” The crowd laughed and even the cop chuckled. The absurdity of trying to wrestle through the twists and turns of exactly what type of free expression WFM could suppress was too much.

It had become clear that effects of the police presence had turned into their opposite. Intended to be soft-core harassers, the police were less than totally dedicated to protecting WFM customers from the horror of people asking about food contamination. As they drew a larger crowd, the show of police force served to increase discussion about WFM, thereby furthering goals of the action.

Many of the tactics used on September 17 had been worked out weeks before. Others arose as the event unfolded. Throughout the WFM action, neither store management nor police had any idea of what to expect next or how they should respond.

Within half an hour of the mini-confrontation in the parking lot, the police gave up efforts to get the sign off the car and walked off. Soon the crowd drifted away but the sign remained until the end of the action. Having reached over 10 times as many WFM workers and customers as all previous efforts combined, safe food shoppers boarded a bus and cars headed for their final destination of the day: Monsanto World Headquarters in Creve Coeur, Missouri.


Don Fitz works helped plan GMO-Free Midwest and is active in the Greens/Green Party USA.


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