The labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is an increasing matter of concern among state legislators across the United States;
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;
The biological and physical movement of material derived from genetically engineered crops is difficult and sometimes impossible to control or recall;
Many domestic and global food markets demand foods with zero or near-zero levels of material derived from genetically modified organisms;
Genetically modified crops have been found to contaminate conventional (non-GMO) and organic farms, threating farmers’ livelihoods, and, affecting critical food supply, and imposing a significant financial burden on farmers seeking to satisfy markets for GMO-free products;
The, National Organic Coalition, a national alliance of farmers and ranchers, has published a white paper – “GMO Contamination Prevention and Market Fairness – What Will it Take?” which concludes, in part: “Immediate and comprehensive government action is needed to prevent GMO contamination and to protect conventional and organic agriculture and US food security.
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;
- On-going 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, 2012.