Pepsi Responds to Shareholder Concerns on GMOs
For years, the members of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, along with our colleagues at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility have been sounding the alarm regarding genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food supply. Increased pesticide and energy use, as well as weed resistance, are among our concerns. In addition to these environmental factors, social injustices such as a disregard for honoring human rights in seed saving communities and a lack of a robust system of monitoring long-term health effect also worry TriCRI members. Furthermore, many citizens feel that GMO-foods should be labeled. According to a 2010 poll conducted by Reuters Thompson, that belief is held by more than 90 percent of Americans.
This year, TriCRI and ICCR members filed resolutions at Abbott, ConAgra, Kraft, Pepsi asking for labeling of any product produced through genetic modification. In addition Dow, Dupont, and Monsanto received resolutions asking for a disclosure of risk in regards to GMOs. Investors have also sent letters to companies that funded opposition of Proposition 37 in California. These letters encouraged corporations to explain that if they do not support the efforts of Prop 37, what actions for consumer’s right to know do they encourage.
In March, PepsiCo responded publicly to investors regarding this shareholder resolution:
“We have appreciated the dialogue ICCR has conducted directly with representatives of PepsiCo’s food safety department to share insights and challenges to the current system.” The company also stated that “… it should be noted that PepsiCo does offer certain products which do not utilize GM ingredients to provide consumers with choices, which is the hallmark of PepsiCo’s overall portfolio”.
TriCRI and ICCR members look forward to robust conversations with PepsiCo regarding risk, human rights, and protecting our food supply. While we recognize the challenges for corporations, safety of the world’s people, planet and food systems are our primary concern.
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For the full letter, visit ICCR’s website.