DuPont shareholders today will vote on a resolution on genetically engineered seeds while Abbott Laboratories’ shareholders Friday will ask the company to remove GMOs from its infant formula and other nutritional products until long-term safety testing proves GMOs are safe.
Pharmaceutical and nutritional product company Abbott uses genetically modified corn and soy in its Similac infant formula.
Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow filed the Abbott shareholder resolution and co-filed the DuPont resolution with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and Christian Brothers Investment Services.
DuPont is involved in the production of genetically engineered seeds and also owns Pioneer Hi-Bred, producer of GE Liberty Link corn. If the chemical company’s shareholders today approve the resolution, DuPont’s board of directors will review and report to shareholders by November on the company’s internal controls related to potential adverse impacts associated with GMOs.
Investors have filed 365 shareholder resolutions this year on environmental and social issues, with 38 percent of the proposals focusing on climate change, energy and corporate sustainability strategies, according to a preview of the 2013 proxy season by As You Sow.
Last month, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and other grocery retailers representing more than 2,000 stores across the US pledged to not sell genetically engineered seafood if it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Whole Foods has also said that its stores containing GMO products will clearly label these products within five years. This makes the company the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for what it calls “full GMO transparency.” Up to the 2018 deadline, Whole Foods says it will work in collaboration with its suppliers as they transition to sourcing non-GMO ingredients or to clearly labeling products with ingredients containing GMOs.
A March survey by Market Dynamics LOHAS and Laz PR found that shoppers have moved past ingredient lists and now seek out non-genetically modified and sustainable “farm to table” products. The survey showed that consumers are also increasing the money they spend on such products.