Stand Up for the Promise of GMOS, Free-Market Group Says at Monsanto Shareholder Meeting
St. Louis, MO - The National Center for Public Policy Research today will speak at the annual shareholder meeting of Monsanto to counteract the message of radical activists who for the last year have planned a rally at the meeting to promote their anti-GMO agenda.
Holding the proxy for National Center Chairman Amy Ridenour, a Monsanto shareholder, National Center Free Enterprise Director Justin Danhof will urge Monsanto shareholders to vote against Shareholder Proposal One. The proposal is intended to force Monsanto to work toward mandatory labeling of GMO products.
Danhof will remind shareholders that "GMO foods are a great gift to mankind. They lower food costs, allow farmers to produce food in a more sustainable way, and, as Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation have pointed out, show great promise for ending world hunger and malnutrition."
Danhof will add: "Some people fear GMO foods because they can't tell the difference between them and the more traditionally-grown foods, but fear isn't always rational. When it isn't, we shouldn't let it make our decisions for us."
"It's easy for relatively well-fed Americans to overlook the tremendous promise of GMOs as a tool to combat malnutrition and hunger worldwide," said Amy Ridenour, chairman of National Center for Public Policy Research and Monsanto shareholder. "Yet the demonization of genetically-modified foods could have a tragic result if it stops or slows the use of seeds that improve agricultural yields and nutrition in the Third World. GMOs are even more environment-friendly than traditional farming. As GMOs are safe, why surrender the benefits?"
"Consumers already have a right to buy foods labeled 'GMO free,'" said Jeff Stier, director of the National Center's Risk Analysis Division. "A mandatory labeling requirement would not only impose unnecessary costs on industry and consumers, but it would send the message that all sorts of healthy foods are dangerous, when in fact they are not. Activists should be subject to 'truth in labeling' requirements -- the mandatory GMO labeling campaign is not about some amorphous 'right to know' but about a larger, more sinister effort to demonize Monsanto and other companies that use technology in agriculture."
"Organic food companies, or any company for that matter, are welcome to label their products as 'GMO free,' and many do," Stier continued. "But mandatory labeling of safe products represents a classic case of rent-seeking. This is an effort to assert political influence at the expense of consumers and responsible farmers for the sole benefit of those seeking the labels."
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors. Monsanto is not a donor.
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