At the Monsanto shareholders' meeting on Tuesday in which activists called for a vote on whether the company should enact mandatory GMO labeling, two things were clear: Mandatory GMO labels aren't happening any time soon, and the police have Monsanto's back. “He has just entered a blue Ford F-150,” a Creve Coeur cop says into a walkie talkie as Dave Murphy, a farmer and food activist who had just given a speech to about 50 protesters near the Monsanto entrance on Olive Avenue, gets into his truck. As Murphy drives to another part of the biotech giant's sprawling campus to address shareholders about a proposal to make GMO-labeling mandatory, several of Creve Coeur's finest keep their eyes on him.
Monsanto Shareholder Proposes GMO Labeling: 95 Percent Vote No
Farmer and food activist David Murphy spoke on behalf of GM labeling at the Monsanto shareholder meeting. He was there speaking for Adam Eidinger, an activist shareholder who bought into the company to encourage GMO labels.
Murphy spoke for three minutes in an unreceptive room (where half of the shareholders did not bother to turn around and face him as he spoke), pointing out the facts:
- People deserve to know what's in their food
- GM ingredients are already labeled in 64 other countries
- Monsanto spends millions to defeat GMO labeling initiatives
When it came time for the vote, more than 95 percent of the shareholders voted against mandatory GMO labels. Even a proposal for a report about the cost of GMO labels is rejected by more than 93 percent of the shareholders.
That Monsanto shareholders voted down …
Soon Hugh Grant, the CEO of Monsanto, takes the podium. A glare of light shines off his bald head as he speaks in a Scottish brogue that would make a character in Trainspotting blush. With a booming mic and a large screen projecting his image on each side, Grant speaks slowly, carefully, almost apologetically — enveloping the room with the perfect combination of cuddly and corporate. That will come in handy when it comes time to let the activists speak.
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