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How You Might Be Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy Without Realizing It

How You Might Be Investing in Monsanto’s Toxic Legacy Without Realizing It

This post was written by Brandon Baker and originally appeared on EcoWatch

Monsanto didn’t achieve $11.8 billion in sales and 404 facilities in 66 countries all on its own.

The company is valued at $60 billion in the marketplace with 525 million shares outstanding, but the three largest mutual fund shareholders, Vanguard, Fidelity and State Street, own nearly 16 percent of Monsanto stock. By comparison, the seed giant’s CEO Hugh Grant owns less than 1 percent.

This all means there’s a solid chance that the toxic law manipulator may be nestled somewhere in your mutual fund or 401(k) plan. Those findings are part of a six-month investigation by Food Democracy Now! that results in the launch of a global divestment campaign against Monsanto.

Whether it’s by contacting a financial advisor to dump Monsanto investments or strategically opting into funds that aren’t linked to Monsanto or other chemical or biotech companies, the organization is encouraging people around the world to divest.

“Monsanto is a ruthless corporation that operates beyond the ethical boundaries of what is acceptable for a healthy democratic society, said Dave Murphy, founder and Executive Director of Food Democracy Now!, said in a statement. “For decades its executives lied about the harm of its toxic chemicals, intimidated scientists and bullied farmers to put profits over human health and public safety.

“It’s time to broaden socially responsible investing to confront the significant harms that Monsanto has caused.”

The organization likens Monsanto to tobacco corporations like Philip Morris and RJR Reynolds that most never knowingly invest in.

Last year, Monsanto spent $4.5 million in opposition of a Washington State bill to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. In February, an International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health study linked Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer to a fatal chronic kidney disease impacting poor farming areas around the world.

Food Democracy bills its campaign as a way for people to stop unknowingly profiting from such activities and stop “financing them as they poison the planet, contaminate our food supply and corrupt our democracy.” Here’s an excerpt from the letter to executives at Fidelity, Vanguard and Street State that the organization is asking people to sign:

As the manufacturers of Agent OrangeDDT, and PCBs, Monsantos corporate executives intentionally ignored the warning of their own scientists for decades regarding the harmful and even deadly effects these products had on their workers, communities where the chemicals were manufactured and even Americas veterans …

Remove Monsantos stock from any open-ended fund under your management.

I urge you to take this important step for people and the planet.

Its time to take a stand for future generations.

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Photo Credit: Emma Rothaar via Flickr

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120 comments

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8:43PM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

Kyle: "farmers: only a few comment while the rest laugh"

There is nothing sacred about farmers. They can be criminals too. If they can't do anything beyond their own criminal greed, they should have their land ripped away from them and forced into homelessness in some ghetto. I have no sympathy for criminals disguised as farmers and ranchers, and I have no interest in their income made from destruction. Apparently you and the corrupt USDA/Congress/FWS have vested interests. They can all go take a flying leap.. they should be jailed every one of those earth destroying monsters.

11:06AM PDT on Jul 9, 2014

Farmers have no time for a real life. It is always work, work, work. But they do pay attention to valid informative information. They are pretty darn smart in my opinion.

3:17PM PDT on Jun 5, 2014

Thanks

2:28AM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

Thank you

8:55PM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

Is that so Geoff? Farmers do read this stuff, but only a few comment while the rest laugh. Nobody lives in the real world more than farmers, nobody gambles every year with crops more than Farmers figuring what to plant, what variety to plant. No matter what it is, the choice is the best selectable variety to plant, where to plant it. To pick the right variety for each field, the varieties with the best disease resistance, insect resistance and in most cases herbicide tolerance. Don't want to injure the crop in any way as is common with conventional herbicides, that reduces yield, conventional doesn't have the best weed control, so most often the variety picked is some form of GMO Trait.

5:05PM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

If you wind up investing in a company you don't intend as part of a mutual fund, donate that portion of the profits to a charity that fights against what the company does.

11:50AM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

How do we successfully prosecute Monsanto?

3:46AM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

ty

2:53AM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

I knew about this evil satanic company already, but I felt I wanted to thank you for helping to spread the information.

10:41PM PDT on Apr 17, 2014

Obviously their are not many farmers on care2 that have to live in the real world and produce food for the Monsanto haters.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Lindsay Spangler Lindsay Spangler is a Web Editor and Producer for Care2 Causes. A recent UCLA graduate, she lives in... more
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