Shareholders are proposing that the Monsanto Board of Directors create a committee that will analyze company actions through a human rights lens. Monsanto’s “human rights concerns in the communities where it operates are so severe they merit oversight of a separate board committee with a specific fiduciary mandate on human rights,” they argue. The committee would assess the impacts of Monsanto’s activities on resources and public welfare in those communities.
Monsanto has been the defendant in a number of legal cases both in America and globally, resulting in millions of dollars in payouts to treat pollution stemming from their factories. It has also been accused of advertising an herbicide containing a possible carcinogen as completely safe and selectively editing and publishing scientific studies and articles that support the safety of its products.
Monsanto, citing the Human Rights Policy it established in 2006, the human rights training it started requiring for employees in 2009, and its decision to get third party assessments in vulnerable foreign countries, argues that the work of the human rights committee proposed by shareholders is already done by internal policies.
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