On January 29, 2016, thanks to a Monsanto shareholder that kindly provided me with proxy (authority to stand in their place), I was able to participate in Monsanto’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders held in St. Louis, Missouri. By my side were Anne Temple of Moms Across America (standing in for Zen Honeycutt, Founder) and Dr. Beth Savitt of the SHAKA Movement Maui.
Our purpose for attending the meeting was to inform the shareholders of the dangers of GMOs and glyphosate (RoundUp), to present the board with a binder full of studies outlining the harmful effects of glyphosate, and to insist that they stop using this harmful chemical. Read more about their presentations here and here.
From the beginning, it felt like entering the “lion’s den.” Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant didn’t acknowledge me as a proxy holder at the meeting, instead he lied to the shareholders by treating me as a Guest, and then when he profusely greeted the obviously planned Guests attending the meeting, he completely ignored my name. I may be young, but my eyes and my heart always know when adults are lying, and I’m certainly old enough to notice when a Corporation is destroying our planet.
At the end of every shareholder meeting, the floor is open for “Other Business,” which includes questions and comments from guests. This opportunity allowed me to address Mr. Grant and the roughly 1000 shareholders in attendance with the following question: “If you truly believe your GM technology is safe, if you truly believe it has the potential to feed the world, why are you treating it like a dirty little secret that can’t be shown on food labels? Why, if it’s such proven technology, are you spending millions of shareholders’ dollars fighting it, rather than promoting it?”
My second question was rooted in my growing concern for the lack of truth and transparency, on behalf of the youth of North America as well as the generations to come: “Will you commit to publishing on your website, the controlled animal feeding studies that Monsanto conducted to determine the safety of GMOs and Round Up, including the raw data?”
Not surprisingly, Mr. Grant failed to give me the answers I was looking for. Instead, he addressed my “passion” and “humbly” disagreed with my views.
The following YouTube video records the portion of the Shareholder’s Meeting dedicated to “Other Business,” including questions and presentations from guests. Ann Temple’s comments begin at 0.25 minutes; my comments and questions begin at 31:45; Dr. Savitt’s comments begin at 1:03:25:
“Attending this meeting opened my eyes to the reality of the entire GMO Issue, and how much it’s affecting every aspect of our planet today, and for many generations to come. It was hard to listen to the endless litany of lies.” – Rachel Parent