Shareholders to Vote on GMOs

By on April 24, 2013

On April 26, 2013, Abbott Laboratories shareholders will vote on whether the company should adopt a policy of sourcing non-genetically engineered ingredients.  Abbott is the manufacturer of Similac, a leading brand of infant formula, that contains corn and soy ingredients.  The majority of all corn and soy in the U.S. comes from genetically engineered crops that are altered to internally produce pesticides or be resistant to specific herbicides so that they will withstand weed killers at higher dosage.  Additionally, dairy products often come from cows that are treated with genetically engineered bovine growth hormones. Abbott shareholders have the opportunity to vote on a resolution addressing these concerns that has been launched by a farm and food policy research group, The Cornucopia Institute and As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy group.

Last year in California, a mandatory GMO labeling measure was nearly passed by voters, indicating consumer awareness and dissatisfaction with the current state of the lack of labeling of GMOs in products.  Parents specifically are becoming more informed about GMOs and the products they purchase for their children. As the CEO of As You Sow, Andrew Behar, stated “We believe that this is an opportunity to reduce risk to Abbott shareholders and to position the company for the changing consumer attitudes towards GMOs that will likely result in regulatory reform and create demand for non-GMO crops in the United States.”