Monsanto just filed a lawsuit against California, to stop the US state adding glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) to its list of known carcinogens. Without a hint of irony, Monsanto's lawsuit calls California's environmental health hazard assessment agency an "unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable and foreign body".
We don't know if the CEO of Monsanto, Hugh Grant, approved the lawsuit's choice words -- but if he did, then so did his boss. Because Monsanto's CEO is his own boss. But this Friday he'll face shareholders for the company's annual general meeting, where they'll have an opportunity to say what they think of his special arrangement.
An independent Chair of the Board can make Monsanto's CEO at least accountable to somebody other than himself.
Be a part of this game-changing move -- sign the petition asking Monsanto shareholders to demand accountability at the top.
For too long, Hugh Grant has answered to no one, acting as both CEO and Chair of the Board. And while we've all dreamt of being our own boss -- when you're the head of one of the world's most powerful and notorious companies, it's a recipe for disaster. To rein in Monsanto's worst excesses, we need independent oversight of its management by the Board of Directors.
That's why SumOfUs members and Monsanto shareholders made a plan to demand change at the top of Monsanto. We're submitting a shareowner proposal calling for an independent chair of its Board of Directors. Doing so wouldn't only be good for the planet, it would be smart business for shareholders. That's why we believe that together, we can actually win.
SumOfUs is a global community of consumers, workers and investors committed to holding big corporations to account and building a more sustainable and just economy. We've done things like this before, and while it takes years to see the final results we really want, we've seen it work. Last March, for example, after a years-long campaign headed by Earth Quaker Action Team in collaboration with SumOfUs members and shareholders of PNC Bank, we convinced the bank to end its funding of mountaintop removal coal mining in the breathtaking Appalachian mountains.
Monsanto Sues California Over Herbicide Classification, New York Times, January 2016
Shareowner Proposal: Independent Board Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission, January 2016.
Outraged by CEO salaries? It was your shares that approved them, The Guardian, November 18 2015.