Statement for the Annual Meeting, May 12, 2005
Topic: Genetically Engineered Seed
Presented by: Margaret Weber,
Adrian Dominican Sisters
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Board, Senior Management, Shareholders:
For the past five years the Adrian Dominican Sisters, on behalf of several other institutional shareholders, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, have engaged with Dow on concerns surrounding genetically engineered seed.
Just recently, Dow has posted on its website that the company does ".. not intend to use corn as an open field crop to produce pharmaceuticals." Congratulations for that company decision and for the posting. In the spirit of honest communication, we note that it took several months of shareholder advocacy, including a proxy proposal, for the company to agree to this transparency.
Moving forward, we commend Dow for the commitment to more deeply explore the cultural, economic, health and environmental implications of genetically engineered corn in Mexico. Mexico is the Center of Origin for corn. The richest diversity of corn is there. For Mexicans and other populations, corn is bread, it is sacramental, it is sacred.
It is our belief and fundamental position that Dow's genetically engineered corn must never appear in corn's Center of Origin. We will say that in every circle in which we travel: to shareholders, to you the Board, and to the outside world.
It is also our belief that Dow must be fully transparent and fully accountable for the effects of its genetically engineered seed wherever it is utilized.
It is my belief that this is Dow's commitment.
Is this true?