Genetic Manipulation Firms (e.g., Monsanto) Top Ethical Investors' Blacklist
Monsanto Investing News web page.
GM firms top of ethical investors' blacklist
Publication Date: August 31, 1999
RESEARCH giants working on genetically modified foods
are now second only to arms manufacturers as investment
pariahs with ethical investors.
A survey of socially responsible investors by the Ethical
Investment Trust shows that concern about investing in
businesses carrying out GM research among firms has gone from being a
minor issue two years ago to investors' second biggest concern.
The report follows the revelation that [ Deutsche Bank ] , Europe's
biggest bank, has advised leading investors to sell their shares in
companies involved in the GM foods industry. Guy Hooker, the director
of the Ethical Investment Co-operative's Edinburgh branch, said the
explosion in awareness about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the
call to avoid them had been staggering.
"In 'top of the pops' terms, they've gone straight in at number two. In
short, the public don't want GMOs on their plate, or in their portfolios," he said.
"They don't want to invest in GMOs on ethical grounds quite apart from the
unquantifiable financial risk that exists."
He added: "Coming as this information does on the heels of the Deutsche
Bank's warning to its clients of the potential financial risks of investing
in genetically modified foods, it clearly shows
that an ethical dimension to investment choice actually reduces investment
The trust surveyed investors on their top 25 ethical concerns. Mr Hooker
said GMO businesses
had overtaken the traditional pariahs such as cigarette and alcohol
businesses, to secure number
two spot. He believed that the London-listed firm most likely to be
boycotted is AstraZeneca, the
British-Swedish pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals group, which grows
tomatoes, used in tomato paste. The company's agrochemical division is
also working on
developing genetically altered potatoes and rice.