The shareholder advocacy group As You Sow has announced the success of a three-year campaign targeting baby formula purportedly made with ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to a May 27, 2015, press release, the group drafted a shareholder resolution asking Abbott Laboratories to remove GMOs from its Similac® Advance® baby formula. In response to the resolution, which apparently garnered support from $2.7 billion in Abbott shares (6 percent of voting shares) at the company’s annual meeting, Abbott has reportedly agreed to offer a GMO-free version of its popular formula.
Among other things, As You Sow claims that GMO crops “are contributing to several environmental concerns in the United States,” including the allegedly excessive use of pesticides and herbicides. “Polls show that 93% of Americans want GMOs to be labeled or taken out of their foods. Concerned parents are driving the decisions to have safer food products— they are creating demand for sustainable agriculture,” said As You Sow CEO Andrew Behar.