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Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Sharing Monsanto’s point of view on diversity, Vermont lawsuit

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Sometimes, the things you don’t know surprise you.  And we realize that’s often true about Monsanto.

For instance, many folks don’t know that diversity and inclusion are bedrock pillars of how Monsanto operates and lives our commitment to human rights, dignity and respect.  As a company focused on collaborating with others to help tackle the challenges of sustainability, nutrition and climate change, we believe that the best ideas and innovations are the result of collaboration, teamwork, dialogue and respect.  To put it plainly: Diversity is a foundation of both who we are and how we do business.

Diversity and inclusion are embedded within every aspect of Monsanto’s culture, starting right at the top.  Our President chairs the company’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, and we report regularly on our efforts to our Board of Directors.  One of our signature diversity efforts is our global network of employee diversity groups, including a group for our LGBT employees and allies.  These groups are more than an opportunity for our employees to connect – they have been champions for changes to benefits policy and other issues within the company.

National organizations have taken note of our work on diversity and inclusion, including the Human Rights Campaign, which awarded Monsanto a 100 percent score on its Corporate Equality Index and named us one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”  We’ve also been recognized as a top company for LGBT inclusion by the Workplace Equality Index.  More broadly, Diversity Inc. has recognized us on its Top 50 list for the seventh year in a row.

Recently, an online petition mischaracterized our record on diversity and inclusion.  We’re proud of our work in this area, and we are committed to engaging in broader conversations to help consumers meet the diverse, talented and passionate people who choose to spend their careers at Monsanto.

This online petition also inaccurately claims that Monsanto has sued Vermont to block implementation of its state food labeling law.  In fact, the challenge in Vermont was filed by Grocery Manufacturers of America, a trade association of over 200 food, beverage and consumer products companies of which Monsanto is a member.

While Monsanto is not a party to the Vermont lawsuit, we support the food industry’s decision to challenge the legality of this state labeling law, and we also support the Coalition for Safe Affordable Foods’ position that the FDA, as the leading U.S. authority on food safety, nutrition and diet, is best positioned to address and determine food labeling and policy matters and the associated requirements at a national level.  Monsanto believes a 50 state-by-state patchwork of GMO labeling laws would create confusion and uncertainty for consumers, increase the price consumers pay for food, and do nothing to ensure food safety.

You can find more information about the suit at the Grocery Manufacturers Association website.  You can also find a thorough point-by-point analysis of the lawsuit here.

At Monsanto, we’ve been clear that we favor national legislation that provides consistent and clear information on food labels for consumers.  But we respect the fact that folks have varying points of view on food labeling, and we welcome the opportunity to engage in conversations on this important issue.

The bottom line: On all these issues – from diversity to food labeling – we need to continue to engage in dialogue.  We invite you to join the conversation at discover.monsanto.com.  We’d love to hear from you.

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