Monsanto is committed to participating constructively in the political process, as such participation is essential to the Company's long-term success. Some of the policy-related issues the company adds its voice to include federal trade, environmental, tax and patent laws and regulations directly affecting Monsanto. Monsanto supports voluntary labeling of foods derived from genetically modified seeds, and we have participated in efforts to maintain voluntary labeling and prevent the imposition of mandatory labeling requirements. Please see more about why Monsanto supports voluntary food labeling at http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/food-labeling.aspx. We are also proud of the long history of the quality and safety of our products and we have opposed bills or ordinances that have sought to ban them, despite their highly regarded safety profiles. As a company committed to bringing new, valuable products, services and technologies to farmers while creating value for shareowners, as well as furthering our sustainability mission, it is essential that Monsanto be involved in the political process to provide information for policy makers about our industry's issues. We believe that well-informed decision makers are the basis for good government.
The paragraphs below describe the decision-making and corporate governance processes regarding political contributions made by Monsanto (the Monsanto Good Government Fund) and its political action committee (the Monsanto Citizenship Fund).
The Monsanto Good Government Fund
Monsanto's participation in the political process includes contributions to political candidates in a manner that is compliant with all applicable laws and reporting requirements. Federal law prohibits corporations from making direct or indirect contributions to candidates or political parties at the federal level. The Company's political contributions at the state level are limited to those states where such contributions are permitted. Such contributions are made without regard to private political preference of our company’s executives. Such contributions include consideration of the Company's interests in legislative or policy-related activity, company facilities and employees in the state, and local political factors. The GGFAP supports political issues and candidates consistent with the Company's policy objectives, promotes the election of responsible, qualified candidates to public office, regardless of party affiliation, and supports candidates for office, political parties, or other political committees in cases where the views of those candidates or entities are in general agreement with those of the Company.
Effective governance processes are in place to oversee political contributions made by the Company. The Company's board of directors created the Good Government Fund Advisory Panel (GGFAP) to oversee and guide the Company's political contributions in those states where contributions are permitted. The GGFAP's Operating Policies and Procedures (.pdf 17K) can be viewed by clicking on the link. Company contributions are approved in accordance with the GGFAP's Operating Policies and Procedures, reviewed by an external political compliance vendor, and reported to the sustainability and corporate responsibility committee of the Company's board of directors. The Company's contributions for the prior five calendar years can be viewed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page. Monsanto has not, nor does it intend to, utilize Monsanto Good Government Funds or corporate treasury funds for “independent expenditures” related to any federal or state election. Such independent expenditures are defined under federal law as expenditures for communications “expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate that is not made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, a candidate’s authorized committee, or their agents, or a political party or its agents”. If Monsanto did change its general guidelines to allow such expenditures, we would disclose them on our website, as we do for every other type of contribution, in accordance with our intent to have as transparent a process as possible. We disclose the rare instance in which a 501(c)(4) contribution has been made under state political contribution ethics laws.
Additional information can be found in public reports filed by candidates with state agencies by clicking on the individual state links listed here.
The Monsanto Citizenship Fund
Monsanto's political action committee, the Monsanto Citizenship Fund (MCF), is legally authorized to participate in the political process at the federal and state levels. The MCF's participation in the political process includes contributions to political candidates in a manner that is compliant with all applicable laws and reporting requirements. The MCF's contributions are completely funded through voluntary contributions made by eligible Monsanto employees. The MCF supports candidates consistent with the Company's policy objectives, without regard to private political preference of company executives. The MCF promotes the election of responsible, qualified candidates to public office, regardless of party affiliation, and supports candidates for office, political parties, or other political committees in cases where the views of those candidates or entities are in general agreement with those of the Company.
Effective governance processes are in place to oversee political contributions made by the MCF. The MCF's board of directors consists of 13 employees from various functions within the Company. All disbursements for political contributions to candidates or political committees require approval of the board and are reviewed by an external political compliance vendor. The MCF's federal contributions are fully disclosed in public reports filed with the Federal Election Commission and are all available on one website at www.FEC.gov. Additional state contribution information can be found in public reports filed by candidates with state agencies by clicking on the individual state links listed here.
State and Local Contributions Information