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Monsanto holds annual shareholders meeting

On the same day the company paid out dividends to shareholders of 54 cents, Monsanto held its annual meeting.

Shareholders elected 13 members of the board of directors to one-year terms. They also approved the company’s executive compensation plan, ratified the hiring of accounting firm Deloitte and Touche, and approved the company’s performance goals.

Three shareowner proposals failed.

That included one asking for Monsanto to create a report assessing risks in how the company responds to public policy questions over the herbicide glyphosate. Last year, an arm of the World Health Organization classified the chemical as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

Monsanto officials say the herbicide has been deemed safe by regulatory organizations for 40 years. Earlier this month the company sued a California agency that indicated it would place glyphosate on a list of chemicals that are cancer-causing.

Following the shareholder’s meeting, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley said the WHO group’s science doesn’t hold up.

"It’s a sham," he said. "I’ll be blunt and say they don’t have regulatory authority, they’re very misleading, they’re scaring consumers needlessly and we can only think about why."

The other two failed proposals called for Monsanto to release an annual report on lobbying efforts and another that would prevent the company’s CEO from serving as chairman of the board.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.

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