16 April 2003 18:40 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Agribusiness giant Monsanto challenged the accuracy and motives Wednesday of a report warning Monsanto shareholders they face "catastrophic risk" with their investment in the company.
The report by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors cited Monsanto's work with genetically modified (GM) crops and warned that the political controversy surrounding those kinds of crops could harm the company's stock price.
St Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto noted that the Innovest report was commissioned by Greenpeace, describing the organisation as "an environmental group with an anti-biotechnology agenda."
In the report, Innovest assigns Monsanto the lowest possible environmental and strategic management rating. Innovest calls GM crops "one of the most widely rejected product groups ever."
The $16 share price of Monsanto was flat at midday on the New York Stock Exchange, just above the company's 52-week low of $13.20 and well below the high of $32.90.
In its response to the report, Monsanto called it "highly biased" and charged that it "cherry-picks information about plant biotechnology and Monsanto in order to further a political agenda."
Monsanto also charged that Innovest neglected to have "any meaningful discussion with Monsanto" while researching the report.
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