April 27, 2005
DuPont proposal on disclosing PFOA costs
By Bob Fernandez
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
DuPont Co. shareholders rejected a shareholder
proposal today that would have forced the company to disclose
its costs for lobbying, expert advice and public relations in
dealing with a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon that
has been linked to cancer in animals and has alarmed environmentalists.
DuPont said it has studied the chemical, widely known as PFOA,
and concluded that it was safe.
Shareholders voted against the proposal by 91.3 percent to 8.7
Responding to comments at the meeting in Wilmington, chief executive
officer Charles O. Holliday Jr. said DuPont finds "no ill
health effects from PFOA." He also said DuPont has dramatically
reduced PFOA emissions.
In September, DuPont settled a class-action lawsuit filed by
residents of Parkersburg, W.Va., over PFOA exposure for $107.6
million, including lawyers' fees.
Sanford Lewis, spokesman for DuPont Shareholders for Fair Value,
the union-led group that submitted the proposal, called the vote
a signal that shareholders are concerned about the issue. The
proposal may be resubmitted next year, he said.
The group held a news conference before the meeting and released
an analysis of the effect of PFOA on DuPont's finances. It says
PFOA and related products contributed $1.23 billion in sales and
$100 million in profit to DuPont in 2003. The source for this
was a JPMorgan research report.
Spokesman R. Clifton Webb said the company does not disclose
business units' sales and profits.
Shareholders also approved management's slate of directors and
its independent accounting firm and rejected six other shareholder
Contact staff writer Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.