As You Sow’s shareholder proposal requesting a safety report on nanomaterials being used in Dunkin’ Brands donuts, the first resolution of its kind to go to a vote, was supported by 18.7% of shareholders representing $547 million.
Nanomaterials have not been proven safe for human consumption, and many have been found to be toxic in animal studies and in vitro studies. “The strong vote makes clear that shareholders are concerned about the risks of using nanomaterials in food products before they are proven safe for human consumption,” said Austin Wilson, Environmental Health Program Manager at As You Sow. “Investors want assurances that Dunkin’ is addressing this important public health issue.”
The resolution asked the company to report on actions it is taking to reduce or eliminate risk of human health impacts, such as eliminating or disclosing the use of nanomaterials until they are proven safe through long-term testing. The proposal also called on Dunkin’ to identify products or packaging that currently contains nanomaterials.
We are currently testing products from a range of manufacturers, and if nanomaterials are found in any of those products, we will be working with the manufacturer to address safety concerns raised by such use. In addition, we will likely re-file our shareholder resolution at Dunkin’ Donuts if the company continues to use nanomaterials without proving they are safe.