Four lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives are urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate whether Ben & Jerry’s parent company Unilever should amend its regulatory filings to reflect the potential risks shareholders face over the ice-cream maker’s decision to boycott Israeli settlements.
“In the interests of shareholders, consumers and public policy, we believe it is appropriate for the SEC to take steps to ensure the full disclosure of all information necessary to make Unilever’s filings in compliance with the rules and regulations of the United States’ SEC,” the group, led by Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.), said in a letter to SEC chairman Gary Gensler on Nov. 26.
“Unilever is a widely held company with a current market capitalization of $135 billion, which places in jeopardy the manifold United States institutions, pension funds and endowments [that] hold its shares on behalf of its beneficiaries,” the letter continued. “We believe that these actions require the SEC to request that the regulatory filings of Unilever be amended to disclose the material risk factors.”
The letter was signed by Torres, Reps. Andrew Garbarino (R-N.Y.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).
Unilever said it remains “fully committed” to still doing business in Israel after Ben and Jerry’s announced in July that it would no longer sell its products in Israeli settlements and parts of Jerusalem, which the company called “occupied Palestinian territory.”
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