The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is being encouraged by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House to decide whether Ben & Jerry’s parent company should have its regulatory filing amended to mirror possible risks to shareholders over its Israel boycott, FOX News reported.
A letter has been sent by the bipartisan group, headed by Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler demanding a move to assure that the parent company, Unilever, satisfied the rules set by SEC.
“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,” part of the letter said, as reported by Jewish Insider.
“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 which hold its shares on behalf of its beneficiaries,” it furthered, as reported by New York Post. “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 also bears the signatures of Reps. Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J..
In July, Ben and Jerry’s announced that their products will no longer be available for purchase in conflicted areas like the West Bank, which they said is “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The boycott was decided as a dispute between Israel and Gaza was at its peak, the ice cream company said.
Making their products for sale on the disputed territories would not be in accordance with their “values,” it said.
Ben & Jerry’s parent company told Fox News in a statement that it “remain[s] fully committed to our presence in Israel” and pointed to its 2000 acquisition agreement with Ben & Jerry’s that “recognized the right of the brand and its independent Board to take decisions about its social mission.”