PEPSICO, INC. | Third-party assessment on non-sugar sweetener risks

11.46% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Conduct due diligence, audit or risk/impact assessment
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Public health
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Consumer Staples
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders of PepsiCo, Inc. (“PepsiCo”) request the Board of Directors issue a third party assessment by November 1, 2024, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, on PepsiCo’s efforts to assess and mitigate potential health harms associated with the use of non-sugar sweeteners (“NSS”).
The report should cover how PepsiCo evaluates potential health impacts of NSS in its products, including the safety authorities
relied upon for NSS guidance, and PepsiCo’s affiliation with and/or financial support of researchers or research institutions,
international agencies, or reporting/regulatory bodies studying or making health or safety recommendations about NSS.
Supporting statement
The Access to Nutrition Initiative Global Index 2022 ranked PepsiCo’s product profile 7th among 11 food and beverage
companies with a Healthy Score Rating of 2.2 out of 5.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended “against the use of NSS to control body weight or reduce the
risk of noncommunicable diseases.”1 Based on a 2022 meta-analysis, this report demonstrated the “use of NSS does not confer
any long-term benefit in reducing body fat in adults or children” and suggests that there “may be potential undesirable effects
from long-term use of NSS, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mortality in adults”.
PepsiCo’s Chief Financial Officer responded to WHO’s 2023 Warning that aspartame is a possible carcinogen by stating there are
no intentions to change PepsiCo’s product portfolio.2
The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently classified Aspartame - prominently used as an NSS in PepsiCo lowand no-sugar beverages - as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”3
A British Medical Journal study warned that NSS “should not be considered a healthy or safe alternative to sugar”.4A 2021 study
noted that the combination of Aspartame and sweetener acesulfame-K, both contained in Pepsi Zero, has been shown to
increase DNA damaging activity, the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.5
A2022 Rudd Center Report found that PepsiCo disproportionately targeted Hispanic and Black youth in the United States when
marketing high calorie, low nutrient products.
The 2022 report documented that:
• Out of 19 Food & Beverage companies, PepsiCo spent the most on TV advertising;
• PepsiCo spent the most on Black-targeted TV channels ($12.1 million) in 2021; and
• While PepsiCo reduced their overall advertising spend, PepsiCo increased their advertising spend on Spanish language TV
channels by 86% in 2021, when compared to 2017.6
Black consumers are 60% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic whites, so PepsiCo’s advertising strategy
targets a vulnerable population further, by recommending potentially harmful NSS as the healthier choice7.
“pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) is the future of our company,” says PepsiCo Chairman. Positive change for the planet and
people requires PepsiCo to assess their use of NSS and its impact on their consumers’ health, to safeguard PepsiCo’s long
term sustainability

Filed by The Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother International Finance, Inc.

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
LocalTapiola Asset Management Ltd For A vote FOR this proposal is warranted as additional disclosures would benefit shareholders by increasing transparency regarding the company's efforts to address the risks related the use of non-sugar sweeteners. The request would provide greater assurance to shareholders that the company s initiatives and practices guard against possible risks to the firm.
Kutxabank Gestion SGIIC SAU. Against

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