Gates Foundation Retreats From Responsibility

After two articles exposing the contradiction between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding health programs while maintaining $8.7 billion in investments in companies involved in socially damaging projects, the foundation initially signalled a change in policy. In a statement on its website, the foundation flagged a review of "our approach to investments" and that there would be a "process by which Bill and Melinda Gates analyze and review these issues." The day after the foundation changed tack, with a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times describing it as "naive to suggest that an individual stockholder" could prevent damage caused by the companies they invested in. "Changes in our investment practices would have little or no impact on these issues," wrote the foundation's CEO, Patty Stonesifer.