DuPont Corporate Profile

August 2010

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In 2010, DuPont ranked #86 in the Fortune 500  list (down 20 places from 2004). [1] DuPont is the third largest chemical producer (following Dow and ExxonMobil Chemicals). [1] According to the company's own website, it was at first "primarily an explosives company." [2] Now, the company's products include Teflon, paint, fibers, chemicals and pesticides.

DuPont at a Glance

Headquarters  Wilmington, DE, USA

Key subsidiaries   DuPont has over 170 "significant" subsidiaries, including Pioneer Hi-Bred International (U.S.), Sementes Dois Marco (Brazil), Agroproducts Corey S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), Cereals Innovation Centre, Hybrinova S.A. (France), Plaguidas y Fertilizantes Nacionales S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), AO Khimpron (Russia), Optimum Quality Grains (U.S.), Pfister Hybrid Corn Co (U.S.), Protein Technologies (U.S.), Qualicon Inc (U.S. and U.K.), DuWest (U.S.) [3]

Major product sectors  In 2010, Agriculture & Nutrition was the largest sector with sales of US$ 8.3 billion (31% of total sales), followed by Performance Chemicals with sales of US $5 billion, Performance Materials (US $4.8 billion), Performance Coatings (US $3.4 billion), Safety & Protection (US $2.8 billion), and Electronics & Communications (US $1.9 billion) + other ($100 million) [4]

Employees   58,000 employees worldwide as of 2009 (down 2000 from the previous year) [1] 

Revenues  2009 revenue was US$ 26.1 billion. [2]

Net income  In 2009, DuPont's net income was US$1.8 billion, down from $2 billion the previous year. [5]

Executive compensation  In 2009, CEO Ellen Kullman made a grand total of US $8,343,305. [6]. In 2007, CFO JL Keefer made US $3,966,406, COO RR Goodmanson made US $4,420,156, and Chief Innovation Officer TM Connelly Jr made US $3,921,455 . [7]

Type of corporation  Public (traded on the New York Stock Exchange)

Pesticides and Agricultural Biotechnology

In 1999, DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition, among the largest of the company’s six business units, acquired Pioneer Hi-Bred—a top producer of genetically modified seeds. This transformed DuPont into the largest seed supplier in the world.[8] In 2009, the Agriculture and Nutrition unit generated sales totaling US$8.3 billion. [4]


DuPont is responsible for a wide range of harmful pesticide products and ingredients, including:

Benomyl   Highly persistent fungicide.[9] Has been linked to serious health problems including birth defects and heart, liver and kidney damage.[9] Also known for its toxic and lethal impact on microorganisms, earthworms and fish.[9] Litigants acting against DuPont have successfully sued the company for birth defects, crop damage and shrimp kills related to benomyl and its contaminants.[10] DuPont phased out benomyl in 2001 after paying a reported US$1 billion in litigation costs. [10]

Clopyralid Manufactured by Dow and DuPont, this herbicide is widely used on lawns and wheat crops,. It has been detected at significant levels in commercial and municipal compost in Washington, California, Pennsylvania and New Zealand, posing a threat to the rapidly growing composting industry.[11]

CyanazineRestricted use, triazine herbicide.[12] Cyanazine is a developmental and reproductive toxin, a mutagen and extremely carcinogenic.[13] Cyanazine is the most toxic of all triazine herbicides, and is said to be the most toxic of all herbicides found in drinking water.[14] Between 1990 and 1993, cyanazine was the  fifth most commonly used herbicide in American agriculture.[15] It has been found in groundwater in 15 states and surface water in 30 states.[13] In 1995, average cyanazine levels exceeded EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) levels in 13 of 29 cities tested by the Environmental Working Group.[14] In 1995, DuPont initiated a four-year voluntary incremental cancellation of cyanazine.[16]

Diuron Broad spectrum herbicide. According to California EPA, diuron is a chemical known to cause cancer.[17] In 1994, diuron was the fourth most frequently found pesticide in UK waterways, in excess of legal contamination levels.[18]

Mancozeb Cholinesterase inhibitor and fungicide that effects the nervous system, leading to fatigue, headaches, nausea and blurred vision.[19] Mancozeb exposure has been found to increase the incidence of skin tumors in mice and pancreatic tumors in rats.[20] According to the state of California, mancozeb is a known human carcinogen.[19]

Methomyl Methomyl is a highly toxic, restricted use, broad-spectrum, carbamate insecticide.[21] The insecticide has a myriad of toxicological impacts. In humans, it is a cholinesterase inhibitor. Exposure can cause blurred vision, chest discomfort, lack of muscle coordination, heart irregularities and paralysis of muscles. Additionally, methomyl has high eco-toxicity--it is highly toxic to birds, animals and aquatic organisms.[21] 

Oxamyl   Highly toxic, cholinesterase inhibiting, carbamate insecticide.[22] Oxamyl poses a grave risk to bird populations.[22] According to EPA, oxamyl can cause tremors, salivation and impaired nerve functioning.[23]

Agricultural Biotechnology

DuPont’s current biotechnology crops are insect resistant corn and herbicide resistant soybeans, corn and canola.The company also produces genetically modified animal feed and human food products. [24] There are additional crops in the company’s biotechnology pipeline. [24] Since the mid-90s, DuPont has acquired a number of companies concentrating on genetic engineering. When DuPont acquired Pioneer Hi-Bred International, in 1999, the company secured itself a strong position in the biotechnology industry.[25]

Genetically engineered crops pose serious risks to public health and the environment, increase reliance on pesticides, deepen agribusiness control over farmers and undermine food security and sovereignty. Most biotech seeds are licensed to farmers, not sold: making it illegal to replant, save, trade, share or breed them as farmers have done for millennia. Global food security requires access to land, small-scale, ecologically based farming systems and the crop diversity needed to respond to varied and changing environments and growing conditions. Genetically engineered crops, in contrast, are an extension of industrial agricultural practices that concentrate land ownership, rely on synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and other off-farm inputs, and dramatically reduce crop biodiversity.

In Focus: CFCs, HCFCs and Ozone

DuPont developed chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a coolant and aerosol propellant in the 1930’s.[8] When a 1974 study revealed that CFCs were a likely cause of ozone depletion, DuPont failed to halt production. Despite mounting evidence of hazards linked to CFC production, DuPont conducted an aggressive campaign to oppose CFC phase-out legislation in the U.S. Senate. [8] 

Due to public pressure, the company modified their CFC production, seeking to replace CFCs with a new generation of chemicals called hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs) and hydroflourocarbons (HFCs). These substances persist in the environment and, while to a lesser degree, still deplete atmospheric ozone.[8]

In 1992, under intense public pressure, the company finally announced that it would “stop selling CFC’s as soon as possible” in the U.S. and other developed countries, but did not commit to this in developing countries.

In April 1991, EPA estimated that ozone depletion would cause an estimated one billion skin cancers and 17 million deaths worldwide over the next 50 years.[26]

In Focus: Teflon and EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency took legal action against DuPont over allegations that the giant chemical company failed to report possible health and environmental problems linked to Teflon. EPA sought more than 16 million dollars in fines from DuPont.[27] Teflon, used to make stain and stick-resistant surfaces, contains the highly toxic chemical perfluorochemical (PFC), also known as PFOA and C-8.[27]

EPA classifies PFC as carcinogenic in animals; in rats, it has been linked to testicular, pancreatic, mammary and liver tumors. Furthermore, the chemical has been linked to immune system and reproductive problems. Workers exposed to PFC have elevated cancer risk.[28] According to the Environmental Working Group, PFC is extraordinarily persistent and is commonly found in the blood of human and wildlife around the world. [29] The chemical is found in the blood of 95% of Americans [30] It is also known to cross the placental barrier and contaminate the blood of foetuses. [31]

Though the compound is linked to a growing number of environmental and health hazards, DuPont maintains that PFC does not pose health risks. A spokesman for the company said, “Based on an evaluation of human health and toxicology studies…to date, no human health effects are known to be caused by PFOA [(i.e., PFC)].”[32]. DuPont refuses to eliminate PFOA from its Teflon product but assures the public that it will try to make sure that the chemical is not released into the environment. [30]

A Wide Range of Impacts

DuPont’s social and environmental impacts are very broad:

Hazardous wastes In December 2000, DuPont reportedly shared liability for 348 hazardous waste sites and set aside US$408 million for remediation.[33] As of January 2002, EPA named DuPont a potentially responsible party for 19 superfund sites.[34] The DuPont Dow Elastomers L.L.C manufacturing facility in Pontchartrain, LA, ranked among the worst 10% of similar facilities for total toxic releases. The facility releases vast quantities of chemicals that are recognized carcinogens, and developmental and reproductive toxicants.[35]

Lead paint  DuPont manufactured lead paint and was named as a defendant in class action lawsuits brought by the state of Rhode Island and the city of Chicago, IL, among others.[36] The company was charged with selling lead-based paints despite knowing the harmful effects of lead, which includes brain damage, especially in children.[37]

Tetraethyl lead For decades, DuPont produced extremely toxic tetraethyl lead as a gasoline additive--intended to improve the efficiency and performance of internal combustion engines. Scientists have condemned the use of leaded gasoline noting that the substance poses “a serious menace to public health,” including severe nerve damage, cumulative liver and kidney damage, and extensive hallucinations.[38] In 1924 it became known that 80 percent of the workers who produced tetraethyl lead had either been killed or were suffering acute poisoining. Employees suffered such severe nerve damage and extenisve hallucinations at one refinery that it was dubbed "the House of Butterflies." [39] In spite of the evidence, DuPont vigorously fought to contradict the evidence with a bold public relations and lobbying campaign.[39]

Misbranded pesticides  In 1998, DuPont was ordered to pay the largest administrative penalty in EPA history at the time--totaling US$1.89 million--for shipping pesticides without proper safety labels. DuPont sold and distributed Bladex and Extrazine herbicides while omitting required warnings.[40]

Undue influence

To advance their interests, powerhouses like DuPont invest heavily in political and social influence. Some of DuPont’s efforts to influence policy and public opinion include:

Trade organizations and think tanks  Some of the trade and policy organizations in which DuPont participates include:[8]

Campaign contributions DuPont political action committees (PACs) contributed a total of US$641,914 to federal candidates from 1994 to 2002 (70% to Republicans)— US$128,000 per election cycle.[41] DuPont gave more than US$345,750 in soft money contributions to the Republican and Democratic parties in the 1998, 2000 and 2002 election cycles.[42]

Lobbying In the last 5 years, DuPont has spent almost 19 million dollars lobbying the U.S. government. In 2009 alone, the company invested over four and a half million dollars in this effort. [43] Additionally, many of the trade organizations to which DuPont belongs deploy teams of lobbyists. For example, the American Chemistry Council (formerly the Chemical Manufacturers Association) spent US$4.68 million lobbying in Washington in the first half of 1996 alone.[44]

Government connections [45] Ex-CEO and Chairman of DuPont, Charles Holliday Jr. has served on President Bush’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council. Board Member Samuel Bodman served as US Secretary of Energy, and as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and Deputy Secretary of Commerce. Directoe Robert Brown is a former member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (as was former Director Charles M. Vest.) Director William K. Reilly is a former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Resources for Action

Groups and individuals are taking action to hold DuPont accountable for its impacts. The following resources are good starting points for more information about DuPont.

Ground Up (
Action for Solidarity, Equality, Environment and Diversity (ASEED)’s DuPont profile focuses on the company’s involvement with genetically modified crops.

Corporate Watch UK
DuPont corporate profile includes information about DuPont’s history, products, subsidiaries, corporate crimes and political influences.

Environmental Working Group
Reports and articles about Teflon and DuPont.

DuPont Chemical Corporation (
DuPont’s Web site.

Scorecard (
Environmental Defense’s toxic release information Web site. You can look up DuPont’s toxic release information and locations of its U.S. facilities.

Hoovers online (
Provides financial information about DuPont and links to detailed reports and filings.

PAN Pesticides Database (
Pesticide Action Network North America’s pesticide database allows you to search for toxicity, regulatory and other information by chemical or product.

[1] "E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company: Rankings," Hoover's Online, <> on 13 August 2010.

[2] DuPont website: Company at a Glance:

[3] DuPont website: Subsidiaries:

[4] DuPont 2009 Annual Review: on 12 August 2010.

[5] DuPont 2009 DataBook

[6] Equilar website:

[7] CompanyPay website:

[8] “DuPont Corporate Profile,” Corporate Watch UK, November 2002, <> 13 August 2010.

[9] “Pesticide Information Profiles: Benomyl,” Extension Toxicology Network, June 1996, <> on 12 August 2010.

[10] “DuPont Withdraws Benlate from Market,” Pesticide Action Network, 7 May 2001, <> on 2 April 2004.

[11] Green, Emily, “Clopyralid by Dow AgroSciences Found in Composted Grass,” LA Times, 27 December 2001, <> on 11 August 2003.

[12] “Pesticide Information Profiles: Cyanazine,” Extension Toxicology Network, June 1996, <> on 12 August 2010.

[13] “Background Information on Cyanazine,” Environmental Working Group, 2 August 1995, <> on 12 August 2010.

[14] Brian Richard, “Weed Killers by the Glass,” Environmental Working Group, August 1995, <> on 12 August 2010.

[15] “Pesticides and Breast Cancer Risk, an Evaluation of Cyanazine,” Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors, March 1998, <> on 12 August 2010.

[16] “Cyanazine; Cancellation Order,” Environmental Protection Agency, 6 2000 January, <> on 12 August 2010.

[17] “Proposition 65 – Changes to the P65 List,” Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 31 May 2002, <> on 12 Augsut 2010.

[18] “New Label Instruction for Diuron,” Pesticide News, No. 25, September 1994, <> on 12 Augsut 2010.

[19] “Mancozeb Factsheet,” Center for Ethics and Toxics, <> on 12 August 2010.

[20] “Pesticides and Breast Cancer Risk, an Evaluation of Mancozeb,” Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors, June 2000, <> on 12 Augsut 2010.

[21] “Pesticide Information Profiles: Methomyl,” Extension Toxicology Network, June 1996, <> on 12 August 2010.

[22] “Pesticide Information Profiles: Oxamyl,” Extension Toxicology Network, June 1996, <> on 12 Augsut 2010.

[23] “Consumer Factsheet on: Oxamyl (Vydate),” Environmental Protection Agency, <> on 2 April 2004.

[24] DuPont website: The Promise of Biotechnology:

[25] “Corporate Genomics: Who's Who In Ag-Biotech,” Groundup, <> on 12 August 2010.

[26] “How to Civilize Corporate Behavior,” Rachel’s Hazardous Waste News, No. 259, 13 November 1991, <> on 12 August 2010.

[27] US EPA Memorandum: <> on 13 August 2010.

[28] “PFCs: Global Contaminants: PFC Health Concerns,” Environmental Working Group, <> on 12 August 2010.

[29] "PFCs: Global Contaminants: PFCs In Animals Wordlwide", Environmental Working Group, <> on 12 August 2010.

[30] "Harmful Teflon Chemical to be Eliminated by 2015", Washington Post, 26 January 2006 <> on 13 August 2010.

[31] “PFCs: Global Contaminants: PFOA is a pervasive pollutant in human blood, as are other PFCs,” Environmental Working Group, <> on 13 August 2010. 

[32]“Chemical Compounds in Dupont’s Teflon a Likely Carcinogen,” Organic Consumer’s Association, 29 June 2005 <> on 13 August 2010.

[33] “KLD Profile: DuPont Company,” KLD Research & Analytics, Inc., 21 May 2002.

[34] “Corporate FactSheet: DuPont,” Pesticide Action Network, March 2002, <> on 31 March 2004.

[35] Search of <> on 1 April 2004.

[36] Ivan Lerner, “Lead Paint Litigation Continues to Vex Chemical Industry,”Chemical Market Reporter, 16 September, 2002.

[37] “Rhode Island drops lead paint suit against DuPont,” Ezilon Infobase: Community News & Articles, 1 July 2005, <> on 13 August 2010.

[38] “Chemical Sampling Information: Tetraethyl Lead (as Pb),” Occupational Safety & Health Administration, <> on 13 Augusr 2010.

[39] “Albemarle Corporation,” CorpWatch, <> on 12 August 2010.

[40] “Pesticide Labels Must Warn Workers of Dangers,” August 1998, <> on 12 Augsut 2010.

[41] Information acquired from online searchable database of FEC PAC filings at <> on 8 August 2003.

[42] Data acquired by soft money donor search for DuPont at <> on 11 August 2003.

[43] “E.I. DuPont Denemours & Co,” The Center for Public Integrity, on 13 August 2010.

[44] “Infact’s Hall of Shame Campaign,” <> on 8 August 2003.

[45] DuPont website: Board of Directors: