Monsanto Tribunal – see bottom for an updated version with a comment from Monsanto on this article.
The Hague – Mothers Across the World and Moms Across America are attending the Monsanto Tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands for the next 2 days to hold Monsanto accountable for decades of ecocide. Moms Across America Executive Director Zen Honeycutt will be speaking tomorrow at the People’s Assembly on pesticides. Honeycutt and MAA leader, chef and mom Amber King will be posting Facebook live updates and interviewing the attendees.
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“We believe it is crucial that people from other countries understand the health crisis we are experiencing in the USA,” said Honeycutt. “The connection if these health issues to the GMOs and Toxins in our food, water and consumer products is undeniable. We must protect our future generations around the world.”
To stay up to date on the happening at the Tribunal, Like and “Get Notifications” at https://www.facebook.com/MomsAcrossAmerica/?ref=bookmarks
30 witnesses and legal experts from five continents will testify in The Hague before five international judges. These witnesses will tell the judges, and the world, how Monsanto has ruined their health, their communities, and their livelihoods. We will make the theme of this year’s World Food Day (October 16th) the damage to health and nature caused by chemical industrial agriculture. Citizens’ tribunals have a long history of drawing widespread attention to corporate corruption, and of ultimately leading to criminal trials. Like you, we want the Monsanto Tribunal to push courts in countries all over the world to hold Monsanto accountable for its crimes.
For an increasing number of people from around the world, Monsanto today is the symbol of industrial agriculture. This chemical-intensive form of production pollutes the environment, accelerates biodiversity loss, and massively contributes to global warming.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto, a US-based company, has developed a number of highly toxic products, which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people. These products include:
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), one of the twelve Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that affect human and animal fertility;
2,4,5 T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant, Agent Orange, which was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and continues to cause birth defects and cancer;
Lasso, an herbicide that is now banned in Europe;
RoundUp, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the source of the greatest health and environmental scandal in modern history – this toxic herbicide is used in combination with genetically modified (GM) RoundUp Ready seeds in large-scale monocultures, primarily to produce soybeans, maize and rapeseed for animal feed and biofuels.
Monsanto promotes an agroindustrial model that contributes at least one third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions; it is also largely responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction and declining biodiversity, and the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide. This is a model that threatens peoples’ food sovereignty by patenting seeds and privatizing life.
According to its critics, Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, by manipulating the press and media, etc. The history of Monsanto would thereby constitute a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.
The Monsanto Tribunal, aims to assess these allegations made against Monsanto, and to evaluate the damages caused by this transnational company. The Tribunal will rely on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted at the UN in 2011. It will also assess potential criminal liability on the basis of the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002. The Tribunal shall also assess the conduct of Monsanto as regards the crime of ecocide, which it has been proposed to include in international criminal law. It shall examine whether the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court in force since 2002 should be reformed, in order to include the crime of ecocide and to allow for the prosecution of individual and legal entities suspected of having committed this crime.
Monsanto emailed ValueWalk the following statement:
In growing our food, farmers face some tough challenges as the world’s population continues to grow. To address these ever increasing challenges collaboratively and advance our commitment to human rights, we welcome a genuine constructive conversation with diverse ideas and perspectives about food and agriculture production. This mock trial is not a real dialogue but a stunt staged by the International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM), Organic Consumers Association and others who are fundamentally opposed to modern agriculture innovation, where anti-agriculture technology and anti-Monsanto critics play organizers, judge and jury, and where the outcome is pre-determined. Here is a link to our Open Letter regarding this mock trial.