An initiative is underway to cast a spotlight on agri-business giant Monsanto in a bid to expose the corporation’s multi-decade effort to harm the environment and destroy the world’s food chain.
As noted by The Food Revolution Network, in the past 100 years, Monsanto and other multinational agri-business behemoths have promoted and profited from chemical-laced methods of food production that have poisoned both the Earth and its people, all while demolishing biodiversity and crushing small farmers. The stain such corporations have left on the land and the environment is indelible, and in many cases, irreversible.
Now, the network noted, people are standing up and collectively saying, “Enough!”
The International Monsanto Tribunal will be held in The Hague, Netherlands, Oct. 14–16, according to an announcement on the organization’s website. The tribunal “is an international civil society initiative to hold Monsanto accountable for human rights violations, for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide,” the organization says.
Witnesses to the tribunal include Monsanto victims
The group says that “eminent judges” will be on hand to hear victim testimonies. They plan to deliver advisory opinions following the testimonies, using established procedures of the International Court of Justice.
Meanwhile, a People’s Assembly will convene to provide “the opportunity for social movements to rally and plan for the future we want,” the website says.
The Food Revolution Network said that five “internationally renowned judges” plan to hear testimony from 30 witnesses and other experts from five continents. The witness list includes some people allegedly harmed by Monsanto’s products.
The goal of the tribunal is to provide a legitimate platform for victims and their legal counsel to voice arguments and present cases prior to the filing of lawsuits against Monsanto and other agri-business giants, “on the basis of the environmental and health damages” allegedly caused by them, the network said.
In addition, the tribunal proceedings aim to show why the crime of ecocide – the willful destruction of the natural environment – is one that needs to be recognized as a violation of international law.
A tribunal has become necessary because governments and courts around the world have yet to hold Monsanto accountable for any adverse impact their products have had on the environment and the global food chain. When charges have been filed in regular courts, Monsanto has typically spent large amounts of money to mount a legal defense, or the company has simply settled out of court, the network said.
“We need a new approach if we are to create meaningful changes in Monsanto’s practices,” it said, adding that this is why it is important to bring civil society organizations together, because it’s the only meaningful way to hold Monsanto and other agri-businesses to account.
Most infamous products highlighted
Monsanto is being singled out because it is the largest corporation to have promoted a chemical-centric method of agriculture over the past two decades. The company has grown so large that it has been able to virtually monopolize food production – while poisoning the environment.
Some of the most toxic products include:
— PCB’s: These are one of 12 persistent organic pollutants that affect the fertility of humans and animals.
— 2,4,5 T & 2,4-D: These are components of Agent Orange used by the U.S. military to defoliate large portions of jungle during the Vietnam War, so as to deny enemy troops cover and concealment when moving troops and supplies. It was found to be a major contributor to cancer and birth defects.
— Lasso: This is an herbicide that has now been banned in Europe.
— Roundup: This is the most widely used herbicide in the world, and its active ingredient is glyphosate, which has been determined to be “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organization. It has also been found to be an endocrine disruptor.
J. D. Heyes
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