PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD FOR ALL HUMANITY TO ATTEND THIS EVENT AND SHARE THIS PAGE!
It’s finally here, the day we Earth-conscience people having been waiting a whole year for – since it was announced last year about this time. MARK IT ON YOUR CALENDAR FOR ALL MANKIND.
October 2016 The Tribunal and People’s Assembly will take place between 14 and 16 October in The Hague, Netherlands. Being marketed as the International Monsanto Tribunal, Monsanto’s judge and jury are the consumer public and advocates for protecting the earth and it’s people from corporate corruption of the worst kind. This international civil society’s initiative is to hold Monsanto accountable for human rights violations, for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide. Eminent judges will hear testimonies from victims, and deliver an advisory opinion following procedures of the International Court of Justice. A parallel People’s Assembly provides the opportunity for social movements to rally and plan for the future we want and by all rights, deserve.
If you haven’t heard about the March Against Monsanto Movement, you must be living with your head in the sand, because social media has been circulating it for the last 3-4 years. That’s because the regular media won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole. The People Against Monsanto movement has gotten very little, practically no, press coverage because the national media doesn’t want to ruffle the Ag giant’s feathers due to the fact that people have lost their jobs in the past, been threatened, forced into bankruptcy and discredited in every way possible for even trying to get the word out about Monsanto’s unethical, evil, killing ways.
The Organic Consumer’s Association has a good page on their site called ” Six Questions for Monsanto” that the tribunal will address during the Monsanto citizen’s trial in Hague. We are reposting it here for those who are not familiar with what all the hoopla is about and for those who are following this tribunal with baited breath in anticipation of finally getting some global awareness and support to help bring down this giant villain. The tribunal will also be televised by livestream, details to be announced. Follow the tribunals website for more info.
Monsanto may not be the largest company in the world. Or the worst. But the St. Louis, Mo. biotech giant has become the poster child for all that’s wrong with our industrial food and farming system.
With 21,000 employees in 66 countries and $15 billion in revenue, Monsanto is a biotech industry heavyweight. The St. Louis, Mo.-based monopolizer of seeds is the poster child for an industry that is the source of at least one-third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and is largely responsible for the depletion of soil, water and biodiversity. Not to mention the company’s marginalization—and sometimes terrorization—of millions of small farmers.
Since the early 20th century, Monsanto has marketed highly toxic products that have contaminated the environment and permanently sickened or killed thousands of people around the world. The most toxic of its products include:
• PCBs: one of the 12 persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which affect human and animal fertility
• 2,4,5 T (2,4-D): a component of Agent Orange containing dioxin which was used by the US military during the Vietnam war and continues to be a major cause of birth defects and cancers
• Lasso: an herbicide now banned in Europe
• Roundup: the most widely used herbicide in the world, cause of one of the biggest health and environmental tragedies in modern history. This highly toxic weed killer, sprayed on GMO crops including soybeans, corn and rapeseed for animal feed or for the production of biofuels, was recently classified as a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization.
In a rare exception, Monsanto was recently ordered to pay $46.5 million to compensate victims of its PCB poisoning. Sometimes the companysettles out of court, to avoid having to admit to any “wrongdoing.”
But for the most part, thanks to the multinational’s powerful influence over U.S. politicians, Monsanto has been able to poison with impunity.
It’s time for the citizens of the world to fight back. On October 15-16, in The Hague, Netherlands—the International City of Peace and Justice—a panel of distinguished international judges will hear testimony from witnesses, represented by legitimate lawyers, who have been harmed by Monsanto.
In their preparation for the citizens’ tribunal, and during witness testimony, the judges will consider six questions that are relevant not just in relation to Monsanto, but to all companies involved in shaping the future of agriculture. The six questions are:
1. Right to a healthy environment: Did the firm Monsanto violate, by its activities, the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, as recognized in international human rights law (Res. 25/21 of the Human Rights Council, of 15 April 2014), taking into account the responsibilities imposed on corporations by the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as endorsed by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011?
2. Right to food: Did the firm Monsanto violate, by its activities, the right to food, as recognized in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in Articles 24.2(c) and (e) and 27.3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and in Articles 25(f) and 28.1 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, taking into account the responsibilities imposed on corporations by the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as endorsed by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011?
3. Right to health: Did the firm Monsanto violate, by its activities, the right to the highest attainable standard of health, as recognized in Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, or the right of child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, as recognized by Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, taking into account the responsibilities imposed on corporations by the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as endorsed by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 17/4 of 16 June 201
4. Freedom of expression and academic research: Did the firm Monsanto violate the freedom indispensable for scientific research, as guaranteed by Article 15(3) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as the freedoms of thought and expression guaranteed in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, taking into account the responsibilities imposed on corporations by the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as endorsed by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011?
5. Complicity in war crimes: Is the firm Monsanto complicit in the commission of a war crime, as defined in Article 8(2) of the International Criminal Court, by providing materials to the United States Army in the context of operation “Ranch Hand” launched in Viet Nam in 1962?
6. Ecocide: Could the past and present activities of Monsanto constitute a crime of ecocide, understood as causing serious damage or destroying the environment, so as to significantly and durably alter the global commons or ecosystem services upon which certain human groups rely?
The citizens’ tribunal judges will not have the power to adopt binding decisions. But they will issue opinions which will provide victims and their legal counsel the arguments and legal grounds for further lawsuits against Monsanto within their national jurisdictions.
Throughout history, citizens’ tribunals have been an effective tool for highlighting the need to change international law so that victims of transnational companies have a means to legal redress. They are most successful when they are able to attract media attention, and are endorsed and supported by millions of citizens, throughout the world.
To submit witness testimony, email claims (at) Monsanto-tribunal.org. You can also support the tribunal financially.
Katherine Paul is associate director of the Organic Consumers Association.