Starting from tomorrow, 30 legal experts and witnesses from 5 different continents will testify before 5 international judges at the Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. Their testimony will hold the giant Monsanto for destruction of the environment as well as crimes against humanity.
The Monsanto’s Roundup has been called “the greatest health and environment scandal in history” by the Monsanto Tribunal organizers.
Monsanto Tribunal Facebook
The first trial is going to be streamed live from Oct. 15 8:30 a.m. GMT+2 on the tribunal website, and it is going to follow the guidelines of the U.S international court of justice. It is not going to have any legal standing since its purpose is to gather the legal counsel from the judges as well as the legal grounds for any future litigation.
According to the tribunal organizers’ statement on their website, the aim of the tribunal is to give legal opinion to the health and environment damage caused by the international Monsanto.
Monsanto which is now getting closer to a $66 billion takeover from Bayer – a German pharmaceutical giant, has been facing a never-ending slew of controversies concerning the health and environment issues over their products, from the beginning of the twentieth century.
The historical product line-up of Monsanto was banned due to containing banned toxic chemicals such as 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid polychlorinated biphenyl, Lasso, as well as glyphosate which is one of the main ingredients in Monsanto’s products but is also controversial to be extremely dangerous.
The trial is going to proceed on the same weekend as the World Food Day – organized by Organic Consumers Association (OCA), the International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM), the Organics International as well as the Regeneration International, Navdanya, Millions Against Monsanto and other smaller global farming, food and environment groups.
According to a tribunal organizer Vandana Shiva, Monsanto is one of the most dangerous corporations on the planet. They’ve earned their reputation through a long history of producing toxic products for humans and the environment as well as manipulate scientific evidence and playing political pressure worldwide in order to promote their products. Everything from society to life and democracy are under a threat and we can’t allow that to happen, says Vandana Shiva.
The president of IFOAM – Andre Leu says that Monsanto is able to ignore the environmental and human damage caused from their products while maintaining their horrible activities through systematic concealment. They rely on corruption and lying and making fraud scientific studies by conducting pressure on independent scientists. They’re also powerful enough to manipulate the media and the press which makes them a serious threat to the planet.
Unfortunately, Monsanto won’t be present at the trial since it claims it is a “staged” event organized by the organic food industry.
An open letter signed by the company’s Human Rights Steering Committee states that this is a stunt supported a staged by the International Foundation for Organic Agriculture (IFOAM) – which is an umbrella organization of organic agriculture organizations that oppose modern agriculture.
The letter also states that they prefer a genuine constructive conversation with diverse perspectives and ideas about agriculture and food production since those are the kind of conversations needed to find sustainable solutions to the food challenges.
Of course as expected the tribunal organizers have responded to the Monsanto’s allegations. The director of the Human Rights Consortium at London University – Damien Short called this a test of international law that has moral force. The tribunal law’s decision is going to be based on evidence since the tribunals of people are testing the law.
It is impossible to bring criminal charges against a huge company like Monsanto under international law, says Lucy Rees on the behalf of End Ecocide on Earth.
Another big supporter of the tribunal is Greenpeace. They stated that the industrial scale of today’s agriculture has broken the food system as huge agri-businesses fail to take into account the environment’s health and the people who depend on it. They also added that monoculture and chemical fertilizers’ dependence are taking a toll on our planet, our animals and us, humans.
Witnesses and experts who will be present at the trial include victims (people who were affected by the pesticide spraying in Argentina, France, India, Brazil Colombia, Paraguay and more) according to the tribunal newsletter. Also there will be seed savers from Bangladesh, Australia, Canada and France as well as beekeepers from the U.S, UK and many more.