Monsanto has been voted “The World’s Most Evil Corporation” many times… and for good reason.
They have committed war crimes, crimes against nature and crimes against humanity.
They contributed to the devastation of 5 million acres of jungle and generations of birth defects in Southeast Asia by manufacturing Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. And never apologized.
They developed saccharin about a century ago and defeated the U.S. government in court to continue selling it to an unsuspecting public – despite scientific data showing it to be detrimental to human health.
They developed genetically engineered organisms, then proceeded to purchase disreputable politicians to circumvent legislative processes, manipulated and suppressed scientific data, purchased misleading “news” stories in corporate media, pressured and/or consumed smaller competition and bypassed financial & environmental regulations all over the planet.
They have also changed agriculture and livestock techniques that have been in use for millennia by patenting their “terminator seeds” and bovine growth hormone (rBGH) – which have led to farmer suicides in India, health epidemics, monstrous animal torture, devastated economies, brought lawsuits from a number of countries and, along with their companion herbicide Roundup, have created new organisms that cause sterility in livestock and plants.
This is beyond the wildest horror/sci-fi tale anyone could imagine before Monsanto rose to prominence as a global agrochemical & biotechnology behemoth.
They did all of this to implement an economic strategy that has caused desertification of soil, water and air contamination, has infected the global food supply with carcinogens that have increased cancers astronomically and have essentially guaranteed an end to nutritional food as we know it.
Finally, the rest of the planet is fighting back. The Monsanto Tribunal, held at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, has put in motion a process that, while technically without enforcement power, will set legal precedents for people around the world to start putting an end to multinational corporations raping the planet and putting the health of all living beings in jeopardy merely to increase profits.
The following is an e-mail I received about the tribunal:
The hearings of the Monsanto Tribunal have been very impressive and so was the People’s Assembly.
During the last two days the world was watching witnesses’ testimonies, lawyers’ pleas and the first impressions of the judges. We had 750 participants in The Hague representing 30 nationalities from all over the world, thousands were following us online on the livestream and social media and the Tribunal received a lot of press attention. Both victims and experts thanked us for giving them a voice on this important international platform; and a very well documented voice in this new process to hold corporations accountable for their acts.
The chairwoman of the Tribunal, Judge Tulkens, expressed the importance of the Tribunal in an interview with the French newspaper, Le Monde: “The questions of the access to water and to healthy food are old. Those are not new issues coming out of the mind of angry activists. Those issues, just like the right to a healthy environment, are likely to become more important with climate change. It is our duty to set legal tools to face those issues. The Monsanto Tribunal is a step and a tool within this dynamic.”
The Tribunal received quite a lot of media coverage. From French and German TV news programs to many newspapers and radio programs in various countries. See the links on our social media platforms (and later on the website).
Monsanto was invited to the Tribunal, but decided not to appear for their defense. We did get their attention though. They issued a statement in 5 languages saying that we are ‘pushing’ the wrong issues, since the real discussion is about feeding the world. Monsanto fails to see feeding the world in a safe way was exactly the topic of the Tribunal of the discussion farmers, consumer movements, and their associated networks had in the parallel People’s Assembly. Many eminent speakers stressed that Monsanto and agribusiness giants like them do not feed the world. Rather, they are involved in producing commodities, feed for animals, fuel for cars, and sugar for the food industry at a very high cost for human health and environment. This is production that feeds profit, not people. It’s the small- and medium-scale farmers that are actually feeding the world.
This Tribunal and People’s Assembly are about showing the tremendous costs of industrial farming for humans, for health, and for nature. They are also about standing up to Monsanto and their likes, and stopping them from poisoning our world and controlling our food supply, One way to do this is by showing the true cost of the current global food system, and the very real alternatives that exist.
Nnimmo Bassey at the opening said: “Being an ambassador to this Tribunal is like being an ambassador to mother Earth. If mother Earth could speak, Monsanto ought to be in jail long before now. Food is a celebration, it is culture, it is life. This is a struggle not against one multinational corporation, it is a struggle for life, it is a struggle for liberty. A struggle to stop big companies from colonizing our food systems, colonizing our agriculture, holding mother Earth as a slave for their profits.”
Please follow us on Facebook where many pictures and videos have already been posted. You can also see them if you have no Facebook yourself. In the coming weeks we will continue to release short interviews of the witnesses, experts and lawyers, as well as the speakers in the People’s Assembly. We will also add all of this to our website, including all the hearings of the Tribunal and the written testimonies in different languages. Please be patient, we will keep you informed!
The judges are now thoroughly reviewing the evidence from legal briefs and witness testimonies to answer the six questions posed in the Tribunal’s terms of reference. They will then present a legal advisory opinion, hopefully soon but if necessary next spring: we will supply logistic support, but the timing is up to them.
As Judge Tulkens said, “We will try to deliver the legal opinion before December 10th, the International Day of human Rights. It will be addressed to Monsanto and to the United Nations. From this legal opinion, other jurisdictions can be involved and more judges will step in. We, as the judges [at the Monsanto Tribunal] have seen, heard, noted and deliberated. Chances are that the international law will take into consideration new issues such as the ones related to ecocide.”
We would like to thank you and all the volunteers for your amazing support. This would not have been possible without you. Stay tuned, follow us on social media, show your support and share messages wherever and whenever you can. Ask friends to sign their support. Together we will put an end to the era of poisoning and exploiting the world and move onward to a system where we work with nature instead of waging a war against it.
For further reading about Monsanto: