As a global leader in the production of genetically modified organisms, as well as the world’s largest producer of conventional seeds, Monsanto is one of the most controversial companies in industrial history. Since it was founded in 1901, the St. Louis-based multinational has been taken to court many times for negligence, fraud, environmental and health disasters, and for using false evidence. And there’s no shortage of charges that could be leveled at Monsanto, which continues to call itself as a “life science company”: the agro-industrial model it promotes is responsible for at least one third of global greenhouse gas emissions due to human activity and the company is also largely responsible for the depletion of land and water resources, the destruction of biodiversity and the marginalization of millions of small-scale farmers.
In view of all this, protest actions, such as the global march which took place in spring, don’t seem to be enough. It is necessary to analyze in great detail everything that is happening and to formulate a specific and effective charge, highlighting the existing legal tools – and those that are missing – for holding large corporations like Monsanto responsible for their crimes.
That is why the Monsanto Tribunal was established: created in the Hague, in the Netherlands, and supported by Slow Food and other civil movements, NGOs and international personalities – including the French author Marie-Monique Robin, who wrote The World According to Monsanto, and the Australian Andre Leu, President of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture –, the tribunal aims to “judge the environmental and health crimes with which the multinational is charged and help the crime of ecocide to be recognized in international law.”
The multinational has ignored the human and environmental damage caused by its products and is continuing its devastating activities through a policy of systematic concealment: lies, corruption, funding fraudulent scientific studies, pressuring independent scientists, manipulating the press, political lobbying, etc. The story of Monsanto is an example of the impunity of international companies and the people who run them, who, with their decisions and their actions, contribute to climate change and to destabilization of the biosphere, thus threatening the safety of the planet.
From October 14 to 16, 2016 in The Hague, the Monsanto Tribunal, which will not be internationally recognized, but will have real judges and lawyers, and real charges, will aim to evaluate Monsanto’s alleged crimes. To date, no legal instrument has made it possible to convict a company like Monsanto, or its directors. By holding a show trial based on the Guiding principles on business and human rights adopted by the UN in 2011, and with around 100 plaintiffs from around the world in attendance, we will seek to obtain a judgment against the company from a real court, and to help create international mechanisms to enable the victims of multinationals to get justice.
You can also do your part! Protecting the safety of the planet and existence itself is an issue that concerns us all and just one collective push will stop the ongoing destruction!
Against Patented Seeds, also a Terra Madre Salone del Gusto Forum.
To find out more, come to the Terra Madre Forum “Patented Seeds,” which will take place on Friday, September 23 in Turin, as part of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto.
You might also be interested in:
Nine good reasons to march against Monsanto., or to share this article (http://www.slowfood.it/nove-buoni-motivi-marciare-monsanto-condividere-articolo/)