Letter from the Hague
Published October 18, 2016, by Organic Consumers Association
On October 14-16, over a thousand activists, journalists and witnesses from around the world gathered in The Hague, Netherlands, headquarters of the International Court of Justice, to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and nature (“ecocide”). Before a distinguished international panel of judges, 30 witnesses—including farmers, consumers, scientists, indigenous people and former governmental officials—from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America, delivered detailed and shocking testimony on how Monsanto and its agribusiness accomplices have poisoned the environment and devastated public health.
Victims and witnesses described how, over the past 50 years, Monsanto has duped, assaulted, injured and killed farmers, farmworkers, rural villagers and urban consumers with its reckless use of toxic chemicals and pesticides (PCBs, DDT, Agent Orange, Dioxin, Roundup, 2,4D), and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The insidious political clout and growing control over the world’s seeds and food by Monsanto and a new global agribusiness cartel constitute a serious, indeed catastrophic, threat to our health as well as to the health of our soils, watersheds, oceans, wetlands, forests and climate.
Monsanto’s chemical- and fossil fuel-intensive GMO crops (corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets, eggplant, potatoes, alfalfa, and others) and the toxic pesticides used to grow them are now polluting 400 million acres in 28 nations, comprising almost 10 percent of the world’s croplands. As a result, GMO ingredients and pesticide residues now contaminate much, if not most, of the world’s (non-organic) processed foods, animal feed, meat, dairy and poultry. Meanwhile GMO soya and chemical-intensive palm oil plantations, commodities utilized for junk food, animal feed, cosmetics and biofuels, are the primary driving forces of the tropical deforestation that threatens to smother the literal lungs of the planet, as well as most of the planet’s biodiversity.
From Sri Lanka, India, Argentina, Bangladesh, China, the Philippines, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, and dozens of other nations, including the industrialized nations of the North, the same tragic, brutal, criminal, narrative emerged: Monsanto, aided and abetted by its shareholders and business allies, has deliberately poisoned people, communities and the environment in order to maximize profits. Meanwhile, indentured scientists, politicians and mass media—Monsanto’s minions—have done little or nothing to stop this mass homicide and ecocide. Read more
Monsanto Tribunal: The Outcomes
Published April 18, 2017, by Corporate Europe Observatory
Today, judges delivered their legal opinion on the evidence and witness statements presented at the Monsanto Tribunal that was held in The Hague (NL) in October 2016.
The tribunal concluded that:
•Monsanto has violated human rights to food, health, a healthy environment and the freedom indispensable for independent scientific research.
•‘ecocide’ should be recognized as a crime in international law.
•human rights and environmental laws are undermined by corporate-friendly trade and investment regulation.
During the hearings that took place in The Hague in October 2016, judges heard testimonies from witnesses from all over the world, who testified how Monsanto has violated human rights and has committed crimes against the planet by aggressively promoting its products, lobbying politicians and attacking independent scientists.
Based on these testimonies, and considering both existing international law and ongoing legal initiatives aiming to improve the protection of human rights and the environment, the judges concluded that Monsanto has indeed infringed on the public’s rights to food, health, a healthy environment and the freedom indispensable for independent scientific research.
The Tribunal is also of the opinion that “international law should now precisely and clearly assert the protection of the environment and the crime of ecocide”. If such a crime of ecocide would be recognized in international criminal law, “the activities of Monsanto could possibly constitute a crime of ecocide”, the judges stated. Read more