From a century of genocide and ecocide by war-based corporations to a future of seed freedom, food freedom based on rights of nature and rights of humanity.
Navdanya is co-organizing the Monsanto Tribunal and a People’s Assembly for the future of food, the future of the planet – along with multiple civil society organizations – from 14th-16th October 2016 at The Hague. The Monsanto Tribunal will hold Monsanto and co. accountable for their crimes against humanity, human rights violations and ecocide, no matter what name and form they morph into.
In the last century big agribusiness of today with roots in war have poisoned millions of people, destroyed biodiversity, pushed small farmers off their land, and attempted to take over every aspect of our life. The potential of this harm increases as these corporations become fewer and bigger. An example is the recent bid by Bayer to buy Monsanto.
Using free trade neoliberal polices and deregulation of commerce to enlarge their empires, these corporations are attacking life on earth and biodiversity. They have broadened their control over our seed, our food and freedom, robbing us of our human rights and democracy. They have established monopolies and threatened farmers rights to seed and people’s rights to affordable medicine through patents and IPRs.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto has developed a number of highly toxic products, which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people. These products include:
• PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), one of the twelve Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that affect human and animal fertility;
• 2,4,5 T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant, Agent Orange, which was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and continues to cause birth defects and cancer;
• Lasso, an herbicide that is now banned in Europe;
• and RoundUp, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the source of the greatest health and environmental scandal in modern history – this toxic herbicide is used in combination with genetically modified (GM) RoundUp Ready seeds in large-scale monocultures, primarily to produce soybeans, maize and rapeseed for animal feed and biofuels.
Monsanto promotes an agroindustrial model that contributes at least one third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions; it is also largely responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction and declining biodiversity, and the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide. This is a model that threatens peoples’ food sovereignty by patenting seeds and privatizing life. Learn more: http://www.monsanto-tribunal.org/why-a-tribunal/
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 Tribunal will show, through the example of Monsanto, why the crime of ecocide must be recognized under international law. The six questions are:
Question 1: Has Monsanto – through its activities – violated the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, as pursuant to international human rights law (Res. 25/21 of the Council of Human rights, April, 15, 2014), considering the responsibilities of companies pursuant to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as approved by the Council of Human Rights in Resolution 17/4 of June 16 th , 2011?
Question 2: Has Monsanto – through its activities – violated the right to food, pursuant to Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Articles 24.2 (c) and (e) and 27.3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; Articles 25 (f) and 28.1 of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women; considering the responsibilities of companies under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as approved by the Council of Human Rights in resolution 17/4 of June 16 th , 2011?
Question 3: Has Monsanto – through its activities – violated the right to the highest
standard of health attainable, pursuant to Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; or the child’s right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health, as guaranteed by Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child; considering the responsibilities of businesses under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as approved by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011?
Question 4: Has Monsanto infringed the indispensable right to freedom of scientific research, as guaranteed in Article 15 para. 3 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and freedom of opinion and expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; considering the responsibilities of companies pursuant to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as approved by the Council of Human Rights in its Resolution of 17/4 of 16 June 2011?
Question 5: Has Monsanto be an accomplice to war crime pursuant to Article 8 para. 2 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, for its role in supplying the United States military for “Operation Ranch Hand” in Vietnam in 1962?
Question 6: Are the past and present activities of Monsanto likely constitute the crime of ecocide, as it is currently understood as causing serious harm to the environment or destroying it such as to seriously and sustainably harm the global commons or the ecosystem upon which some communities depend?
To assist citizens and movements from around the world in making their voice heard during the upcoming trial, the International Monsanto Tribunal asks you to send in any information or your testimony. Learn more here: http://www.monsanto-tribunal.org/how/
14th – 16th October 2016
People’s Assemblies for the Future of our Food and the Future of our Planet
2nd – 16th October 2016
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