Monsanto faces trial in The Hague for all the damage it has caused the world. A group of professionals, scientists and environmentalists from around the world, now known as the Monsanto Tribunal, are preparing to try Monsanto in The Hague, an international criminal court. The tribunal intends to charge Monsanto with “ecocide.”
The goal is to research and evaluate the many allegations made against Monsanto in connection with all the damage its products have wrought to human health and the world’s environment. The tribunal is scheduled to be held at The Hague in 2016, October 12-16. It is scheduled to wrap up on World Food Day.
Crime of Ecocide
One of the principal goals the large group of signees wants the tribunal to achieve is to establish “ecocide” as a crime. The International Monsanto Tribunal says on its website:
“Recognizing ecocide as a crime is the only way to guarantee the right of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected.”
The Tribunal will look into a range of charges, including what it alleges are Monsanto’s crimes against nature and humanity.
The group further states:
“The Tribunal will rely on the ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ adopted at the UN in 2011. It will also assess potential criminal liability on the basis of the Rome Statue that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether a reform of international criminal law is warranted to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense, so that natural persons could incur criminal liability.”
Consumer Group Support
RT News reports that several bodies and groups are supporting the initiative, including the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, as well as dozens more farming and environmental groups.
The groups announced the decision to proceed with the tribunal a short time before the Sustainable Pulse report was published; that report was part of the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change that ran through December 11, 2015 in Paris.
Monsanto Trial Overdue
The tribunal announced in Paris last year that the time is long overdue for a global citizens’ group to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment.
President of IFOAM and a member of the RI Steering Committee, Andre Leu, accused Monsanto of ignoring the human and environmental damage created by its products. Mr. Leu added that the transnational Monsanto is able to maintain its devastating practices “by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, and by manipulating the press and media.”
Mr. Leu continued, “Monsanto’s history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.”
Monsanto has long been firmly entrenched on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., with long-running revolving door employment traffic between the FDA, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, senate and congressional positions, and even judiciary appointments, such as that of Clarence Thomas, a former Monsanto lawyer who has repeatedly refused to recuse himself from Supreme Court cases involving his former employer.
Monsanto Crimes Catalogue
The Monsanto Tribunal argues that the company is responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction, and declining biodiversity, as well as the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide.
Indian Farmer Suicides
Farmers in certain countries have been devastated by Monsanto practices. In India, a tragic wave of farmer suicides have been tied to their (ill-advised) use of Monsanto’s punitive protocols and products.
Traditional crops were fine for centuries in India; now farmers have been forced to grow GM cotton, which is more expensive and requires more water and more maintenance. In the last 20 years, this sad trend has driven some 290,000 farmers to commit suicide due to bankruptcy, according to India’s national crimes bureau records. They kill themselves by drinking Monsanto’s Roundup, the horrible irony of which is likely lost on Monsanto.
Monsanto sues Farmers
Monsanto is notorious for routinely suing farmers, even when those farmers are the company’s own customers. According to Food Democracy Now, Monsanto has filed 145 lawsuits since 1997, accusing farmers of using their seeds in a manner inconsistent with the biotech bully’s policies. Lawsuits have also included cases where the farmers themselves had sued Monsanto for the inadvertent cross-pollination of their organic crops with GMO seeds. Monsanto turns right back around and sues those farmers, claiming that if one (1) percent of their Monsanto terminator seeds are blown into an adjacent field, seeds that that defenseless farmer did not pay for and did not want, he was nevertheless at fault and hence could not sell his crop at all that year. Monsanto, ludicrous as it sounds, has won such lawsuits again and again (with Clarence Thomas helping them do it) against small farmers who never wanted anything to do with the nasty bully from Missouri.
Monarch Butterflies dead by the Millions
It has been estimated that Monsanto’s Roundup has, since its mass application in 1990, has killed some 970 million Monarch butterflies, an important part of the ecosystem. That loss is not yet fully understood; but any scientist of any standing whatsoever knows you can not wipe out an entire specie without serious consequences to the ecosystem in which we all live. And then of course there is the mass disappearance of pollinating bees, which even the EPA now admits have been killed by neonicotinoids, pesticides.
If the U.S. court system can’t hold Monsanto accountable for destroying the ecosystem, for destroying us, perhaps The Hague can. Godspeed.