We, individuals and representatives of various people’s and civil society organisations fully support the International Monsanto Tribunal, which will be held in The Hague, Netherlands from 14 to 16 October 2016.
Following procedures of the International Court of Justice, the Tribunal will hold Monsanto accountable for human rights and environmental violations. We believe that such an initiative, supported through international solidarity, will be a crucial step towards corporate accountability and achieving justice for Monsanto’s victims worldwide. It is apparent that Monsanto’s vast monopoly control over seeds and chemical inputs has put millions of food producers and rural peoples under a web of suffering and exploitation. Their most basic rights to health and life—as well as economic, social, and cultural rights—are needlessly violated. This was no less than the indictment of a Permanent People’s Tribunal on Agrochemical TNCs, held in 2011 at Bangalore, India, wherein Monsanto was one of the six agrochemical TNCs found guilty of “gross, widespread and systematic violations,” based on testimonies by victims and health and environmental scientists.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto, a US-based transnational corporation (TNC), has developed and marketed highly toxic pesticides that were proven to have permanently damaged the environment and killed or caused the illnesses of thousands of people including children.
The most hazardous of these products include the Persistent Organic Pollutant PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls); the Vietnam War defoliant Agent Orange; and Round-Up, a glyphosate herbicide used widely in combination with genetically modified (GM) seeds. Monsanto’s Round-Up is a probable carcinogen classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and yet the use of Round-Up has increased tremendously due to the aggressive public relations and marketing efforts by Monsanto. Victims of acute and chronic poisoning from these and other toxic chemicals have not been acknowledged or compensated by Monsanto. Their numbers also continue to grow on a daily basis.
Together with the world’s largest agrochemical TNCs, Monsanto has for the past decades aggressively shaped and promoted an agro-industrial model that is estimated to contribute around one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, further aggravating the climate crisis. This input-intensive model has depleted soil and water resources, degraded the environment, and destroyed biodiversity on a global scale.
Increasingly, Monsanto creates large-scale monocultures of GM crops dedicated to animal feed and biofuels, further endangering food security, displacing small food producers, and contributing to the rapid loss of traditional seeds and varieties. Food sovereignty, especially of rural women who have been seed savers and keepers for generations, is greatly undermined.
Monsanto has profited immensely from patenting life forms and placing additional economic burdens on farmers. In India, for instance, 95 percent of cotton is grown using Monsanto’s technology; in these same cotton fields, thousands of farmers end their own life because Monsanto’s BT cotton did not perform as promised, leaving the farmers in debt. Elsewhere, farmers also have to pay increasing royalties and fines demanded by Monsanto, who have enlisted governments in monitoring—and profiteering from—the use of their technology.
As the global food and climate crises worsens, as do poverty and hunger among the world’s food producers and rural peoples, it becomes even more pressing that, as an international community, we call out one of the biggest corporation and make them accountable to these violations. We believe that without a stronger and more united push for corporate accountability, Monsanto will continue to get away with these violations at the expense of future generations.
Support the International Monsanto Tribunal! Sign the petition:
If you are signing on as an organization – http://www.monsanto-tribunal.org/sign-org
If you are signing on as an individual – http://www.monsanto-tribunal.org/sign
Defend Food Sovereignty! Fight for Climate Justice!
Resist Corporate Takeover on Agriculture!
Push for Corporate Accountability!
PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP)
People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS)
Asian Peasant Coalition (APC)
Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC)
Serikat Perempuan Indonesia (SERUNI)
GITA PERTIWI Ecological Studies Programme
North South Initiative (NSI)
Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas/Peasant Movement of the Philippines (KMP)
National Federation of Peasant Women (AMIHAN)
Sining na Naglilingkod sa Bayan (SINAGBAYAN)
National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates – Youth (NNARA-YOUTH)
Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF)
Alternative Agriculture Network (AAN)
Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED)
Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD)
femLINKPacific Media Initiatives for Women (femLINKPACIFIC)
Bangladesh Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge (BARCIK)
Society for Rural Education and Development (SRED)
Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum (TNWF)
Vikalpani National Women’s Federation
Savisthri (Women in Development Alternatives) Movement
KHOJ Society for People’s Education
Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek (PKMT)
ROOTS for Equity
Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD)
Peoples’ Coalition for Food Sovereignty – Mongolia Chapter
Pesticide Action Nexus Association, PAN-Ethiopia
The 16 Days of Global Action on Land and Resources, supports the Monsanto Tribunal on 14-16 October in The Hague, Netherlands. The 16 Days of Global Action on Land and Resources is a series of collective action of 31 organisations of farmers, women and other advocacy groups from 19 countries. It will culminate on 15 and 16 October.