Historic International Monsanto Tribunal Begins in The Hague
Opening Press Conference, People’s Assembly Mark First of Three-Day Event to Expose Monsanto’s Crimes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2016
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands—The organizers of the International Monsanto Tribunal and People’s Assembly addressed international journalists today at an opening press conference preceding today’s People’s Assembly and the October 15-16 Tribunal.
“If global governments and courts won’t rein in Monsanto and hold it accountable for its crimes, the people will,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association and member of the Tribunal organizing committee. “Monsanto’s toxic products, toxic commodities and toxic monocultures are destroying human health and our soils, without which life on Earth is unsustainable.”
“A patent of life and on seeds is a crime against farmers who are trapped in debt for costly patented seed,” said Vandana Shiva, founder of Navdanya and member of the Tribunal organizing committee. “It is also a crime against nature. The claim that by adding a gene Monsanto is ‘making’ life violates the self-organizing, self-renewing capacity of seed. The crime is further aggravated by destroying biodiversity, and spreading genetic pollution through the introduction of GMOs.”
The People’s Assembly will conclude on October 16, World Food Day, with a global citizens pledge to transition to a healthy and regenerative, and socially and economically just and democratic global food and farming system.
The Monsanto Tribunal, supported by more than 1000 organizations worldwide, is an international civil society initiative to examine Monsanto’s accountability for human rights violations, for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide. Eminent judges will hear testimonies from victims, and deliver an advisory opinion following procedures of the International Court of Justice. The People’s Assembly provides opportunity for social movements to rally and plan for an alternative future.
Organizing groups behind the Monsanto Tribunal include the Organic Consumers Association, Navdanya, IFOAM Organics International, the Biovision Foundation and Regeneration International.
Regeneration International, a project of the Organic Consumers Association, is building a global network of farmers, scientists, businesses, activists, educators, journalists, governments and consumers who will promote and put into practice regenerative agriculture and land-use practices that: provide abundant, nutritious food; revive local economies; rebuild soil fertility and biodiversity; and restore climate stability by returning carbon to the soil, through the natural process of photosynthesis.