Thursday, January 7, 2016


Food Revolution Network

Monsanto to be held accountable for crimes against human health and the environment

Monsanto Crimes Against Humanity and Environment
Originally published by the Organic Consumers Association
Global Food, Farming, and Environmental Justice Groups to hold Monsanto Accountable for Crimes Against Human Health and the  Environment by Conducting an International Citizens Tribunal in The Hague
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming, and environmental justice groups announced December 3, 2015, that they will organize a citizens tribunal to hold Monsanto MON (NYSE), a US-based transnational corporation, accountable for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide, in The Hague, Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016.
The announcement was made at a press conference held in conjunction with the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change, November 30 – December 11, in Paris.
Speaking at the press conference, Ronnie Cummins, international director of the OCA (US) and Via Organica (Mexico), and member of the RI Steering Committee, said: “The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment. We are in Paris this month to address the most serious threat that humans have ever faced in our 100-200,000 year evolution—global warming and climate disruption. Why is there so much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere and not enough carbon organic matter in the soil? Corporate agribusiness, industrial forestry, the garbage and sewage industry and agricultural biotechnology have literally killed the climate-stabilizing, carbon-sink capacity of the Earth’s living soil.”
Vandana Shiva, physicist, author, activist and founder of Navdanya, and member of the RI Steering Committee said: “Monsanto has pushed GMOs in order to collect royalties from poor farmers, trapping them in unpayable debt, and pushing them to suicide. Monsanto promotes an agro-industrial model that contributes at least 50 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Monsanto 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.”
Andre Leu, president of IFOAM and a member of the RI Steering Committee, said: “Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products, and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: 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. 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.”
Marie-Monique Robin, journalist and author of the best-selling documentary (and book by the same name), “The World According Monsanto,” said:
“This International Citizens’ Tribunal is necessary because the defense of the safety of the planet and the conditions of life on Earth is everyone’s concern. Only through a collective resurgence of all living forces will we stop the engine of destruction. That’s why today I am calling on all citizens of the world to participate in this exemplary tribunal.”
Also speaking at the conference were Valerie Cabanes, lawyer and spokesperson for End Ecocide on Earth; Hans Rudolf Herren, president and CEO of the Millennium Institute, president and founder of Biovision, and member of the RI Steering Committee; Arnaud Apoteker, creator of the anti-GMO campaign in France, which became one of the priority campaigns of Greenpeace France, and author of “Fish in Our Strawberries: Our Manipulated Food;” and Olivier De Schutter, co-chair of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPESFood) and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto has developed a steady stream 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 12 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, designated a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization, 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. Please ask the U.S. EPA to ban all uses of glyphosate in the U.S.
Relying on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted by the UN in 2011, an international court of lawyers and judges will assess the potential criminal liability of Monsanto for damages inflicted on human health and the environment. The court will also rely on the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether to reform international criminal law to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense. The International Criminal Court, established in 2002 in The Hague, has determined that prosecuting ecocide as a criminal offense is the only way to guarantee the rights of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected.
Full list of founding organizations (so far) here.
Full list of Monsanto Tribunal Foundation organizing members here.
More information on the tribunal, click here.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.
Regeneration International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to 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.


Paradise is being poisoned

Hawaii is ground zero for GMOs. Having visited there recently, I felt for the residents as I drove down the streets. I saw a children’s center across the street from some chemically sprayed fields. I stopped and spoke to the moms whose children are sick and saw the struggle in their eyes. Paradise is being poisoned.
New reports show toxic chemicals are actually being found inside of homes in Maui. Hawaii is home to more than a thousand GMO test plots. In comparison, California, the largest agricultural state in America, has a little over one hundred. We would like to think the chemicals stay outside of our homes, but this is not the case.
Three houses in Paia were found to be contaminated inside with herbicides, according to local sources. 
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture itself tested a home in Paia after a resident complained that nearby fields were over being sprayed. Their test results came back positive for 6 different kinds of herbicides in the bedrooms, the kitchen and on the trees in the yard. Dicamba, Diruron, 2,4-D, Pendimethanlin, Ametryn, and Hexazinone were all found inside of the home. Once again, the Department of Agriculture has failed to complete its investigation even though they have had more than 4 years to do so. They also decided not to warn nearby residents that their homes may have also been contaminated.
The Department of Agriculture is failing to evaluate the public health risks to Paia residents who were likely exposed to these harmful herbicides. The agricultural industry continues to say that these chemicals are safe for limited, one-time acute exposures at certain levels. However, there have been no scientific studies that have evaluated the health impacts on humans when combining these chemicals together. In addition, people who are living in homes that have been contaminated are being constantly exposed over time, as the residues are found on the walls, cabinets, furniture, and carpets. HC&S continues to spray near Paia Elementary School and this area still needs to be tested. A local group called Maui’s Dirty Little Secrets group revealed five different samples taken from one house, each from a different location in the home.
Leaders have joined with the locals in urging Paia residents to immediately call the Paia Elementary School principal as well as state Sens. Kalani and Baker to protect Hawaii residents from further health threats caused by overspraying.”
This statement is horrifying. The presence of these chemicals is a warning of almost imminent danger. Evangelos Valliantos, a former EPA employee of 29 years, recently wrote an article on the EPA’s failed tactics to manage toxic chemicals. 
Valliantos shows how 2,4-D, one of the chemicals found in these Paia homes is  a known toxin and the safety studies for many chemicals are completely fraudulent and falsified. 
In Valliantos’ book Poison Spring, he says "the EPA should know better. In many instances, EPA couldn't trust the data of the chemical industry. For example, pesticide companies funded fraudulent testing of their chemicals for decades. A scientist of the Federal Drug Administration, Adrian Gross, discovered that fraud in 1976.”
Over a long period of time, many of these chemicals have been proven harmful in a multitude of ways like destroying gut bacteria and weakening the immune system. They also cause sex hormone changes, birth defects, miscarriages, DNA mutation, liver and kidney damage, reproductive organ mutations and more.
This is why Monsanto spent more than 8 million dollars on one county of Maui, to prevent an initiative to require a moratorium on GMO open air test plots until tests proved these chemical safe. They knew they couldn't or their GMO farming industry in Hawaii would be over.
The residents exposed to the 90 chemicals in 63 combinations that are sprayed up to 19 times a day, impact citizens, especially children, which could be permanently altered by the presence of these chemicals.
We all could be.
The fact is that these chemicals are not just in these resident's living room window sills in Hawaii. Many of these chemicals are on our food and in our homes in other parts of the country because we’ve allowed GMO chemical farming.
The uncomfortable reality is that the reason why these pesticides are being reported in Maui neighborhoods is because the GMO chemical companies want to spray them on our food all over the world. 
They don’t wash off, dry off, or cook off. 
We eat them, and our children eat them. These GMO test plots are where the chemical companies test and plan the chemical combinations to be sprayed on new GMOs. Many of these same chemical combinations are already being sprayed on our current GMOs, which make up 85-100% of crops like corn, soy, sugar, cottonseed oil, canola oil and smaller percentages of apples, potatoes, squash and bananas. 
So this horrifying evidence of Hawaiians being poisoned in their own homes from pesticide residue is not only impactful because we feel for them and want justice for them. It’s also horrifying because what is happening to them is a glimpse of what is happening to all of us in North America and in many other parts around the world. 
We are ALL consuming toxic chemicals on our food. Even those of us who are eating organic foods, because of drift and pollution in the air, water, soil and fertilizers. We are being poisoned by GMO chemical farming. Now is the time to stand up, speak up, and say no, in Hawaii and around the world. 
It has to stop now.
Zen Honeycutt is founder of Moms Across America