Almost there!

Very soon Monsanto will be on trial! 30 witnesses and legal experts from five continents will testify in The Hague before five international judges. These witnesses will tell the judges, and the world, how Monsanto has ruined their health, their communities, their livelihoods. We will make the theme of this year's World Food Day (October 16th) the damage to health and nature caused by chemical industrial agriculture. Citizens’ tribunals have a long history of drawing widespread attention to corporate corruption, and of ultimately leading to criminal trials. Like you, we want the Monsanto Tribunal to push courts in countries all over the world to hold Monsanto accountable for its crimes.

Thanks to you!

This unique event is only possible thanks to the support of people like you. Thank you! Please continue to help us to spread the word, especially just before, during and the days after the event. Forward this newsletter to friends, ask them to sign support, write to journalists you know, share our posts on Facebook on your page and in groups, retweet our messages if you use twitter, compose your own messages on other social media. You can follow the hearings on live stream, the links will be on our website a few days before the Tribunal starts. We will upload videos on our website and our Facebook page during the event. Please share!

The Bayer Monsanto merger

Many of you have asked about the pending buyout of Monsanto by Bayer, and how this will affect the Monsanto Tribunal.

Here’s the good news. Bayer’s proposed buyout of Monsanto will have no negative impact on the Monsanto Tribunal. First of all, the buyout will be challenged. And even if it’s approved, it won’t be final until well into 2017. More important, when the tribunal judges issue their final advisory opinions (scheduled for December 10th), those legal opinions will apply to all agribusiness corporations (including Bayer)—not just Monsanto. Besides, the merger of giants is not a sign of strength, analysts have pointed at the signs of an industry in trouble. The possible consequences of such a merger on people and the environment make the Monsanto Tribunal even more important to send a strong signal to the world.

International Criminal Court widens scope – steps towards prosecution of ecocide

In the near future environmental destruction could lead to governments and individuals being prosecuted for crimes against humanity by the international criminal court. The UN-backed court in The Hague has mostly ruled on cases of genocide and war crimes since it was set up in 2002. It did not investigate major environmental crimes so far. In a change of focus, the ICC said recently it would also look into crimes that result in the “destruction of the environment”, “exploitation of natural resources” and the “illegal dispossession” of land. This is an interesting development. The Monsanto Tribunal might be a very good preparation for a major case at the ICC.

Growing support

These last weeks we have seen a spectacular surge in support. Some 70,000 individuals have now signed their support for the Tribunal and so did almost a 1000 organisations and companies. From local food initiatives and affected communities to huge networks like La Via Campesina, the international movement which brings together millions of peasants and farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. The Monsanto Tribunal is supported by organizations from Slow Food International, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Organic Consumers, Navdanya but also by a wide range of specific campaign groups, NGO’s and businesses around the globe. Watch the new support videos on our Facebook page (also accessible without a Facebook account).

Meet the witnesses and experts

Look at the program to get to know the 30 witnesses and experts from 5 continents who will travel to The Hague to testify. Some of their names might be familiar to you, like the French farmer Paul François, the only person who ever won a court case against Monsanto after being poisoned by Lasso. Gilles-Eric Séralini, the scientist who exposed the potential carcinogenity of GMO corn and roundup, and who was heavily attacked by Monsanto trolls. The Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser who was sued by Monsanto for patent infringement. Damian Verzeñassi and Marcelo Firpo, health experts from Argentina and Brazil. The Mexican beekeeper Angelica El Canche. Farida Ahkter from Bangladesh on the dangers of GMO eggplant (photo below).

Witnesses and experts include:

- health experts, victims and representatives from communities affected by the spraying of pesticides in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, India, Sri Lanka and Paraguay,
- farmers and seed savers from Australia, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Canada, France,
- beekeepers from Yucatan, Mexico,
- scientists from Brazil, Germany, France, the UK and the US.

Check the program of the hearings and pleas of the Tribunal here.

The Peoples Assembly, speakers and workshops

The People's Assembly will be a remarkable event in itself. Parallel to the hearings of the Tribunal, it will give a space to movements from all around the world to connect and network, while featuring prominent speakers like Vandana Shiva, Ronnie Cummins, André Leu, Hans Herren, Corinne Lepage, François Veillerette and many more. Three rounds of workshops on seeds, GMOs, pesticides, agroecology as the way forward and holding corporations responsible will see lots of interaction between participants from all five continents. Below, Charito Medina (MASIPAG, Philipines) and Nivia Silva (MST, Brazil) .

See the program for more details.

Join the process, at home or in a local event

Of course we can’t all travel to The Hague. You can be with us by watching the livestream of the Tribunal, or by participating in one of the many local events on and around World Food Day. We will upload videos of the People’s Assembly on our website and Facebook during the event.

We are looking forward to this historical event and we still need your help to make it a success!

Share the word, and if you have not already done so recently, please donate.