Successful Tribunal and Peoples Assembly – What’s next?

Both the hearings of the Monsanto Tribunal and the parallel People’s Assembly were a great success. The victims are very happy that their voices have been heard, media coverage was positive especially in France and Germany, over 10,000 people in all continents watched parts of the livestream, many more were involved on social media and some 750 people from over 30 nationalities participated in these historic events in The Hague.

For those attending the very energetic People’s Assembly – the prosecutors in this Tribunal - it was clear that Monsanto is guilty of the violation of basic human rights. Now it is up to the five independent judges to give their legal opinion on this matter. They have indicated that they will need and take their time to come with a thoroughly founded advice that can be useful in other cases and in the discussion on the development of international law. The legal opinion will follow in spring (the beginning of 2017). We will keep you updated on the Monsanto files, new publications and developments and about the date chosen by the Judges to share their conclusions.

Watch and listen to the testimonies (six languages available)

We have uploaded the testimonies of the witnesses and experts in six languages. The opening and closing have also been subtitled in English, French, German and Spanish. If you were not able to watch the livestream, it is now worth to take some time to watch and listen to the witnesses, the experts, the lawyers, the judges.

English || Deutsch || Español || Portuguese || Français || Italiano || Interviews || All videos || More statements from the People’s Assembly

Not only Monsanto: the Syngenta Blackbook

Monsanto is (a very bad) example of big chemical companies that poison us, pollute our environment and try to control our food supply. Another big polluter is Syngenta, the largest pesticide producer in the world. The company is now in a merger process with Chem-China, who is also a strategic partner of Monsanto. Syngenta is well-known for its bee-killing neonicotinoids (together with Bayer) and for the very toxic herbicide Paraquat, banned in Europe. The latter is widely used in the US and Latin America to kill weeds that have become resistant to Roundup, and also to kill and ‘dry’ Roundup ready soybeans.

The activities of Syngenta have been documented by the Swiss organisation Multiwatch in a blackbook. The English translation of this shocking document was presented at the People’s Assembly in The Hague. You'll find the teaser on the campaign website March Against Syngenta. Some chapters are online in the 'Cases' section. Available on the main online book stores.

On the website you will also find an open letter to Mr. Han Chang-fu, Minister of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China: Stop export of Paraquat produced by Syngenta and others in China!

Why Trade Agreements are a threat to democracy

Lots of discussions are going on about trade agreements like CETA, TTIP and TPP. One of the main problems is that these treaties create a new special position for corporations, outside normal law. If we, the people, decide to implement a new law to protect ourselves or our environment they can sue a country in a special court for loss of profits. Imagine Europe would ban glyphosate next year, Monsanto would immediately claim billions of dollars for loss of a very profitable product. Crazy? Yes, that’s why these ‘investor-state dispute settlements’ are very undemocratic and why no country should sign these treaties.

"The seed of a new Treaty on transnational corporations and human rights is planted"

Instead of organising impunity for corporations there is another way. October saw a promising development in the United Nations towards creation of a set of international binding rules. This could have profound implications for the world’s largest companies, obliging them to respect human rights in a way they have never had to before. Many countries—led by South Africa and Ecuador—voiced their unequivocal support for legally binding rules. This sets exactly the right tone for an ambitious and far-reaching negotiation. The talks in Geneva were also notable for a strong and growing civil society mobilisation. Ecuador, the Chair, will now begin a process for formal negotiations. The seed has been planted. See the Friends of the Earth press release.

Support and donations are welcome

We are now waiting for the legal opinion. In the meantime we will follow up on Monsanto’s acts, the Bayer merger and try to support the witnesses in their cases. Over 1100 organisations and 88.000 people have signed in support of this process. Help us to make it a 100.000. Ask your friends to sign and share our posts on social media. Thanks to you we have collected the money to organise the hearings of the Tribunal, now please help us to give the upcoming legal opinion maximum impact. Help to stop Monsanto’s crimes.