Letter: Monsanto tribunal begins

Don’t hold your breath to hear about the results of the tribunal in the news. It will likely be put on the back pages, writes Peter Brown.

On Oct. 14, the International Monsanto Tribunal will begin in The Hague, Netherlands.

Lasting for three days, the public trial in front of five internationally renowned judges will hear from 30 witnesses and experts from five continents, including people who have been harmed by Monsanto’s products.

In the last century, the Monsanto Corporation, which began as a chemical company, now involved in agribusiness, most well known for its Round-up Ready crop system, has poisoned people, destroyed biodiversity and polluted the environment. Citizens around the world are saying “Enough is enough.”

The aim of the tribunal is to provide victims and their legal counsels the arguments and legal grounds for further lawsuits against Monsanto and other agribusiness corporations on the basis of the environmental and health damages these companies have caused.

The tribunal will also show why the crime of ecocide, (the destruction of the natural environment) must be recognized under international law.

Until now, world governments and courts have failed to hold Monsanto accountable for the true impact of their actions. nd when charges have been brought in domestic courts, Monsanto typically spends enormous amounts of money on legal defense—or it settles out of court. That’s why civil society organizations are coming together to hold Monsanto accountable.

Although this tribunal will likely be looked upon by the corporate world as a joke, it brings me back to the “above the law of the land” tribunals that are a part of trade agreements such as NAFTA and the proposed TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership).

In those agreements, the ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) clause sets out the ability of a corporation to bring a suit against a country whose laws may cause a corporation to lose profit or potentially lose profit.

The case is brought before a tribunal that sits above any court in the world, and who can pass judgements against the “offending” country that can be in the millions of dollars. Currently, TransCanada Pipeline is suing the U.S. government for $15 billion (not million) for the cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline under the NAFTA ISDS.

We live in a world that is so corporately oriented: our governments are no longer interested in public service, they are bent on corporate service to the detriment of the public good.

Don’t hold your breath to hear about the results of the Monsanto Tribunal in the news. It will likely be put on the back pages, if anywhere at all.

I would encourage readers to go to the internet to check it out at www.monsanto-tribunal.org.

Please note that part of this article was supplied by the Food Revolution Network, with permission to share.

– Peter Brown, Grand Forks

 

Just Posted

Boundary resident rides cross-Canada for ovarian cancer

Joan Thompson’s trip will honour her sister, who passed away from the disease last year

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

Castlegar Realtor honoured for achievements

Re/Max recognized Castlegar and Grand Forks realtor Lorene MacGregor

Fruitvale man identified in fatal zipline accident in Thailand

Spencer Donaldson, 25, was from Fruitvale, B.C., the city’s mayor has confirmed

Facing high regulatory barriers, Kootenay cannabis producers gather for support

Symposium on barriers facing legalization attended by hundreds

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

Most Read