Hundreds of affected and concerned groups have gathered to expose the US agricultural giant's destructive practices

The Monsanto Tribunal is being live-streamed during the times when it’s in session:

The final day is tomorrow (Sunday).

1. Monsanto goes on trial for ecocide
2. Mock trial at The Hague calls on ICC to take action against biotech giant Monsanto (video)

1. Monsanto goes on trial for ecocide

Telesur, 14 Oct 2016

Hundreds of affected and concerned groups have gathered to expose the U.S. agricultural giant's destructive practices.

A people's tribunal against biotechnology giant Monsanto began Friday in The Hague, with representatives from hundreds of organizations coming together to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and ecocide.

“If Mother Earth could speak, Monsanto ought to be in jail long before now,” said Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian representative, during the opening press conference at the people's assembly. "We are supporting the tribunal because this is a struggle, not just against one multinational corporation, it’s a struggle for life, a struggle for liberty, a struggle to stop big companies from colonizing our food systems.”

Monsanto currently has a monopoly on the world agricultural market and now produces 80 percent of the world's genetically modified corn and 93 percent of genetically modified soy. Monsanto’s GMO crops have affected the livelihoods of agricultural communities around the world by threatening native crops and biodiversity.

“GMO crops are the height of scientific illiteracy: pests and weeds develop resistance – it’s just evolution ... All GMOs have done is to increase the load of toxins in our food,” said Dr. Vandana Shiva, an Indian Scientist at the assembly.

In a statement ahead of the event, Shiva referred to the GMO industry as the “Poison Cartel,” which in India has “driven millions off the land and pushed 300,000 farmers to suicide due to debt for costly seeds and chemicals.”

“We have the right to eat safe food. If governments aren’t ready to defend that right, we have to do it ourselves,” explained progressive German politician Renate Künast.

Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser addressed the assembly detailing years of harassment and extortion by “Monsanto’s Police” toward local farmers. The People's Assembly also discussed political strategies for lobbying and campaigning against Monsanto and how to create a better future for affected communities and ecosystems.

Using the procedures of the International Court of Justice, “The Monsanto Tribunal” will give an advisory opinion after hearing victim testimonies. Five judges will start hearing evidence on Saturday from 30 Monsanto victims, a minuscule percentage of total victims.

Angelica Ek and Feliciano Ucan represent Mayan beekeepers from the Campeche and Yucatan Regions in Mexico. They are currently in the Hague to testify before the tribunal. They will explain how Monsanto products approved by the Mexican government have adversely affected local communities and bee populations.

“We are defending something that is ours, we are defending the natural resources,” explained Leydi Pech Martin, a member of the collective fighting against Monsanto, in an interview from 2015.

The tribunal will run until Sunday and will be live-streamed via the tribunal’s website. Around US$552,000 has been crowdfunded to hold the event.

2. Mock trial at The Hague calls on ICC to take action against biotech giant Monsanto (video)

Russia Today, 15 Oct 2016
[links to sources and video at the URL above]

US seed developer Monsanto is facing charges related to “ecocide” in a mock trial being staged by anti-GM food activists in The Hague.

Dubbed a three-day "moral trial" and arranged by an international coalition of rights and environmental groups, the event includes people's assemblies at the Hague and around the globe.

"This tribunal might not be legally binding, but it will highlight the urgent need for similar legal mechanisms to hold corporations accountable for the damage they cause in the pursuit of profit," said Global Justice Now food campaigner Heidi Chow in a statement.

The mock trial also coincides with the release of a scathing new report which claims that it's not just Monsanto's products that have been harmful, but also that the biotech giant's political influence and lobbying efforts have also contributed to a global erosion of democracy, environmental chaos, and social injustice.

The report was published by the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) entitled , "Monsanto Lobbying: An attack on us, our planet and democracy", is intended to serve as a guide to the tribunal's proceedings.

The tribunal comes as Monsanto edges closer to a $66 billion deal with German chemical giant Bayer, to form the largest GMO and pesticide company in the world.

Monsanto is already one of the largest producers of genetically modified seed and herbicides such as Roundup, a widely used weedkiller that has sparked debate over whether or not it is carcinogenic to humans.

Monsanto regularly faces accusations ranging from damaging the environment to facilitating the production of GM foods that some people believe are unsafe for humans.

In 2012, the company was found liable in a civil suit in France for the “chemical poisoning” of a farmer, who suffered headaches after working with Monsanto herbicide, Lasso.

Its pursuit through the courts of small farmers over seed patents has also generated controversy. The company has also been tainted by its production in the 1960s of the harmful chemical Agent Orange, used by the US government during the Vietnam War.

Activists say the company’s considerable financial clout has allowed it to consistently settle cases out of court, allowing it to circumvent “legal precedent” and making the task of bringing future criminal charges against the firm “impossible”.

As a result, between October 15 and 16, the International Monsanto Tribunal is staging a “symbolic” trial, which organisers say will “assess the case against Monsanto and the damages caused” in accordance with international law.

Over the course of the two days, 30 witnesses and five “renowned judges” will be involved in the crowdfunded proceedings.

The panel of judges includes consultant to International Criminal Court, Dior Fall Sow, and Jorge Fernandez Souza, who is currently based in the Court of Administrative Litigation in Mexico City. The trial does not have any legal function but will use UN human rights and the International Criminal Court as guiding principles, according to the organizers.

“The aim of the tribunal is to give a legal opinion on the environmental and health damage caused by the multinational Monsanto,” a website for the civic action explains.

“This will add to the international debate to include the crime of Ecocide into international criminal law. It will also give people all over the world a well documented legal file to be used in lawsuits against Monsanto and similar chemical companies.”

In an open letter posted to the company’s website, Monsanto’s Human Rights Steering Committee described the tribunal as a “stunt” by people “fundamentally opposed to modern agriculture”.

“We truly believe that an event staged with a pre-determined outcome is not conducive to the open and deep dialogue that human rights and agriculture deserve to find real solutions to the challenges of hunger, food security, and the role of farmers to nourish our growing world sustainably,” the letter states.