JOHANNESBURG - Farmers, environmentalists and ordinary citizens are taking GMO seed multinational Monsanto to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands for what they term “ecocide”.
The International Monsanto Tribunal will investigate allegations that the company's products have caused widespread damage to people's health and the environment, the RT news website reports.
Groups supporting the Monsanto tribunal include the Organic Consumers Association, IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International and Millions Against Monsanto, as well as farming and environmental groups. The tribunal is scheduled to be held at The Hague from 12 to 16 October 2016 and to end on World Food Day.
"Monsanto is largely responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction and declining biodiversity, and the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide,” the founder of the Navdanya seed network, physicist Vandana Shiva, told the media at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris last week.
"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.
"The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment,' he said.
News of the ICC was welcomed.
The running and legal costs of the tribunal will be raised by crowdfunding from people and civil society organisations around the world.