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Rolling Back the Destructive Influence of the Global Agribusiness Cartel

And now for the good news.

As the rest of the world eats denutrified, poisoned ‘food’ and capitulates to the criminal cartel of US agribusiness, as India destroys its soils with petrochemical-monocrop agriculture and looks to GMOs, as corrupt governments and regulatory bodies do the bidding of Monsanto, Russia is committed to not selling out the health of millions, the fertility of the land or the food security of the nation to a handful of criminals in the West who have destroyed indigenous agriculture across the planet.

Russia could become the world’s largest supplier of ecologically clean and high-quality organic food. On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin while addressing the Russian parliament called on the country to become completely self-sufficient in food production by 2020:

“We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources – Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing.”

Russia is already developing a strategy to build up its domestic food production and is in a good position given its extremely fertile soils.

The government has already banned the import and planting of GM food and crops, and, according to Willian Engdahl, the language on Russian media news sites that punishment for knowingly introducing GMO crops into Russia illegally should have a punishment comparable to that given to terrorists for knowingly hurting people.

The other good news is that on the same day that Putin made his statement, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI) and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups, announced that they would be putting Monsanto on trial for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide, in The Hague, the Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016.

According to the Monsanto Tribunal website, the company promotes an agro-industrial model that:

*contributes at least one third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions

* 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

* is a model that threatens peoples’ food sovereignty by patenting seeds and privatising life

For many decades, Monsanto has developed a steady stream of highly toxic products which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people. It has indulged in numerous acts of criminality, cover ups and duplicitous practices over the decades.

Relying on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted by the UN in 2011, an international court of lawyers and judges will assess the potential criminal liability of Monsanto for damages inflicted on human health and the environment. The court will also rely on the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether to reform international criminal law to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offense.

The International Criminal Court, established in 2002 in The Hague, has determined that prosecuting ecocide as a criminal offence is the only way to guarantee the rights of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected.

The announcement was made at a press conference held in conjunction with the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change,November 30 – December 11, in Paris.

Speaking at the press conference, Andre Leu, president of IFOAM and a member of the RI Steering Committee, said:

“Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products, and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, and by manipulating the press and media. Monsanto’s history reads like a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.”

Vandana Shiva, founder of Navdanya (India) added:

“Monsanto has pushed GMOs in order to collect royalties from poor farmers, trapping them in unpayable debt. Monsanto promotes an agro-industrial model that contributes at least 50 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Monsanto is also largely responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction and declining biodiversity, and the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide.”

Visit the Monsanto Tribunal site here
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Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India.

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