Monsanto Tribunal - African farmers speak out

13 October 2016 - 9:00am
Press release

Big agribusiness under the spotlight: Monsanto Tribunal opens Friday 14 October 2016

On the eve of the ground-breaking legal action on Monsanto, our partners NGOMA, a farmers movement in Kenya and the wider East-Africa region, show their support

"We support the Monsanto Tribunal because of the damage to our environment from toxic chemicals, such as, roundup, which has been banned in developed countries yet our governments still permit entry. These chemicals are hazardous to our health too.

"Monsanto is notorious for promoting GM seeds, through powerful companies in Africa, in the guise of food security. Such organisations as, AGRA (Agriculture Green Revolution in Africa) are collaborators of Monsanto.

"As NGOMA, we have had dialogues with our networks and have agreed to share our plight with International movements who have accreditation to the Hague tribunal."

The Monsanto Tribunal is a unique initiative, being held in The Haig, Netherlands which will apply legal processes to hold Monsanto accountable for human rights violations, for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide. Eminent judges will hear testimonies from victims, and deliver an advisory opinion following procedures of the International Court of Justice.

A parallel People's Assembly is being held to provide space for social movements to network and plan their work. The Monsanto Tribunal and People's Assembly happens between 14 and 16 October 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands.

Notes

1.         NGOMA mobilises farmers at grassroots level to lobby and advocate for better agro-policies favourable to small scale producers in Kenya and the wider East-Africa region. Over the past few years NGOMA farmers have been resisting control over their seeds by reverting to using native maize seeds and the results from the experiments they carried out have been astonishing: not only the native varieties mature three month earlier than the imported variety - enabling two harvests in one year - but they are more resistant to local pests and diseases, require less water and are significantly more nutritious and tastier. NGOMA is mobilising farmers with the support of War on Want to demand control over their seeds and the application of the principles of food sovereignty in Kenya.

2.         War on Want demands far stronger regulation of multinational agribusiness and supports food sovereignty as the best way to ensure the sustainable care and use of natural resources, especially land, water, seeds and livestock breeds.  The people who work the land must have the right to practice sustainable management of natural resources and to conserve biodiversity free of restrictive intellectual property rights. This can only be done from a sound economic basis with security of tenure, healthy soils and reduced use of agrochemicals.

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