No Kangaroos

Organic Consumer Assn

Sunday, October 16, is World Food Day. It’s also the day that the International Monsanto Tribunal will conclude, in The Hague, Netherlands—and mark the beginning of justice for Earth and its inhabitants

Monsanto and its friends in the pesticide industry will try to characterize this historic citizens’ initiative as a “kangaroo court.”

But those of us who are here at the People’s Assembly (October 14), and awaiting the start of the formal Tribunal (October 15-16), can attest to the fact that there are no kangaroos in sight. There are only distinguished judges and lawyers, people who have been harmed by Monsanto’s products, and concerned citizens from all over the world.

Citizens’ Tribunals are not mock trials. They have a long history of bringing justice to issues where governments either act corruptly or fail to act. It is the legal right of citizens to ensure the carriage of justice, when governments do not.

The Tribunal will be based on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted by the United Nations in 2011. It will be an international court of lawyers and judges that 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 offense is the only way to guarantee the rights of humans to a healthy environment and the right of nature to be protected.

While the Tribunal can’t impose penalties, its final verdicts will serve as the foundation for future legal cases against not only Monsanto, but also Bayer, Syngenta, Dow and others. The panel of judges will issue their advisory opinions on the six terms of reference within a month or so, after they’ve had sufficient time to weigh the testimony they will hear during the two-day Tribunal.

This initiative, long overdue, follows on the heels of a new “state of the science” review released this week by PAN International. The review, which presents a large body of research documenting the adverse human health and environmental impacts of glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides, calls for a global “phase-out” of Monsanto’s Roundup.

Want to show solidarity for the International Monsanto Tribunal? Here’s how!

Find a Monsanto Tribunal/World Food Day event near you 

Join the Monsanto Tribunal Thunderclap

Join the Monsanto Tribunal Twitter Rally

Sign on as a supporter of the Monsanto Tribunal (no donation required)

Make a donation to the Monsanto Tribunal

Watch up-to-the-minute videos of the People’s Assembly on the Monsanto Tribunal website www.monsanto-tribunal.org or on Facebookwww.facebook.com/MonsantoTribunal

Livestream the People’s Assembly and Monsanto Tribunal

Like Monsanto Tribunal on Facebook

Follow Monsanto Tribunal on twitter

More on the Monsanto Tribunal


No Joke

As former White House Chef and President Obama’s Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy, Sam Kass made a name for himself purporting to be a believer in, and promoter of healthy food.

Now that he’s teamed up with Campbell’s Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB), and wears thetitle "chief consumer experience officer" for a food data technology start-up, Kass is claiming that “people would die” if we tear down and replace the trillion-dollar food industry, and that the idea that Big Food is evil and should simply go away is “a joke.”

Politico reported this week that during a recent debate with Richard McCarthy, executive director of Slow Food USA, Kass said that the “trillion-dollar food industry is here to stay.” Kass also said that “good food” leaders haven’t created a “real political movement.”

But his best line was the one that “people would die” if Big Food goes away.

We’ve got news for Kass. People are dying now—from GMO, pesticide-laden, hormone- and antibiotic-ridden food, from nutrient-deficient food grown in dead soils, from drinking water poisoned by agricultural chemicals, and from global warming—the largest cause of which is industrial agriculture, the mainstay of “Big Food.”

We agree with Kass on one point—that the industrial food system needs to “change in a big way.” But not the way Kass is suggesting—by selling consumers on high-priced gadgets and fancy technologies the average American can’t afford to buy.

The Innit website says: "The Future of Food Is Now Connected." We say: "The Future of Food is Regenerative."

TAKE ACTION: Tell Former White House Chef Sam Kass: No Joke. Toxic Junk Food Is Killing Us!

Call Kass at 650-437-7253.

Tweet: @chefsamkass #NoJoke #ToxicJunkFood is killing us! http://orgcns.org/2epTalB


Hope and Switch?

On July 31, President Obama turned his back on the 90 percent of Americans who want companies to be required to clearly state on food packages, in plain English, whether or not their products contain GMO ingredients.

Instead, the President signed into law the misleading, confusing and loophole-ridden-DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act.

So much for “hope and change” and “Yes We Can!” (apparently, we can’t) from a President who, before he was elected, told us he supported mandatory labeling of GMOs.

We all know what happened. Monsanto’s minions in Congress passed a law that nullified Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law and essentially guarantees that here in the U.S., food companies will never be required to tell us if the products we buy are contain ingredients grown with massive amounts of Monsanto’s cancer-causing Roundup.

Can we repeal the DARK Act, which is now officially referred to as the “National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard?” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) thinks so. And even though it's a long shot, we need to join forces with our allies to repeal this law.

TAKE ACTION: Tell your Senators and Congress Members to support Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)’s efforts to repeal the DARK Act!


Down and Dirty

“There’s a misconception that we’ve begun to address the climate problem. The misapprehension is based on the Paris climate summit where all the government leaders clapped each other on the back as if some great progress has been made, but you look at the science and it doesn’t compute. We are not doing what is needed.” – James Hansen, climate scientist, October 2016

Climate scientist James Hansen is finally getting down and dirty.

In a new, yet-to-be-peer-reviewed paper, submitted October 4 (2016) to the Earth Systems Dynamics Journal , Hansen and 11 other climate scientists argue that the Earth has warmed by about 1.3°C relative to pre-industrial levels, and that the atmospheric concentration of the most potent greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide — has accelerated in recent years.

The last time the Earth was this hot, the scientists warn, was during the last inter-glacial period, known as the Eemian, when sea level was about 20 to 30 feet higher than it is today.

Hansen and others have been sounding alarms about the climate for some time now. But this time, something was different. This time, Hansen proposed the solution that our Regeneration International project has been promoting since we launched the project in June 2015—soil. From an article on the ThinkProgress website:

Speaking to reporters, Hansen suggested a better method for achieving negative carbon emissions could be through sequestering carbon dioxide in the Earth’s soil. Soil currently stores three times as much carbon as is contained in the atmosphere, and some studies suggest that through better management and restoration practices, the soil could sequester the majority of fossil fuel emissions generated by humans.

Learn more

Read the report


'Street Farm'

How do you grow food, jobs and hope on the “urban frontier?”

In his new book, “Street Farm,” Michael Ableman recounts stories about the residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia—one of the worst urban slums in North America—who joined together to create an urban farm to help them address the chronic problems in their neighborhood.

It’s a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing others as a way to heal our world and ourselves, according to the publishers at Chelsea Green.

In a Q&A about the book, Ableman says:

“I think that anyone who has had to deal with addiction knows that just getting out of bed each day can be challenging, let alone keeping a job, having relationships, etc. Many of our Sole Food staff have come through some heavy stuff—poverty, violence and abuse, mental illness. No one gets a pass on suffering, but my own life has been relatively privileged, and so I am truly inspired by these people who show up to work, grow good food, and demonstrate real caring for each other and for what we are doing.”

Learn more

Read Michael Ableman’s Urban Food Manifesto


Essential Reading for the Week

Hillary Clinton Is in Thrall to America's Yogurt Overlord

The FDA and Big Pharma Are Too Cozy

Big Soda Sponsored 96 Health Groups — A Big Conflict of Interest, Study Says

Regenerative Agriculture: An Overlooked Water Resource

First Agent Orange, Now Roundup: What's Monsanto Up to in Vietnam? Ecologist Special Investigation

Flu Vaccine Effectiveness in Question

FDA Tests Confirm Oatmeal, Baby Foods Contain Residues of Monsanto Weed Killer