Activist Tribunal Against Monsanto: Will It Carry Weight?

Publicity stunt or political action? These activists are voicing their opinions toward Monsanto.

In Le Bourget, Paris, the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference is well underway. The climate talks began on November 30 and will wrap up December 11. This year scientists, politicians, activists, and environmentalists are focusing on what initiatives must be taken in order to appropriately confront global warming.

With the conference taking place merely two weeks after the terrorist attacks, security has been tight. Over 190 nations have come together to discuss possible new agreements on climate change, with a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

And there have been a few surprises. In addition to the discussions regarding the reduction of emissions, certain activists have spoken out against big businesses and corporations.

Some of these individuals include environmentalists who are voicing their opinions toward Monsanto, the multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation. Monsanto’s activity in the agricultural industry, which includes the production of the RoundUp herbicide, has made the company quite controversial.

The activists announced an international tribunal on Monsanto, stating that it was time the company pay for their actions toward the environment.

From The Epoch Times:

The group noted that Monsanto, one of the largest industrial agriculture companies in the world, has developed a number of highly toxic products such as the RoundUp herbicide. The group also criticizes Monsanto’s development of genetically modified foods, which they say has caused environmental damage while putting financial pressure on farmers.

Many fellow activists are celebrating the tribunal, but not everyone is convinced. Critics are labeling the tribunal as a publicity stunt, as it lacks the proper authority to effectively prosecute the company.

The PR team for Monsanto addressed the tribunal on the company’s blog:

Monsanto is ready and eager to respond to all questions about our activities and products. Transparency is a vital part of our approach and we would like the public to judge us on the reality of our activities, not some caricature thereof. This fake trial has no legal basis and is an attempt to mislead the public. If its proponents had a real case, they would have taken it to a real existing court system.

In addition, Monsanto has a history of winning cases. In fact, Monsanto’s never lost a case. From the RT:

The company is notorious for routinely suing farmers, which has earned it the reputation of a legal bully in the eyes of critics. According to Food Democracy Now, the GMO corporation has filed 145 lawsuits since 1997, because farmers had reused their seeds in a manner inconsistent with Monsanto policies. This even includes cases where the farmers themselves had sued Monsanto for the inadvertent cross-pollination of their organic crops with GMO seeds.

Regardless of whether the tribunal is PR stunt or not, there are several bodies and groups stated to be in support of the initiative, including IFOAM International Organics, the Organic Consumers Association, Grain, ASEED, Navdanya International, and several other farming and environmental groups.

The tribunal plans on launching the proceedings on World Food Day, or October 16, 2016. For more information, visit their website.


Amanda Kohr is a 25-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel.  She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet at and through Instagram.