Big Six Pesticide Manufacturers to Face Human Rights Tribunal
Beginning on December 3, 2011, some major international chemical companies will be facing a public tribunal dealing with their well-documented and systemic human rights abuses that have occurred all over the world.
The tribunal is not legally binding as it is not being administered by any governmental body. However, it will serve to shed light upon the egregious assault on human health and economic independence by the major chemical corporations.
The public trial will be directed by The Permanent People’s Tribunal, an organization that has held human rights tribunals in the past dealing with issues as diverse as Tibet, the Armenian Genocide, and the United States intervention in Nicaragua.
The tribunal will hear expert testimony from medical doctors, scientists, and lawyers in order to prove the charges against the chemical giants. It will also hear from the victims – farmers, consumers, and parents – who will testify as to their experiences and injuries stemming from the policies of major international corporations who have made fortunes while destroying the health and environment of billions of people.
Pesticides Action Network (PAN) International, a worldwide organization that is “dedicated to challenging the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society,” has exerted enormous effort and years of research and data collection in order to present indictments before the tribunal.
PAN UK activist Nick Mole stated
The pesticide industry is massive and incredibly powerful. It is difficult to prove corporate manslaughter even when these products are killing hundreds of people a year. We’ve spoken to people who have been abused and we are allowing them to give voice to their individual stories. We will be presenting the outcome of the Tribunal to the corporations and will be inviting their responses.
Obviously, Mole’s statement is accurate regarding the scale of corporate crimes. If anything, it is an understatement.
According to the Ecologist, the “Big 6,” – Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, Syngenta, DuPont, and BASF, – control 74 percent of the global pesticide market. Not only that, but statistics provided by the World Health Organization show that around 355,000 people are suspected to die each year from “unintentional toxic chemical poisoning,” many of them from use or exposure to agrochemicals; specifically pesticides like the ones produced and distributed by the Big Six. Yet even these numbers are likely understated due to corporate interests within the United Nations structure.
In regards to this, Mole states:
The aim of taking the Big 6 to the PPT is to give a voice to the otherwise voiceless victims of pesticides around the world who have suffered as a result of the relentless promotion of toxic poisons by these multinational companies.
There is no doubt that pesticides have been causing numerous health problems in humans and animals the world over, as well as producing harmful effects on the environment. From birth defects, infertility, and hormone disruption, to Parkinson’s Disease and cancer. Pesticides, particularly those manufactured by the Big 6, have been implicated in a plethora of adverse health effects.
Not only that, but pesticides also have been identified as a potential cause for the massive bee die-off occurring all over the world. This is yet another area in which PAN has been instrumental in building a case against the Big Six. The cases being brought from the UK and Europe will focus on neonicotinoid pesticides sold by Bayer specifically.
As beekeeper Graham White said:
Bee losses in the UK and Europe have been catastrophic, with over a million colony deaths since 1993; there is a massive body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence from European universities, which indicate that neonicotinoids are having a lethal impact on bees and other pollinating insects. It is high time that the companies that manufacture these toxic pesticides are held to account for the damage they have done.
Again, largely due to the tireless work of the Pesticides Action Network, not only are the Big 6 corporations being brought under indictment at the PPT, but so are the national governments of the United States, Switzerland, and Germany on the grounds of collusion and failure to regulate corporate power. Likewise, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization have been indicted for “facilitating corporate concentration of power through their policies and programs.”
Interestingly enough, it is not the first time that at least two of the corporations have been selected for prosecution by the PPT for human rights abuses.
Both Bayer and BASF were “persons” of interest during the Nuremburg Trials after World War II when their merger known as I.G. Farben was broken up for acting as the manufacturing wing of Nazi Germany.
Bayer and BASF, as part of I.G. Farben, essentially provided Germany with the vast majority of explosives and synthetic gasoline used by the Nazi war machine as well as the Zyklon-B gas used in the gas chambers. In the end, the Tribunal convicted 24 board members of I.G. Farben, including Fritz Ter Meer who served on I.G. Farben’s executive committee and was the individual most responsible for Auschwitz’s infamous Section II. Upon his release in 1952, Ter Meer was appointed board member of Bayer and, after only one year, was appointed chairman. To this day, it is possible to receive a scholarship* from the Fritz Ter Meer Foundation* maintained by Bayer. The history of I.G. Farben, along with Bayer and BASF, are discussed in the first chapter of my book, Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom.
However, with the crimes of the Big 6 now being investigated by an international human rights tribunal, it is important for those of us who have dedicated so much of our time and effort to fighting corporations like Monsanto to guard against walking into a trap. We must become streetwise.
Although the Big 6 absolutely need their crimes exposed to the world, we must be careful not to allow ourselves to be guided into a one-world government structure, regardless of the short-term outcome.
We must remember that the PPT is working under the banner (unofficially) of the United Nations — and it is international law to which the PPT is appealing.
Obviously, there are some who tend toward the philosophy of using the existence of international law to reign in major corporations in a “use their own system against them” type of mentality. Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with those who wish to use this method of resistance.
However, we must be very careful not to apply to international law in such a way as to legitimize it and sacrifice our own national sovereignty for a short-term goal. We cannot allow ourselves to become so enraged at our own national governments that we begin to appeal to a supranational government to save us. This can only play directly into the hands of the globalists.
Training national governments and their citizens to obey and appeal to international law for justice is not a solution to our problems with the likes of the Big 6 or any other issue. The answer is not to have the United Nations pass a new law regarding these entities; it is to force our own governments to reject the overuse and environmentally destructive use of these pesticides within our own borders — a power each of these governments obviously have.
Although shining the light on the Big 6 Corporations is most definitely a welcome exercise, and one that should be encouraged, it is also one that must not be outsourced to international governmental bodies. We must all work together as human beings regardless of our national boundaries, but we cannot allow ourselves to be played into accepting the dictates of a world government that will be even less open to the concerns of its citizens than the National, State, and Local governments we suffer under today.
To be clear, the above commentary should not be taken as a denigration of the work of the PAN or even of the PPT who, to their credit, have indicted branches of the United Nations as well as three national governments and six international corporations. However, it should serve both as a warning and a call to remain vigilant against potential pitfalls in the fight against the Big Six.
We should always fight the fire, but the frying pan should not be an option. Let’s build the case against the Big Six. Let’s expose them for what they are, and do so in a unified and global manner. But, after we do so, we must force our own governments to dismantle the power these agents wield over the world.
* Dr. Weimbs was a recipient of the Fritz Ter Meer Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship. This link is provided only to show the existence of the Foundation and scholarship, not to link Dr. Weimbs to anything or anyone discussed in this article. Beyond this mention and the article cited next, there is little available online regarding the Foundation and its operations.
This post first appeared on the Activist Post website.
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University where he earned the Pee Dee Electric Scholar’s Award as an undergraduate. He has had numerous articles published dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, and civil liberties. He also the author of Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies and Five Sense Solutions.