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BeeLife Reaffirms its Support to the Conclusions of the International Monsanto Tribunal

During several years, BeeLife has expressed its support to the International Monsanto Tribunal, and today we reaffirm it. Due to recent developments on various fronts, particularly related to Monsanto's herbicide glyphosate, it is clear that it is possible to avoid further damages related to unsustainable and environmentally unethical practices. But, the work is far from done. The Monsanto Tribunal was an international civil society initiative to hold Monsanto accountable for human rights violations, for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide. Eminent judges have heard testimonies from victims and experts and deliver an advisory opinion following procedures of the International Court of Justice. Its conclusions can still be taken into account and can surely serve of great aid in light of recent events surrounding Monsanto and its products.

For instance, a court in the United States recently sentenced Monsanto to pay 289 million US dollars for its responsibility the health deterioration of a man who developed a condition of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Almost all major media outlets have widely covered the story. After the court's ruling, the company is yet to consider withdrawing glyphosate from the market. In fact, in Europe, even though it has been a highly controversial matter, an EU vote reissued the authorisation of this herbicide in 2017. The decision was highly criticised, particularly considering that campaigns such as STOP GLYPHOSATE peaked and gained the support of hundreds of thousands of EU citizens. Such legal actions lead to little to no incentive for the company to reconsider the marketing of their products and the risks that they pose for environmental and human health. Now only known as Bayer (since a Bayer-Monsanto merger took place and dropped the heavily trashed Monsanto name), it continues to defend glyphosate, regardless of constant critics and the precedent that US court ruling has created. Furthermore, they state: "Glyphosate is efficient, completely safe and has a low environmental impact. This product is too important for sustainable and innovative crop systems throughout the world, so it can’t just disappear. Besides, there is no acceptable alternative available in the near future." Bayer's claims are, however, untrue. Reports such as the one published by PANEurope and The Greens Alternative Methods in Weed Management to the Use of Glyphosate and Other Herbicides present a pyramidal version of Integrated Weed Management. Alternatives would not necessarily include a new synthetic product, but an integrated system which provides for agronomic practices, monitoring, physical and biological control. However, this is of course but one case among many others on which evidence points towards harms caused by the previously known Monsanto. We invite you to support the International Monsanto Tribunal. Its conclusions continue to remind us today that it is necessary to continue working to expose and demand for better practices in the future. If you want to find out more about its work, don't miss the International Monsanto Tribunal's latest newsletter and visit their website.

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