GroundTruth Blog

Occupy the Pesticide Industry!

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by Kathryn Gilje

There are two things that PAN and Occupy hold deeply in common: (1) We know that corporate control of our government, economy and food system undermines our attempts to push forward real change. And (2) As government has failed to rein in the corporate occupation of our food and farms, we believe we must hold them to account ourselves. And so we move forward. PAN will bring the Big 6 pesticide corporations to rigorous, public trial on December 3, 2011 in Bangalore, India.

I will be there, testifying and reporting from the ground, alongside hundreds of others from the 99% —  farmers, farmworkers and scientists who feed our world. I hope to see you engaged and active, too. 

A Calling Out

The pesticide industry has a long history of getting away with human rights abuses in part because there is no single set of laws to which they are accountable as global corporations, and in part, because they game and control the system:

  • 49% of the global seed market and 74% of the global pesticide market are controlled by the Big 6: Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Bayer, Dow and BASF.
  • Ten giant companies control 90% of the pesticide market. In the U.S., these powerful corporations have unprecedented influence on government regulators tasked with protecting public health and the environment from the dangers of their products.
  • These pesticide/seed conglomerates control the tools available to grow food in the U.S.: through capture of public universities, aggressive contracts and marketing with farmers, and the bold-faced public lie that they can feed the world.

Responding with Dignity

We seek a governing system that works for the well being of our communities, around the world. And we know that the basic human rights to life, livelihood and health are agreements we hold as a people. These are conditions of our humanity, and of a fair society, and they should operate as a set of globally binding laws.

But until we the people hold corporations like Monsanto to account, none of us will be safe from the havoc wrought by the pesticide industry: the next Bhopal, from the epidemics of cancer, or the pesticides that travel on wind and water.

Stay tuned, we'll be reporting from the ground throughout the tribunal. Meanwhile...

Take action » Join PAN International as we hold these corporations to account, and build a groundswell of people around the world who are bent on change. Add your name to the tens of thousands of people around the world calling for dignity, health and corporate accountability for human rights abuses.

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