After the press conference on Friday and the first session of the People's Assembly, the hearings of the Monsanto Tribunal started on Saturday morning at 8:30. Corinne Lepage, lawyer and former French Minister of the Environment, pronounced the first words before leaving the floor to the Judges, the witnesses and the experts.
Glyposate was a central topic on this first day of hearings and indeed, Monsanto Tribunal organisers and participants received a strong message of support from Colombia, a country where people and communities are severely affected by glyphosate spraying :
"The National Association of Peasant Reserve Zones - ANZORC welcomes the materialization of Monsanto's Tribunal and the People's Assembly [...] We are optimistic that the results of the Monsanto Tribunal will reveal the company and make it accountable for the multiple crimes arising from the use of genetically modified seeds and pesticides. Furthermore, we will remain vigilant of the results of the People’s Assembly and the roadmap to carry on the global struggle for land, territory and life in the fields around the world."
Read the entire text here in Spanish and English and please share it widely!
Sabine Grataloup from France was the first victim to give her testimony. She was exposed to Roundup at an early stage of her pregnancy. Listen to her very moving story here.
Timothy Litzenburg is a lawyer representing about a thousand Americans who developed the non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma due to exposure to glyphosate containing products, including Christine Sheppard, a coffee grower from Hawaii, who also presented as a witness. He seeks to hold Monsanto accountable by filing individual lawsuits in US courts. Listen to him here.
Farida Akhter, who participated in the People's Assembly on Friday was also at the Tribunal to talk about the risks of GMO eggplant in Bangladesh. Here is her message.
The atmosphere was overall very serious at the Tribunal but very busy during the breaks during which many journalists interviewed the victims. Look at the three photo albums of the day on our Facebook page here, here and here.
In the meantime, 2 rounds of workshops took place at the People's Assembly on the subjects of GMOs, Pesticides, Seeds, Corporate Accountability and Agroecology as the Way Forward. The 3rd round takes place on Sunday. Have a look at the People's Assembly pictures from Friday and Saturday and feel free to tag yourself or organisations, if you are attending the event during these days.