This post is not about a quilt or a beaded project. This has to do with that which brought me to blogging in the first place.
Readers who have paid attention are aware that my activities are severely restricted due to chemical sensitivities. I believe this problem was slowly growing over the whole of my life but was pushed over the edge by a specific event involving pesticides for home use. People in my position are practically forced to become social activists to some degree. I receive email notices every week having to do with various aspects of chemicals in our environment. I don't read a lot of them, it's too depressing. But there was one over the weekend that gives me a sense of satisfaction. Nothing may come of it but it reminds me that there are folks out there fighting the battle.
Big 6 Agrochemical Companies Indicted for Crimes Against Humanity
From 3-6th December 2011, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) will convene in Bangalore, India, to hear cases brought against six multinational agrochemical companies who stand accused of violating human rights by promoting reliance on the sale and use of pesticides known to undermine internationally recognised rights to health, livelihood and life.
Known as the ‘Big 6’, the indicated agrochemical corporations are Monsanto, Dow, BASF, Bayer, Syngenta and DuPont. Collectively, these companies control 74% of the global pesticide market, making the pesticide/agricultural biotechnology industry one of the most consolidated sectors in the world.
The World Bank estimates that 355 000 people per year die of unintentional pesticide poisoning. “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.” Said Nick Mole, PAN UK Policy Officer.
During the course of the tribunal, Pesticide Action Network will invite witnesses including scientists, medical doctors, and lawyers, to prove the charges through expert testimony on pesticides, genetic engineering, intellectual property rights, and other subjects germane to the cases at hand. The PPT will also hear testimony from farmers, farm workers, beekeepers, mothers, young people, scientists and consumers from around the world. The defendants will be served and summoned to offer their perspectives and responses.
Also under indictment are the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organisation; these entities are charged with facilitating corporate concentration of power through their policies and programs. Additionally, the governments of Switzerland, Germany, and the United States – the home nations of six defendant companies – have been indicted for colluding with, and failing to regulate, corporate power.
The verdict from the hearing will be given on 6th December.