GMOs: The Best and Worst of 2016
Notable events, publications and news
By Jeff Kirkpatrick – Ban GMOs Now
A lot happened in 2016. The DARK Act Extreme was made into law in July. In October, one highly anticipated event that took place was the Monsanto Tribunal. One of the main goals of the Tribunal was to get a legal opinion about alleged crimes committed by Monsanto, with the goal of focusing on ecocide. This legal opinion will not be legally binding, but it is expected to set the groundwork for hopefully transforming international laws – specifically, the inclusion of the legal definition and an enforcement procedure for criminal conduct known as ecocide.
At this point it is too early to assess the overall long-term impact the Tribunal may have. Initially a goal was set for December 2016 for the legal opinion to be issued. However, the time frame has been pushed back and it is now estimated that it will be delivered in April 2017 (see the notice HERE).
It should be acknowledged that if the legal opinion contributes to the formation of any enforceable international laws such as ecocide, it may be years before such laws can result in criminal charges. You can read more about ecocide and how it relates to international law in the following publications:
“Ending Ecocide – the next necessary step in international law,” by Prisca Merz, Valérie Cabanes & Emilie Gaillard; April 6, 2014 (18 pages)
“End Ecocide: A Global Citizens’ Initiative to Protect Ecosystems – Future generations depend on present decision,” by End Ecocide; September 2014 (19 pages)
“The Ecocide Project – ‘Ecocide is the missing 5th Crime Against Peace’,” by Anja Gauger, Mai Pouye Rabatel-Fernel, Louise Kulbicki, Damien Short and Polly Higgins, Human Rights Consortium; June 2013 (13 pages)
To understand how the tribunal connects to the creation of ecocide as a law, see this article: “The duty to care for our common home,” by Femke Wijdekop, New Internationalist; May 1, 2016
The Monsanto Tribunal website is HERE. To read more about the tribunal itself, see these articles:
“The People take on Monsanto for Crimes against Humanity in International Tribunal,” by Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch; October 13, 2016
“Monsanto Faces People’s Tribunal for Crimes against Planet and Humanity,” by Nika Knight, Common Dreams; October 14, 2016
“Chair of the Monsanto Tribunal explains what it means and what it might do,” by GMWatch; October 17, 2016
As for the DARK Act Extreme (S.764), it was signed by Obama on July 29, 2016 and it was codified as a public law: Public Law No. 114-216-July 29, 2016. It was given the name “National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.” A seven page version of the bill is available HERE. It was promoted as a mandatory labeling bill – especially after Obama signed it (headlines often said variations of “Obama signs mandatory GMO labeling bill”). The assertion that any law could be mandatory when there is no punishment for violating that law or any means to enforce that law is ludicrous. With no enforcement mechanism in place and no way to punish those who violate that law, it is not really a law – it is tantamount to a suggestion. The law is largely based on QR codes which require a certain type of smart phone, the right plan with that phone company and internet access in all places. It preempted the rights of states to enact their own GMO labeling laws, effectively wiping out Vermont’s law (Act 120) which was set to go into effect July 1, 2016. One of the arguments used by opponents of Vermont’s GMO labeling law was that states did not have the right to label GMO foods because this would interfere with federal interstate commerce laws. This was false. (See: “The Constitutionality of State-Mandated Labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods: A Definitive Defense,” by George A. Kimbrell & Aurora L. Paulsen, Vermont Law Review, Vol. 39; 2014). After GMO proponents lost a lawsuit followed by a ruling against them on an appeal, it was clear that Vermont had the right to demand GMO labels. Biotech puppets in Congress responded to the call of their masters and S.764 eventually materialized. You can read more about the GMO labeling bill here: “GMO Labeling Bill S.764,” by Jeff Kirkpatrick, Ban GMOs Now; July 15, 2016.
This is an excerpt from the full blog post. Read the full post HERE.
सत्यमेव जयते – Satyameva Jayate
(Truth Ultimately Triumphs)
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Copyright © Jeff Kirkpatrick 2017 Ban GMOs Now All rights reserved.