Global march against Mosanto-Bayer and agro-chemicals

The 9th world march against Mosanto-Bayer took place on Saturday May 15th. It was also opposed to the agro-chemical industry and supported the fight of all the victims of the chemical wars.

In Paris, the meeting took place on Saturday May 15 at 1 p.m., Place Stalingrad (75010). More than 60 organizations were present in the procession. They went to Place de la République, which hosted association stands. However, following the pro-Palestinian demonstration, banned by the authorities but despite everything present, the route was changed.

This demonstration denounced the industrial agrochemical system and its disastrous consequences on human health and the environment all over the world.

Several demands were on the agenda, a few days after the mobilization of May 9 for the climate. The main themes were:

  • The biodiversity
  • Everyone’s health
  • The rights of victims of the agro-industrial system (agent orange, chlordecone, glyphosate and other pesticides)
  • Agroecology and farming
  • Healthy food accessible to all
  • Agriculture without synthetic pesticides or GMOs
  • The fair redistribution of CAP money
  • Environmental justice
  • The end of free trade treaties
  • The fight against inequalities

Today, scandals and procedures are on the increase. They target new GMOs, glyphosate, agent orange or chlordecone. The mobilisations denounce the destructive agro-industrial system. They are there to promote alternatives to make it a virtuous model for human health and biodiversity.

What is the World March Against Mosanto-Bayer?

The March Against Monsanto-Bayer (MaM) is a major international action that takes place every year. Since its creation, it has brought together more than 1000 cities in the world and more than 40 cities in France.

This year, the 3 main axes of the March were:

Demand environmental justice for all victims of multinational agrochemicals
Denounce the impacts of the current agro-industrial system and its inequalities
Promote ecological and self-sufficient agriculture and food for all
Chloredecone

This year is also that of the recognition of the crime of chlordecone, a pesticide used on banana plantations. Through their actions, the activists are calling on the state to recognize the harm experienced by the West Indians since the 1970s, when the use of chlordecone began.

Agent Orange / Mosanto-Bayer

In 2018, the French group Bayer bought the American Mosanto. The latter had manufactured “Agent Orange” in 1961, under the sole direction of the American government for exclusively military purposes. The USA are therefore the only ones responsible. They are not just the war vendors of its use.

Between 1961 and 1971, the US military used “Agent Orange” to destroy the forests where Communist fighters were hiding. In the space of 10 years, she has applied more than 80 million liters of herbicides on Vietnamese lands. During this time, Agent Orange caused deleterious and irreversible effects. In all, there are around 5 million victims of this pollution. More than 40 years after the end of the conflict, the damage continues.

Tran To Nga, victim of “Agent Orange”.

Tran To Nga, now 79, was in her twenties when she suffered the “Agent Orange” pollution. She was then engaged in the North camp in Vietnam.

The health of the former journalist bears many stigmas from this period. It releases several pathologies including breast cancer, tuberculosis and a high level of dioxin in the blood. She also suffers from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and genetic abnormalities. The disease also affected his family. Her eldest daughter died after only a few months of life from deformities, which caused the poison to pass from parents to children. Indeed, after her, her daughters and grandchildren contracted these diseases. There are 3 affected generations in his family.

For Tran To Nga, it is a “family extermination”. According to international law lawyer Valérie Cabanes, “6,000 children are born in Vietnam with birth defects” .. “The toxicity of agent orange is” absolutely phenomenal “, 13 times greater than that of glyphosate.

The victim, who became a journalist, lodged a complaint last January against the 14 officials, including Bayer-Mosantos.

The trial

After years of legal action, the battles of Dewayne Johnson (United States) and Paul François (France), intoxicated by Monsanto products, pave the way for new victories. Before her, very few people had been able to bring this type of lawsuit.

Under the leadership of Tran To Nga, a 79-year-old Franco-Vietnamese woman, the unprecedented trial against Agent Orange began on January 25, 2021 in the Evry court.

According to the Vietnam Dioxin Collective, Tran To Nga is one of the few people who can bring this type of lawsuit. Having suffered the pollution of Agent Orange, she directly received this kind of viscous rain on her. Before her, very few people had been able to bring this type of lawsuit.

Moreover, living in France since 1992, the trial is being held in France, a country where multinational trials can take place.

The verdict

On May 10, the Evry Court delivers its verdict in the historic Tran To Nga trial against the multinationals that manufactured or marketed Agent Orange in the 1960s and 1970s.

Monsanto-Bayer and Dow Chemical are among the 14 defendants behind the pesticide that claimed nearly 4 million lives in Vietnam.

The court rejects Tran To Nga by ruling “inadmissible the claims of the 79-year-old Franco-Vietnamese woman in the Agent Orange case which caused a real health disaster. The 14 multinationals involved in the manufacture of Agent Orange do not are not worried, having acted on the orders of the US The judgment implies that they “could avail themselves of jurisdictional immunity”, contrary to the subject of the complaint filed by Tran Ta Ngo last January.

To this allegation, Tran To Nga responds that the United States has been duped about the toxicity of the product.

Appeal from judgment

Following this decision, the plaintiff’s lawyers decided to appeal immediately. Leading the last fight of her life against the 14 multinationals, she wants “the international community to mobilize to establish the ecocide created by the herbicide during the Vietnam War.

“One can only be surprised that the court recognizes that the companies concerned would have acted under the constraint of the American government whereas they answered to a call for tenders”, declare Masters William Bourdon, Amélie Lefèbvre and Bertrand Repolt in a They believe “they were free or to do it or not”.

They want the Court of Appeals to have access to documents relating to communications between the companies and the US government. Their aim is to demonstrate that the latter were not in a total submission relationship, and that they had “leeway”.

This exceptional trial could have been a milestone in the history of environmental justice. If the responsibility of the companies involved is recognized, the recognition of Vietnamese civilian casualties will set a legal precedent. Such a decision would contribute to international recognition of the crime of “ecocide”.

To date, little compensation has been paid in the name of the health damage caused by Agent Orange. Between 1987 and 2013, a few American, Australian and Korean veterans received compensation in court cases.

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