Monsanto–Guilty, Part 3

Question 1, as posed to the Tribunal, related to alleged infringement on the right to a healthy environment. In other words, did the Monsanto firm, by its activities, act in
conformity with the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, as recognized in international human rights law (Resolution 25/21 of the Human Rights
Council, of 15 April 2014), taking into account the responsibilities imposed on corporations by the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as endorsed by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 17/4 of 16 June 2011?

The Tribunal recalls that “the right to a healthy environment” concept can be traced to the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, 1972. With the notion that the environment is a precondition for the enjoyment of human rights, this marked the dawn of a new era in international law. Today, no less than 140 states have incorporated the right to a healthy environment into their constitutions, making it a norm of international customary law. The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Environment, John Knox, has identified threats on the right to a healthy environment, and established a set of requirements to protect it. The UN Human Rights Council has concluded that human rights law sets certain obligations on States to guarantee that the right to enjoy a healthy environment is respected. The Monsanto Tribunal hearings allowed for the gathering of testimonies related to various impacts on human health (especially on farmers), soils, plants, aquatic organisms, animal health and biodiversity. These testimonies also included the impacts of spraying crop protection products (herbicides, pesticides). In addition, the information collected also shed light on the impacts on indigenous communities and peoples in many countries, and on the absence of adequate information given to those concerned. Based on the above findings and to answer Question 1, the Tribunal concludes that Monsanto has engaged in practices which have negatively impacted the right to a healthy environment.

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