Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 9th, 2015

Crimes against nature and humanity: A citizens’ tribunal will investigate Monsanto

Agrochemical giant Monsanto will be investigated by a tribunal of environmentalists, activists, and scientists in The Hague, Netherlands, next year, against charges of “ecocide“.

“Relying on the ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights’ adopted by the UN in 2011, an international court of lawyers and judges will assess the potential criminal liability of Monsanto for damages inflicted on human health and the environment,” explained a press statement.

The citizens’ trial was announced at a press conference on December 3 in Paris, to tie in with the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change.

Calling themselves the Monsanto Tribunal, the crowd-funded group will evaluate allegations made against Monsanto with regards to damage caused to the environment and human health – but regardless of the outcome, they won’t be able to sentence or charge the agriculture giant.

Still, they claim the trial is more than just a symbolic act, with the larger goal of establishing ‘ecocide’ as a crime for the first time.

Joe Harb shared this link

Looks like this is the beginning of the end for Monsanto’s empire while mainstream media is completely ignoring the news

“The time is long overdue for a global citizens’ tribunal to put Monsanto on trial for crimes against humanity and the environment,” said Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association and a founder of the Monsanto Tribunal.

“Monsanto is largely responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction and declining biodiversity, and the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide,” added environmental activist Vandana Shiva.

The Monsanto products under scrutiny include RoundUp – a commonly used herbicide – and genetically modified (GM) RoundUp Ready Seeds, which the tribunal claim have caused environmental damage and put financial pressure on farmers.

They will also investigate a compound produced by Monsanto that was used in the chemical weapon Agent Orange.

But while many are celebrating the move, others have criticised it as a publicity and fund-raising stunt, given the fact that the tribunal isn’t part of an internationally recognised court and can’t actually punish the corporation.

However, the Monsanto Tribunal explains that the trial will be used to assess whether or not Monsanto could be eligible for criminal proceedings, and is the first step to prosecution in the future.

“The court will also rely on the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002, and it will consider whether to reform international criminal law to include crimes against the environment, or ecocide, as a prosecutable criminal offence.”

The assumption is that if the tribunal can raise enough evidence to support allegations against Monsanto, a criminal court will decide to pursue the matter further.

However, it’s proven incredibly difficult to find evidence against Monsanto.

Bill Nye, who used to be an outspoken GM critic, even toured the company’s facilities and couldn’t find anything untoward.

In fact, since talking with their scientists, he’s announced that he’s a supporter of genetic modification in crops.

Time will tell if the tribunal will have more luck.

This isn’t the first time Monsanto’s come under fire – several court cases have been brought against the company in the past, and Monsanto has also taken its fair share of farmers to court for using their patented seeds without paying for them.

Back in 2012, thousands of certified organic farmers started a lawsuit to prevent Monsanto from suing them in the event of pollen from the company’s patented seeds ending up in their fields. But the judge dismissed the case, claiming that the allegations were “unsubstantiated”.

The Monsanto Tribunal trial is scheduled 12 to 16 October 2016, with the final day falling on World Food Day.

 

Held captive by Isis for 10 months:  Nicolas Henin opinion on how to defeat ISIS

A French journalist who was held hostage by Isis for 10 months has spoken out against air strikes in Syria, saying they represent “a trap” for Britain and other members of the international community.

Nicolas Henin: The man who was held captive by Isis for 10 months says how they can be defeated

‘The winner of this war will not be the party that has the newest, the most expensive or the most sophisticated weaponry, but the party that manages to win over people’
(But ISIS is failing to retain the skilled people who are observing that the name of the game with ISIS is utter looting for a few of its leaders)

Speaking in an interview with The Syria Campaign, Nicolas Henin put forward his strategy for combatting the militant group – a no-fly zone in opposition-held areas of Syria.

(And why this zone should Not be within Turkey borders Turkey strategy is to establish this zone in order to prevent the Kurdish fighters from reclaiming lands taken by ISIS and the Nusra Front. Turkey wants to have a free hand to resume exploiting the oil and wealth in the occupied land)

Mr Henin has previously spoken about how he was held for seven months in Syria itself, and how British national Mohammed Emwazi – known as Jihadi John – was among the jailors who subjected him to physical and psychological torture.

“Strikes on Isis are a trap,” he said.

“The winner of this war will not be the party that has the newest, the most expensive or the most sophisticated weaponry, but the party that manages to win over the people on its side.”

As an example of how the international community had responded well, he described the recent escalation of the refugee crisis – and corresponding offers from Europe of homes to fleeing Muslims – as “a blow to Isis”.

He said: “Hundreds of thousands of refugees, fleeing this Muslim land that is like a dream for Isis – that is supposed to be their Israel? And fleeing that land to go to the land of the ‘unbelievers’?

“This is why they probably tried to manipulate the public during the Paris attacks,” he said. “To make us close our borders, and maybe even more importantly, close our minds.”

Coalition bombing was not hurting the militants, Mr Henin said in the interview before British MPs voted in favour of RAF strikes in Syria, but rather “pushing people into the hands of Isis”.

“What we have to do – and this is really key – is we have to engage the local people. As soon as the people have hope for a political solution, the Islamic State will just collapse.

“There will be a very easy way to make Isis lose ground at a high speed. The international community must decide all regions held by the Syrian opposition are no-fly zones.

“No-fly zones for everybody. Not the coalition, not the Russians, not the regime, nobody. Providing security for people [there] would be devastating for Isis. That’s what the international community should focus on.” (And how the troops on the ground are supposed to fight ISIS?)

He added: “Why are we making so many mistakes? Why are people so misunderstanding [Isis’s] vision?

“We are just fuelling our enemies and fuelling the misery and disaster for the local people.”

Mr Henin is a freelance journalist who has worked in Iraq and Syria for most of his career. He was held by Isis in an underground cell alongside other hostages including the American journalist James Foley, who was later executed.

Mr Henin was freed following negotiations between the French government and his captors, and he has since written about the experience in a book entitled Jihad Academy, published in English last month.

Note: Turkey of Erdogan has been and still is the main supporter of Daesh and all the other terrorist factions in Syria.

Najat Rizk shared a link.

 

Cancer Research Breakthrough Unveiled

As Scientists Learn How To ‘Turn Off’ Notorious Protein

A cancer-causing protein has finally met its match thanks to a discovery unveiled by scientists in Canada.

After years of trying to find a way to stop the Ras protein – “responsible for 30% of all cancers and indirectly involved in virtually all cancers” – researchers have figured out the solution lies with another protein known as SHP2.

Think of it as a fighting-fire-with-fire mechanism.

cancer cell

“For several decades, scientists have tried to turn off a protein called Ras,” said Michael Ohh of the University of Toronto, who was one of the study’s authors.

“But despite their efforts, we ultimately haven’t seen much progress. In fact, it’s been coined the ‘undruggable’ protein.”

The genes that code for Ras (remember genes are an instruction manual telling our body what proteins to make) are known as oncogenes.

A helpful analogy from the American Cancer Society is to think of a cell as a car, and oncogene as the accelerator that causes the cell to divide out of control. And one of the keys that turns this process on is the Ras protein.

What Ohh and his team have found however, is that SHP2 can work like a switch and turn off Ras — easing the pressure on the accelerator if you like.

In a study published in Nature Communications, they “tested this on mice with glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer.”

“The inhibitors’ results were incredible — we were shocked,” explained Ohh. “Nothing has had the same effect.”

What they found is the tumours reduced by 80 per cent.

As with any breakthrough, this finding still has to be put through the rigours of a clinical trial.

Before this stage however, the team plan to see if SHP2 is effective in mice that have human pancreatic tumours.

Commenting on what this would mean for patients in the longterm, one of the paper’s authors, Yoshihito Kano, said “I see a lot of patients with pancreatic cancer.

“These patients usually die within one year, even with chemotherapy, so this drug could potentially change my patients’ lives.”


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