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Heidi Chow – How do we hold corporations like Monsanto to account?

Monsanto may not be a household name in the UK but as one of the world’s leading seed and chemical companies, its activities affect us all. Its best-selling weedkiller is made from a chemical called glyphosate that the World Health Organisation has found to probably cause cancer. Yet its use is now so widespread that traces are found in one out of every three loaves of bread in the UK.

That’s why earlier this year, in the lead up a EU decision about whether to relicense glyphosate, we mounted public pressure on decision makers through our¬†Monsanto honest marketing campaign. We sent out thousands of ¬†spoof labels to individuals which ended up on supermarket shelves across the UK telling the truth about Monsanto’s products and their corporate power. Our campaign was part of widespread opposition across Europe, which resulted in a rejection of the automatic 15-year relicense in the EU, as expected by Monsanto. Instead, glyphosate was only relicensed for 18 months pending further research.

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