Monsanto 'Commands' Civic Group to Turn in All Communications Over Glyphosate
The document, dated Jan. 26 and sent from New York Supreme Court, "commands" the U.S.-based organization to turn in a decade's worth of internal communications by Friday, Feb. 23.
The subpoena specifically seeks a trove of documents and communications related to Avaaz's campaigns around regulating glyphosate—the controversial star ingredient in Monsanto's blockbuster weedkiller, Roundup. The organization says this includes their 2017 effort to stop the European Union from re-issuing a 15-year license for glyphosate; its 2013 effort to block a Monsanto genetically-modified seed factory in Argentina; and an ongoing campaign to stop the mega-merger between Monsanto and Bayer.
As founder Ricken Patel and his team pointed out, that's "pretty much every single private email, document, note, chat or anything else that any Avaaz staffer has ever written or done on our campaigns to ban Monsanto's key herbicide, glyphosate."
The full subpoena can be read here: https://avaazimages.avaaz.org/monsanto-subpoena-to-avaaz-r.pdf
Avaaz worries about the scope of the subpoena, as it would also include the names and email addresses of members who have signed Monsanto petitions. GM Watch noted that one of its petitions calling for a moratorium on glyphosate garnered more than 2 million signatures.
The subpoena was issued as part of a class-action lawsuit against Monsanto in which plaintiffs around the country claim that they or their loved ones developed non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma due to exposure to Roundup.
Avaaz is now fighting back and is raising funds for the defense effort. The group will be represented by the New York firm of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, LLP.
"This is big," Avaaz writes in a new petition. "[Monsanto's] a $50 billion mega-corporation, infamous for legal strong-arm tactics like this. They have unlimited resources. If they get their hands on all our private information, there's no telling what they'll use it for."
Emma Ruby-Sachs, Deputy Director of Avaaz, said Monsanto's demand for internal communications is a "violation" of first amendment rights.
"There are millions of people around the world who have a deep and genuine concern that Monsanto's glyphosate is making us and our environment sick," she added. "That is the sole reason our members have called on governments to regulate it based on independent science. We're not going to let this legal attack slow down that essential work one bit."
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>