Corporate chiefs whose companies knowingly poison the planet in pursuit of profit should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity says the award-winning director of a new eco film released today [Jan 21st].
Robert Golden, director of the 90-minute This Good Earth, claims that chief executives and board members of companies whose activities pollute the planet should be brought before the International Criminal Court “for the deaths of millions”.
Mr Golden revealed that he is targeting in his claim the bosses of multinational food giants, mining companies, intensive beef farmers, processed food manufacturers and agrichemical companies.
Writing about the making of his film for the climate activism social network We Don’t Have Time, Golden states: “During the 26 months of interviewing and filming, it became clear that many people – academics, scientists and medical practitioners and many farmers – clearly understand what must change, how things can be sensibly planned to rapidly change, but are not changing.
“In every case I asked what is in the way and why are governments not enforcing change? To my surprise, most said either profits or capitalism are in the way and that the key decision-makers in the carbon industries and in the extended food chain know the long and short-term detrimental consequences of their actions, but choose to ignore them.
“I decided to speak to lawyers concerned with human rights, as the actions of the CEOs and their board members are injuring the lives of millions and potentially billions of people. My question became, ‘is this not an abnegation of human rights and a series of crimes against humanity?’
“To my surprise, the lawyers agreed and promoted the idea that groups and organisations should bring cases in the International Criminal Court.
“I hope that large organisations set against the arbitrary power of industry can find it in their ethos and in their hearts to set a precedent against these individuals who seem to me to be not so different than members of the Nazi SS – responsible for the deaths of millions without an acknowledgement of the consequences of their actions.”
He explained: “By individuals I mean the CEOs and their top board members who pursue and or allow poor practices which cause slow, long-term poisoning of human beings or other species, destruction of water tables or areas of land and water near their areas of cultivation or production, causing the expulsion of greenhouse gases – which could be from verticalized corporations whose massive agriculture holdings include transport, processing, manufacturing and distribution of their many sub companies products.
“It could mean people instrumental in destructive extractive corporations – often responsible for enslaving workers in places like the Congo – or massive industrialised farming as for instance beef farms in the US mid-west which are responsible for cruelty towards animals as well as producing penicillin and growth hormone-fed animals, or commodities-processing firms that convert basics like wheat and rice into nutrient-free pap to be used by food manufactures to make more worthless, physically-debilitating non-food, ultra-processed substances. It also includes the seed and toxin chemical corporations, as well as some of the pharmaceutical corporations.”
This Good Earth reveals both how pesticides and much of modern intensive farming is poisoning the planet and its species, and the alarming extent that sugar consumption is poisoning people.
Robert Golden said: “I have spent the past two years filming top British experts, scientists, medical practitioners and academics for This Good Earth and they are all loudly warning in the film that the use of more pesticides must be resisted for the sake of the planet – and for the safety and health of farm workers.
“As my film reveals, millions of farm-workers are poisoned every year by pesticides, with more than 40,000 fatalities worldwide.
“On top of that, health experts in the film warn of the dangers of increasing sugar consumption; 25 years ago adult obesity was 3% in Britain and now it’s soared to 25%. Sugar is damaging not only the health of adults and children but even babies. One doctor I interviewed reveals that babies as young as two-months-old are contracting diabetes.
This Good Earth will be released for streaming via Vimeo on Thursday [January 21st]. The film exposes how we must urgently change the ways that we farm and eat – because the current ways are not only openly killing the planet but are also secretly poisoning its people.
Coincidentally coming in the year that marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of The Soil Association, the provocative documentary is set to shake the foundations of our trust in the safety of much of modern farming.
The film also reveals how we face environmental disaster unless ploughing is stopped and how only organic farming can now safely feed the world.
The film, shot in American-born Golden’s adopted home county of Dorset, brings together farmers, scientists, medical professionals and expert academics to contest the disturbing influence that agrochemical giants exert over the farming industry and warns that the way we currently grow our food could effectively kill us unless huge changes are made in how we treat our land and other species.
At a time when a 2020 YouGov survey revealed that 3 in 10 Brits prefer to give their families organic natural food and vast international movements are swelling fears of how non-organic farming contributes to global warming, This Good Earth discloses that almost half (47%) of British farmers do not believe that they must take actions to reduce greenhouse gases.
And as the long corporate food chain from farmer’s gate to the dinner plate is driven by the rapacious desire for increasing profits, human rights lawyer Richard Harvey warns in the film that this expense to the planet could yet lead to criminal prosecutions.
“It’s a question of international crime, the International Criminal Court makes it a crime against humanity to destroy the environment,” says Harvey.
As a new and updated re-sounding of The Soil Association’s original alarm at its founding in 1946, “that there is a direct connection between farming practice and plant, animal, human and environmental health”, This Good Earth is essential viewing for farmers, consumers, ecologists and those concerned with human rights, as well as providing a key study tool for schools, universities and all of those who share the deep concerns of how and what we feed ourselves.
The documentary – which features expert analysis and forecasts from Professor Tim Lang, the UK’s foremost expert on food security, and Liz Bowles, Associate Director of The Soil Association, alongside Professors Jules Pretty and Erik Millstone revealing the stark and unsettling truth about the links between food corporations, people’s diets and debilitating illnesses – will be available for streaming from the film’s website https://this-good-earth.com where you can read more about it.
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