Grrrowd is a new crowdfunding movement supporting legal “David versus Goliath” actions to defend social, environmental and economic rights worldwide. They want to realise “Justice powered by the crowd”. One of their first four crowdfund actions is a case of environmental litigation against the introduction of GM corn in Mexico by Monsanto. EJOLT has written about Monsanto’s activities in Mexico through this 5 page factsheet and in this case in the Atlas of Environmental Justice. Here’s their case:
The country where corn was born thousands of years ago is now at risk of losing its unique biodiversity. Big companies like Monsanto are fiercely lobbying their way into Mexico to grow genetically modified corn at a commercial level. So far, a broad coalition of Mexican citizens, farmers and scientists has successfully prevented this from happening. However, their financial resources are limited. Your contribution will give them a fair chance.
Powerful multinational GM producers are lobbying in many countries to get market access. Their global ambitions have ignited one of the largest grassroots opposition movements of citizens, farmers and scientists worldwide. These companies face strong resistance from large parts of the population, especially in Mexico. Their spokesman Dr. Raul Hernandez Garciadiego says: “Corn has always been part of the daily lives of all Mexicans. Corn is not only the staple food of Mexico, but also has immense cultural value. Over a period of 8,000 years, Mexicans have cultivated over a thousand types of corn that originated in our country. If GM corn is authorized, this diversity of native Mexican corn is at risk through contamination. Farmers risk being gradually forced to grow GM corn or have their native corn contaminated. Mexicans risk losing their cultural patrimony and way of life.” Mexican food is considered a world heritage and almost every meal is based on native races of corn.
A short video and support info is here:
Legal defense of native corn
A broad coalition of Mexican citizens, farmers and scientists has filed a collective lawsuit in order to prevent such harms. The lawsuit has been successful so far. A provisional judicial decision currently prevents Mexican authorities from granting GM corn permits until a final decision on the merits of the case. This decision affects the interests of large agribusiness firms that have plans to grow large expanses of GM corn crops in Mexico. Through 86 appeals and other legal recourses, these companies have used a disproportionate amount of financial resources to fight the court order. Now, the Mexican citizens and farmers need your help to continue and win this legal fight.
This is a Grrrowd project by Environmental Defender Law Center (EDLC) to raise funds and support for Alternativas y Procesos de Participación Social A.C. (Alternativas), a non-profit organization based in Tehuacán, Puebla, Mexico that represents in this Grrrowd project the coalition of Mexican citizens who filed the lawsuit. EDLC works to protect the human rights of individuals and communities in developing countries who are fighting against harm to their environment. On a pro bono basis, EDLC will support Alternativas strategically in executing this legal action. EDLC is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity in the United States.
This Grrrowd project aims to collect net total sum contributions of € 12,600 to cover the following expenses for this legal action within the next 2 to 3 months:
Legal fees, expert fees, court fees: € 10,800
Travel cost: € 200
Administration cost: € 600
Project budget audit by external accountant: € 200
The project costs are:
Project production cost (on a no-cure-no-pay basis, including video): € 850
Payment fees (estimated average of 3,4%): € 457
Affiliate fees (5% for an estimated average of 50% of all contributions): € 348
This adds up to a total gross contributions target of € 14,255
Keep-it-all crowdfunding model
This project is using the Keep-it-all crowdfunding model, which means that independent of the project result all of the net collected contributions will be transferred to EDLC and Alternativas. If unfortunately the project target is not reached, EDLC and Alternativas agree to spend the collected contributions for the protection of native Mexican corn diversity in alternative ways. EDLC and Alternativas agree to communicate about the expenditure to Grrrowd and the Contributors in a transparent and timely manner.