(MintPress) – A 47-year-old Frenchman who accused Monsanto’s Lasso pesticide for his neurological disorder won his case last year, opening the doors to justice against the pesticide giant. Paul Francois said he began to suffer from memory loss, headaches and stammers after being exposed to Lasso. At the the heart of the case was whether […]
(MintPress) – A 47-year-old Frenchman who accused Monsanto’s Lasso pesticide for his neurological disorder won his case last year, opening the doors to justice against the pesticide giant.
Paul Francois said he began to suffer from memory loss, headaches and stammers after being exposed to Lasso. At the the heart of the case was whether Monsanto was responsible, as it did not provide proper warning labels on the project.
He is among 200 French farmers who have reported illnesses believed to be linked to Monsanto’s pesticide exposure.
“It is a historic decision insofar as it is the first time that a pesticide maker is found guilty of such a poisoning,” Francois’ lawyer told Reuters.
The loss for Monsanto is huge for those seeking justice, representing a victory among those who have — and are — taking legal action against the giant for health-related devastation caused by its products.
Last year, Argentine farmers sued the company in U.S. court, claiming the company encouraged the widespread use of chemicals on a tobacco farm, but that it did not provide nor inform them of proper methods of protection. The farmers presented evidence in the form of a 55-page report showing a correlation between the use of Monsanto’s chemicals and increased incidents of epilepsy, spina bifida, down syndrome, missing fingers and blindness among their children.
Another high-profile case for Monsanto came in 1986, when the company reached a $108 million settlement with the family of a former chemical processor who died at age 53 of leukemia. His lawyers argued he became ill after being exposed to dangerous levels of Benzene while working for the company. His predecessor died of the same illness.
In February 2012, a settlement was reached with a West Virginia community exposed to Agent Orange, another Monsanto chemical, in the 1960s. The settlement came along with a gag order, preventing residents suffering the health consequences from speaking out.
Studies also have emerged, linking Monsanto chemicals with cancer and death. A 2008 study by the American Chemical Society found that glyphosate, when paired with chemicals found in Roundup, was deadly to human cells. The study concluded that additive Roundup chemicals “change human cell permeability and amplify toxicity induced already by glyphosate.”
Still, Monsanto stands behind its claim that safety and health are at the forefront of its business motto. In the case of Francois, Monsanto’s lawyer promised the fight wasn’t over, claiming there is no link between his exposure to Lasso and his neurological disorder.
“Monsanto always considered that there were not sufficient elements to establish a causal relationship between Paul Francois’ symptoms and a potential poisoning,” the company’s lawyer, Jean-Philippe Delsart, told Reuters.