Monsanto has been on the defensive in recent years over the use and alleged safety of its popular Roundup weedkiller, but what most people don’t realize is that the biotech company has been involved in everything from the manufacturing of Agent Orange to white phosphorus.
While many of Monsanto’s worst chemicals, such as those mentioned above, have been used overseas as weapons of war, here in the United States another highly toxic problem has persisted: the company’s longtime use of PCBs, which have persisted in the environment and caused scores of untold damages.
Now the company is being taken to task yet again by the 9th largest state in the union, on the heels of another similar lawsuit by one of its neighbors.
Oregon Officially Sues Monsanto Over PCB Damages
As described in this report by the website OregonLive.com, the state of Oregon sued the Monsanto Company on Thursday, alleging that it hid the toxic effects of its products for multiple decades, causing widespread damage to animals, plants, humans and the environment.
“Monsanto knew decades before PCBs were banned that they were toxic to the environment, but they failed to disclose highly pertinent information,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum about the company’s dealings. ” The report said that PCBs are being measured in the bodies of fish and in river sediments across the state, and that more money is needed in order to support the cleanup.
Monsanto called the lawsuit “baseless” in a prepared statement.
However, the battle to hold the company responsible for PCBs has been taking place for many years, and Oregon’s neighbor to the north, Washington, has already filed a similar lawsuit, as have eight major West Coast cities.
The new suit alleges that Monsanto has known its chemicals were harmful going back as far as 1937; the company did not stop producing them until 1977.
Oregon Wants Monsanto to Pay for Cleanup
The lawsuit was filed as means to collect at least $100 million from the controversial agrochemical company, citing the ongoing cleanup costs at Portland Harbor and other areas as to the need for additional funding. Tens of millions in public resources have already been spent in order to clean up the damage from Monsanto’s chemicals, the state said according to the OregonLive.com report.
The location is now a government “superfund” site, meaning that it has been contaminated with toxic waste and has been designated by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because of the risks it poses to the health of humans, wildlife and the environment.
For more information including additional comments from the attorney general and Monsanto itself, check out the full OregonLive article by clicking here.