Monsanto and its cancer-linked herbicide glyphosate have become a major problem for its new parent company Bayer, as its CEO just admitted his company will be “massively” affected by herbicide litigation, a tornado of lawsuits that shows no signs of slowing.
In France, Monsanto and Bayer have been hit with even more resistance, including a recent ban on glyphosate and a total rejection of the company’s genetically engineered seeds.
Now, a French court has made an important ruling that shows yet again just how poisonous the company’s suite of toxic chemicals truly is, in the case of a farmer who has already defeated the pesticide giant twice in court previously.
French Court Rules in Favor of Poisoned Farmer
A French appeals court has found the U.S. chemical giant Monsanto guilty of poisoning a farmer who said he suffered neurological damage from accidentally inhaling fumes from the company’s Lasso weedkiller, a product containing monochlorobenzene that was banned in the country in 2007.
While litigation has not always gone the farmer’s way in cases against Monsanto and other GMO giants, as was the case with Australian farmer Steve Marsh whose crops were wind contaminated with GMO material, François’ legal successes represent significant victories against a company critics say has long been a nemesis of farmers.
François successfully argued that Monsanto was long aware of Lasso’s dangers before it was pulled from the French market and sought damages of more than €1m ($1,131,951 in U.S. dollars) for long-term neurological damage that kept him in the hospital for long periods of time.
Francois said he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, fainting and headaches after accidentally inhaling Lasso in 2004 on his farm.
“We are all happy to have won but it came at a heavy price,” he told reporters, according to Reuters. “It’s a big sigh of relief. It’s been 12 years of fighting, 12 years during which I had to put my whole life on hold.”
Monsanto’s appeal was rejected this past Tuesday and it was announced that the reward will be determined in a separate ruling. The company was reprimanded for not clearly placing “a notice on the specific dangers of using the product in vats and reservoirs.”
Monsanto said it would most likely appeal the ruling.
On Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Bayer investors are experiencing unrest over CEO Werner Baumann’s recent bonus, which took place despite lawsuits against Monsanto wiping billions of dollars off of the pesticide and GMO company’s market value.