Monsanto Guilty Of Poisoning French Farmer
France Bids Monsanto A Hearty Au Revoir
Natural Society named Monsanto the World's Worst Company last year, and this peddler of pesticides might defend its title in 2012.
On Monday a French court declared the U.S based company guilty of the chemical poisoning of a French farmer.
Grain grower, Paul Francois, claims he suffered severe neurological problems after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso Weedkiller in 2004. He asserts Monsanto knew of these risks but did not provide adequate warnings on the product label.
Jean-Philippe Delsart, the company’s lawyer disagreed with the court's decision stating that not enough evidence was presented during trial to substantiate claims of a causal relationship between Mr. Francois' symptoms and Monsanto’s Lasso weed killer. Backing up Mr. Delsart, Monsanto’s managing directer Jean-Charles Bocquet stated that:
“I think if we had a major health problem with pesticides, we would have already known about it.”
Despite these claims, it appears French politicians are poised to use the court ruling to expedite the systematic phasing out of pesticide use in the country. As it stands, France is seeking to reduce its percentage of pesticide use by 50 percent by 2018. Certainly, this represents a devastating blow to Monsanto, as France is currently the EU's top agricultural exporter.
But France is just the most recent European nation to reject Monsanto’s madness.
Recently, Monsanto was forced to liquidate its entire UK operations after protesters, with a fervor equal to that of the occupy movement, hit the streets calling for an end to the growing of the company's genetically modified seed and returning to more organic methods of farming.
Similar movements in Germany and the Czech Republic are causing the biotech behemoth to consider pulling out of those countries as well.
China Officials, following the example of European nations, stated in early February that it will no longer accept genetically genetically modified rice to be grown in the country, claiming that it has an obligation to its citizens to grow food that is both environmentally sustainable and safe to consume. The potential health risks of consuming GMO rice were simply too great for the Middle Kingdom to ignore.
Last year, a report that reviewed 19 different studies indicated that consumption of Mosanto's GMO corn or soybeans can be linked to severe organ disruption in rats and mice. And a similar study showed that prolonged use of Monsanto’s herbicide and pesticide products can lead to un-killable weeds and "super bugs" that can undermine the sustainability of a country’s entire ecosystem.
Of course, this doesn't bode well for the U.S. agricultural system where Monsanto’s genetically modified soybeans account for 93% of domestic soybean production. And the vast quantities of herbicides used on these U.S. farms has lead to virtually indestructible weeds.
The cost of removing these weeds is immense, but the company, staying true to form, refuses to accept responsibility for creating the weed menace, stating in a press release that Monsanto's herbicide warranties will not cover the failure to control glyphosate resistant weed populations.
So why hasn’t the U.S. followed the example set by the rest of the world and kicked Monsanto to the curb?
Because Monsanto ponies up fat campaign contributions and has VIP access to the halls of Congress. That's why.
Since Monsanto’s inception the GMO monolith has had board members and former executives in every branch of the Federal government. The two most notable ones being former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who was a board member for the company before gaining political office, and current Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who was a lawyer for the company before being granted a seat on the bench. A number of other exectuives has worked in various postions for the FDA, and several have been appointed to serve as its director.
It's a pretty sweet deal for the folks over Monsanto. For you, not so much.
Until next time,