By Madison Ruppert
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
This landmark decision opens up the possibility of more cases being brought against Monsanto across the globe with a real chance of victory; something which many people (myself included) could have never imagined previously.
Paul Francois, a 47-year-old French grain farmer, sued Monsanto after he was poisoned by one of the corporation’s many herbicidal products back in 2004, in this case it was the product called “Lasso.”
“Monsanto is responsible for Paul Francois’s suffering after he inhaled the Lasso product … and must entirely compensate him,” read the judgment from the court in Lyon, a city in southeastern France.
Francois inhaled Lasso after he opened a herbicide sprayer in 2004, after which he became nauseous and dizzy and began stuttering. He then developed headaches and muscular pains which made him unable to work for a year.
Even though Lasso was banned in Belgium, Britain and Canada, Monsanto was accused of keeping it on the market in France until 2007.
Jean-Philippe Delsart, the attorney for Monsanto in this case, claimed that there was no proof that Lasso poisoned Francois because the symptoms did not present themselves until months after he inhaled the poison.
“We feel that there are not sufficient scientific elements that demonstrate the causal link between the use of Lasso and Mr. Francois’s health problems,” Yann Fichet, Monsanto France’s head of institutional relations, said.
Some have been much more positive in their response to the ruling, like Generations Futures, which is an organization that lobbies against the widespread use of pesticides.
“The recognition of Monsanto’s responsibility in this matter is essential: plant care companies know that from now on they can no longer shirk their responsibilities,” said Francois Veillerette, the group’s spokesman.
“This is an important step for all farmers and the other victims of pesticides who can at last see firms’ responsibility challenged for painful illnesses that affect them, and have their suffering compensated,” he added.
Jose Bove, a member of European Parliament, said that Lasso “was classified as dangerous in the 1980s … (but) it was only withdrawn in 2007, which shows that the problem of authorizations for these pesticides must be completely overhauled.”
Indeed this finding casts some light on the skewed way in which these chemicals are treated, largely due to the fact that they are produced by Monsanto – which currently has essentially no competition and dominates the market in several sectors.
This decision has the real possibility of inspiring many others who have been negatively impacted by Monsanto’s products (especially their herbicides and pesticides) to start stepping forward and bringing the agricultural giant to court.
Given that scientific studies have actually found that the Monsanto product Roundup can cause horrific damage to the human body like necrosis, which is uncontrolled cell death, along with damage to some of the most essential human systems like umbilical, embryonic and placental cells, I think there might be some very solid cases which could be brought against Monsanto.
Hopefully their attempt to appeal the decision will be fruitless and this decision will give many people who otherwise felt helpless the push they need to take on this giant corporation.
About the Author
Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at [email protected]