A French court ruled that a controversial US biotech company Monsanto is guilty of unintentional chemical poisoning of a French farmer. The verdict sets a French precedent for pesticide-poisoning and more cases are expected to follow.
Grain farmer Paul Francois, says he suffered a number of neurological problems, including memory loss, stammering and headaches, after inhaling Monsanto’s Lasso weed killer in 2004. He blamed the company for failing to provide adequate warning labels on its products.
“I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Reuters quoted Francois as saying.
The present case is not the first of its kind. All previous health claims have reportedly failed because of the difficulties with proving the links between health issues and exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. Francois’s claims appeared to be easier to substantiate because he could describe a particular incident – the inhaling of a particular pesticide while cleaning the tank of his crop sprayer. The man was only able to obtain his work invalidity status after a court appeal.
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