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Denied! Federal Judge Orders Trial for Monsanto PCB Environmental Damage to Proceed!

Monsanto have not been granted objections to their recent PCB contamination case. Federal Judge rules the Spokane River case will go ahead.

Monsanto has hit headlines recently for its involvement in a number of scandals surrounding GMO and agrochemical products, and the unsavoury history of the company goes way further back than that.

Their dark history has seen them produce the Agent Orange chemical used in Vietnam and the damaging PCB chemical which contaminated from Aniston, AL to places on the West Coast.

The company has famously weeded it’s way out of previous legal cases, but has not been as lucky with the recent Spokane River case. The subject of the case is the damage done by Monsanto’s PCB contaminations into the river. 

A recent report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, states that seven out of eight claims from Monsanto trying to protest the upcoming case were dismissed by the judge, one of the clams being that Monsanto were not liable any longer because ‘too much time’ had elapsed since the case.This is not the first time Monsanto have tried to use time to their advantage, claiming this same defense in a previous case.  

Thankfully, Federal Judge Salvador Mendoza has ruled that the case will go ahead. PCB’s have been known to be harmful to the environment, and this time Monsanto is having to face the music. “The public harm at issue here comes from PCBs reaching the River, but the nuisance itself is Monsanto’s production, marketing, and distribution of the PCBs,” said Mendoza.

The case is set to go ahead in January 2018 and Monsanto have said they plan to “vigorously defend” themselves, in an apparent attempt to show they believe their actions are ethical.

The Spokane River is one of the primary sources of drinking water for residents in the area according to a report in 2005 by the National Research Council.

The river has been contaminated to a point where it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars toc lean up, and the city believe Monsanto should pay their dues. Scott Simmons, Public Works & Utilities Director of Spokane, said  “This ruling is a critical first win for the City of Spokane and its residents. We believe Monsanto should have a responsibility for cleaning up this mess.”

PCB’s in the U.S were solely produced by Monsanto between 1935 and 1979 until they were banned by Congress over fears about its toxicity. 600,000 tons of PCBs were reportedly produced until 1977, and they were used in everything from insulating and cooling to pesticide formulations.

A press release by Business Wire has said PCB’s  “are carcinogenic and can contaminate food supplies, including consumable fish in the Spokane River. Monsanto’s PCBs are toxic, cannot be contained to their original application, and last decades in the environment,”

Monsanto VP for Global Strategy Scott Partridge has said that the claims are bogus, and that Monsanto are not responsible for the spills in question, in San Francisco Bay, although seven cities along the West Coast have decided to hit Monsanto with legal action, the latest being Oregon who decided to sue in 2016.

The City of Spokane have said the cost of the clean up will hit the $300 million mark in order to keep the river PCB free until 2017.

“Monsanto knew that PCBs would contaminate water supplies, would degrade marine habitats, would kill fish species, and would endanger birds and animals,” the original claim states. “In addition, Monsanto knew PCBs are associated with serious illnesses and cancers in humans and that humans may be exposed to PCBs”

Scott Summy of Baron & Budd, P.C, the national law firm representing the city,has blasted Monsanto for trying to get out of their responsibilities, saying:

It’s time Monsanto steps up and does the right thing.Enough is enough. Corporate responsibility used to mean something in this country, and Monsanto is trying to push the cost of its pollution back onto city residents.

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Denied! Federal Judge Orders Trial for Monsanto PCB Environmental Damage to Proceed! Reviewed by C C on 08:20:00 Rating: 5