top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Monsanto guilty in pesticide case

Lawyer and farmer hail "historic decision" as court links weedkiller with neurological problems

AMERICAN chemicals and biotech giant Monsanto has been found guilty of poisoning a farmer who inhaled weedkiller - and could now face a barrage of claims from other affected farmers.

The company said it would appeal after a court in Lyon ruled that neurological problems suffered by Charentes farmer Paul François were linked to his use of the chemical Lasso. The court has ordered a financial report to fix damages.

François, 47, said he was left with neurological problems after inhaling Lasso in 2004 while cleaning out the tank of his crop sprayer. He suffers headaches, memory loss and stammering and linked it with Lasso after tests on blood, urine and hair samples uncovered traces of chlorobenzene.

The Bernac cereal farmer says there was no mention of chlorobenzene on the weedkiller label and he has been left with a 50% disability.

He added the ruling was "one in the eye" for the petrochemical industry "which thought itself above the law".

His lawyer added it was a "historic decision" although the Monsanto lawyer said there was not enough evidence linking Lasso and François's symptoms.

Other farmers have lodged claims after suffering problems they say are due to chemical usage and the Mutualité Sociale Agricole, the farming social security body, said it had received 2,700 claims, running at 200 a year.

Photo: Tyler Olson - Fotolia.com

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now