Monsanto has been the topic of a lot of news lately, especially with the multi-country march that took place against Monsanto a short time ago. What can be seen as another big victory for public health, a French court found Monsanto guilty for poisoning a French Farmer. Paul Francois is a humble farmer who began experiencing neurological problems such as memory loss and headaches after being exposed to Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller back in 2004. The decision reached 2012 for this case sets a powerful precedent that can continue to help raise awareness and dismantel the ignorance that exists around Monsanto and their products, including GMO foods.
In previous cases against the pesticide giant, farmers were unable to prove and properly link pesticide exposure to the side effects they were having. This is not the case for Francois’s, as an expert opinion was able to determine the sum of the damages incurred and verify the link the Lasso pesticide and his illnesses.
After the case ruling, Reuters attempted to contact Monsanto’s lawyers but they decline to comment.
Not The First Case
Although Francois’s story is one of few positive endings, his is not the only case where people have attempted to hold Monsanto accountable for their dangerous actions. In 2011, he and other farmers formed an association to help raise awareness and go after Monsanto for the negative effects their products have on farmers. Awareness of the association grew and their claims were met by other farmers who were experiencing similar illnesses. Since 1996, the agricultural branch of the French social security system has gathered about 200 alerts per year regarding sickness related to pesticides. It is unfortunate to say that only 47 cases were even recognized in the past 10 years.
Francois, whose life was damaged by Monsanto’s products, has been successful in his quest to hold Monsanto accountable and has now set a powerful precedent for other farmers looking to do the same.
I am alive today, but part of the farming population is going to be sacrificed and is going to die because of this,” Francois, 47, told Reuters.
In 2007 France banned the Lasso pesticide following a European Union directive that came after the ban of the product in other nations. Another push for other countries to do the same.
One of Monsanto’s main reasons for creating the products they do is to ensure and good quality of life for people. We can observe that their pesticides are not only harming people but the practice of farming that requires pesticides is not only harmful to the earth but produces less nutritious and less bountiful crops. The argument that we need to produce more food is absurd given that alternative farming practices could be done. Monsanto is a completely unnecessary business.