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Justice - social, environmental, human
Protecting our veterans' children™

US firm Monsanto ‘guilty’ in France poisoning case

February 14, 2012

A French court has found the US biotech giant Monsanto legally responsible for the poisoning of a farmer who inhaled a powerful weedkiller.


Paul Francois, 47, suffered from dizziness, headaches and other problems after examining a sprayer in 2004 which contained Lasso, a product now banned.

The court linked Lasso directly to the farmer's illness.

It ordered a report on his condition, to establish the amount of compensation Monsanto would have to pay him.

Mr Francois, a cereal farmer from the Charente region in south-west France, had to stop work for a year. Medical tests found the hazardous chemical chlorobenzene in his body.

He complained that Monsanto had failed to give a warning on the Lasso label.

His lawyer, Francois Lafforgue, told Reuters news agency this was "a historic decision, in so far as it is the first time that a [pesticide] maker is found guilty of such a poisoning".

Lasso has been banned in France since 2007. It was also withdrawn from sale earlier in Belgium, Canada, the UK and some other countries, French TF1 television reports.

Monsanto says it will appeal against Monday's verdict by a court in Lyon.

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