The city of Spokane, Washington has filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for allegedly selling chemicals for decades that it knew were harmful to human and environmental health.
Marlene Feist, Spokane’s utilities spokeswoman, described the suit as “long-term litigation,” pointing out that the city will spend $300 million to keep PCBs and other pollutants from entering the river in coming years – all of which were caused by Monsanto’s dumping of chemicals via paint, inks, hydraulic fluids, and industrial sealants.
Monsanto has been using PCBs since the 1920s, and they were only banned in 1977 after decades of petitioning the US government. The chemicals were used for so long due to being particularly stable. Therefore, the industry sought PCBs out to make plastics, pesticides, coolants, and lubricating fluids, among other things.
The only problem is that they linger in the environment for decades after the products start to decompose, and in some cases, hundreds of years later. PCBs are still in our food chain. Needless to say, this is having a negative impact on the environment and the health of living organisms.
Thanks to their long-lasting nature, this is likely why the Spokane River has been tested and shows elevated levels of PCBs. Monsanto denies any culpability for this – even though PCBs are not found in nature. What’s more, Monsanto has been pinned for dumping PBCs in the past. Another lawsuit in St. Louis County is targeting Monsanto for polluting water with PCBs. And another one in San Diego for the same reason.
A spokesperson for the company, Charla Lord, says the biotech company is:
“. . . reviewing the lawsuit and its allegations. However, Monsanto is not responsible for the costs alleged in this matter.”
According to the Spokesman:
“The lawsuit names two companies that spun off from the corporation in the 1990s, and joins other municipalities seeking damages from the company, including San Diego, San Jose and Westport, Massachusetts.
The outside law firms representing the city – Baron and Budd, and Gomez Trial Attorneys – have experience with PCB litigation. “
ALL cities polluted by Monsanto should launch lawsuits, especially considering that Baron and Budd, a national law firm with environmental litigation experience, currently offers free PCB testing to any school built between 1950 and 1980.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.