Monsanto Sued By City of Spokane

Monsanto Sued By City of Spokane

Monsanto Sued By City of Spokane

The city of Spokane, Washington has hit corporate polluter Monsanto with a lawsuit claiming that they have polluted local waters in the Spokane River with chemicals from their pesticides. Other cities have joined in seeking compensation including San Diego and San Jose in California as well as Westport, Massachusetts.

Spokane claims: “Monsanto knew that PCBs would contaminate water supplies, would degrade marine habitats, would kill fish species, and would endanger birds and animals,” the complaint says. “In addition, Monsanto knew PCBs are associated with serious illnesses and cancers in humans and that humans may be exposed to PCBs” through eating or touching fish.

Toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), once used in products ranging from fluorescent lights and appliances to insulation and insecticide, were banned in the late 1970s as carcinogens and general health hazards, though they linger in the environment.

Monsanto was the lone manufacturer of PCBs in the United States from 1935 to 1979, and the company concealed the toxicity from the municipality, city attorneys wrote in a complaint filed last week in U.S. District court.

“Despite Monsanto’s knowledge, Monsanto failed to provide adequate warnings that its PCBs would become a global contaminant and contaminate waterways and wildlife, such as Spokane’s stormwater and fish in the Spokane River,” city attorneys wrote.

The city of Spokane has a 2017 deadline to clean up the waters and stop pollutants from accessing the river. The clean up is expected to cost $300 million dollars. “Monsanto Sued” is a phrase being heard more and more as their agrochemicals have been the subject of negative press all over the world, with many European countries banning the chemicals all together.