Posted by Dr Mercola
March 08 2012
Monsanto Accused in Suit Tied to Agent Orange
For a period spanning 20 years, a Monsanto chemical plant in Nitro produced the herbicide 2,4,5-T, which is a component of Agent Orange, the extremely toxic herbicide used to defoliate jungles during the Vietnam War. The suit claims poisonous residues from the chemical have polluted the area, putting residents’ health and the environment at serious risk. It is calling for Monsanto to monitor residents’ health and to clean up polluted properties, although recently a court rejected the cleanup request.
According to NPR:
“At issue in this case: whether Monsanto will have to pay millions of dollars to monitor the health of everyone included in the case … This is not the first time lawyers have sued Monsanto over health effects in Nitro. In the 1980s a lawsuit was brought on behalf of seven former employees … The cleanup issue is still being appealed. Meanwhile the medical monitoring case is headed to trial after settlement negotiations failed.”
Why is the Head of FDA Food Safety Tied to Monsanto?
Michael Taylor, a former vice president of public policy and chief lobbyist at Monsanto, is now the deputy commissioner for foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Taylor, sometimes called “Monsanto Mike,” has become the flashpoint for public anger at the FDA over issues that include failure to require labeling of GM (genetically modified) foods, failure to enforce and punish food safety violations by large producers, and ongoing efforts to drive raw milk producers out of business.
In case you’re not familiar with him, Taylor is the person who “oversaw the creation of GMO policy,” according to Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology . “If GMOs are indeed responsible for massive sickness and death, then the individual who oversaw the FDA policy that facilitated their introduction holds a uniquely infamous role in human history. That person is Michael Taylor. He had been Monsanto’s attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA. Soon after, he became Monsanto’s vice president and chief lobbyist” Smith said.
This may surprise you at first, but once you realize just how many of Monsanto’s employees have shifted into positions of power within the federal government, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to see how this biotech giant managed to rake in a net income of $126 million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, despite being the mastermind behind some of the most dangerous products known to man, including Agent Orange, dioxin, aspartame and genetically modified seeds.”
Even if you have friends in high places, it never hurts to spend millions of dollars lobbying the U.S. government just to make sure legislation goes in your favor, and Monsanto does just that.
In the first quarter of 2011 alone, Monsanto spent $1.4 million on lobbying the federal government — a drop from a year earlier, when they spent $2.5 million during the same quarter. If we all had several million to drop solely on lobbying efforts, suffice it to say the world would be a very different place. Unfortunately, it’s primarily multinational corporations like Monsanto that have this type of clout, and they use it to increase their power, wealth and control — not only in the United States, but throughout the entire world.
Upon further research…
Monsanto Settles Agent Orange Lawsuit For $93 Million
In an “All Or Nothing” Approval:
The $93 million settlement includes a budget of $84 million for healthcare monitoring and $9 million to clean up 4,500 homes, in addition to the payment of plaintiffs’ legal fees.
Putnam County Circuit Judge Derek Swope, who approved the settlement, dismissed claims from some class members who asserted the settlement wasn’t fair.
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