French court upholds poisoning case against Monsanto

French farmer Paul François gives a press conference, on September 10, 2015 in Paris, following the ruling of Lyon's appeal cour
French farmer Paul François gives a press conference, on September 10, 2015 in Paris, following the ruling of Lyon's appeal court regarding his trial against Monsanto company, which he accuses of poisining him after the use in 2004 of a herbicide

A French court on Thursday upheld a ruling in which US biotech giant Monsanto was found guilty of poisoning a farmer who says he suffered neurological damage after inhaling a weedkiller made by the company.

The plaintiff, cereal farmer Paul Francois, said the decision proved that "David can win against Goliath... And a giant like Monsanto is not above the law."

The case, heard by an appeal in the southeast city of Lyon, is the first of its kind in France.

The court confirmed a 2012 ruling that Monsanto was "responsible" for the intoxication by its Lasso weedkiller and ordered the US giant to fully compensate Francois.

The said he suffered damage to his health in 2004 after inhaling fumes while he was using Lasso on his maize crop.

Monsanto, which has maintained throughout the process that the product was not dangerous, said it would appeal the decision.

"The is very surprising given the inaccuracies and errors that dot Paul Francois's evidence," said the company's lawyer Jean-Daniel Bretzner.

"But this is just another step and the discussion is going to go on and the fight will go on," he added.

Paul Francois argued that Monsanto was aware of the dangers of Lasso long before it was withdrawn from the French market in 2007.

Lasso, which contains high levels of highly toxic monochlorobenzene, was withdrawn from sale in Canada in 1985 and was banned in Belgium and Britain in 1992.

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© 2015 AFP

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Sep 10, 2015
Monsanto Lasso is safe enough that homeowners and farmers in the U.S. use it all the time. It's called Roundup. It's banned in the EU but they ban all kinds of things based on heresy or pseudo-science. You probably don't want to drink Roundup or stick your nose in the bottle and inhale it for long periods of time, but it's safe if used according to the directions on the label. Maybe Francois didn't read the directions? Sounds like he's on a fishing expedition for a multi-milion-dollar settlement.

Sep 11, 2015
Lasso is NOT Roundup!

Roundup is glyphosate, which is C3H8NO5P (ref: )

Lasso is primarily Alachlor and chlorobenzene (ref: http://householdp...13019020 ) which are C14H20ClNO2 (ref: https://en.wikipe...Alachlor ) and C6H5Cl (ref: http://www.chemsp...676.html )

Glyphosate (Roundup) contains phosphorus but NOT chlorine.
Lasso's main ingredients both contain chlorine and NOT phosphorus.
They are NOT the same (and the toxicity of many chlorinated organic compounds is not pseudoscience).

Sep 11, 2015
Here is something you should really be worried about.

Sep 11, 2015
Thanks, antigoracle - that link provides a nice summary!

Sep 13, 2015
None want to talk about the effect that these chemicals have on the gut biome. It might have zero effect on the human, but cause chaos to our symbiotic organisms.

Sep 13, 2015
@Egleton - I agree.

The studies that Monsanto submitted showing that mammals lack the pathway that glyphosate acts on were used to support their claim that it is safe for mammals to consume. However many of our gut microbes DO have the molecular pathway that glyphosate acts on, and given how much has been learned recently about the importance of our internal biomes, this invalidates that entire line of evidence of glyphosate's safety.

(However the article was about Lasso and not glyphosate, so I didn't want to add to more on glyphosate after aksdad mixed up Lasso and Roundup.)

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