Monsanto lose case against French farmer

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France's highest appeals court rejected Wednesday a Monsanto bid to overturn a ruling against it in a suit brought by farmer Paul Francois, who was intoxicated by the firm's weed-killer Lasso.

The decision wraps up a long-running case that began in 2007 and included three previous rulings in favour of the cereal farmer from southwestern France.

Francois was intoxicated in April 2004 after inhaling fumes from the product sold by Monsanto, now owned by the German chemical giant Bayer.

The farmer claimed to have suffered severe neurological damage as a result, and sued for more than a million euros ($1.18 million) in damages.

A lower found that Monsanto had not provided sufficient information on the risks of inhaling Lasso.

In April 2019, a court again found Monsanto responsible on the grounds that the weed killer was a "defective product".

Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, appealed that decision to France's highest appellate court.

That court ruled Monsanto should have warned about dangers posed by the product in closed tanks but did not say whether Lasso was fundamentally toxic or not.

The product has been banned in France since November 2007, long after Canada first banned it in 1985 and Belgium and Britain followed suit in 1992.

A separate judicial procedure is now charged with deciding the amount of damages owed to the .

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© 2020 AFP

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