French Court Finds Monsanto Guilty Of Chemical Poisoning

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By: Eat Local Green

Monsanto lawsuit

In appeals court in Lyon, France has upheld a 2012 ruling against Monsanto, in which the agribusiness giant was found guilty of the chemical poisoning a farmer named Paul François.

The grain grower said that in 2004 he became ill due to Monsanto’s weedkiller, Lasso. François claimed he suffered from neurological problems, memory loss, headaches and stammering after inadvertently inhaling the herbicide.


In François’ case, doctors determined the cause of his ill health was monochlorobenzene, a highly toxic substance that made up 50 percent of Monsanto’s herbicide, according to teleSUR. The substance sent François to the hospital, where he entered in a coma. Subsequent tests showed that the farmer suffered permanent brain disease, teleSUR reported.

In 2012, he filed suit against Monsanto for not providing a warning on the product label and won. Monsanto appealed the decision shortly after.

Related Article: Indigenous Activists Win Major Court Ruling Against Monsanto In Mexico

“Responsible” for intoxication

Yesterday’s ruling, however, stamps another victory for the farmer. The appeals court said Monsanto was “responsible” for the intoxication and ordered the company to “fully compensate” François, Reuters reported.

“It is a historic decision in so far as it is the first time that a (pesticide) maker is found guilty of such a poisoning,” François Lafforgue, François’ lawyer, told the news agency.

RT reported that the farmer (pictured above in 2011) was happy with the outcome, adding: “David can win against Goliath. … And a giant like Monsanto is not above the law.”


Monsanto’s lawyer Jean-Daniel Bretzner said the company plans to take the case to France’s highest appeal court.

Related Article: 68 Monsanto-Owned Companies To Boycott

“The decision is very surprising given the inaccuracies and errors that dot Paul François’ evidence,” Bretzner said. “But this is just another step and the discussion is going to go on and the fight will go on.”

According to Reuters, Bretzner also said that the potential compensation for the farmer would be decided after the highest court makes a decision. Nonetheless, he said, the award amount would be very low.

“We are speaking about modest sums of money or even nonexistent. He already received indemnities (by insurers) and there is a fundamental rule that says that one does not compensate twice for a loss, if any,” Bretzner said.

Lasso, the herbicide in question, was banned in France as well as in all other European Union member countries in 2007. The product has been phased out in the U.S.

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14 Reader Comments

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  1. 1107724935908809@facebook.com' Scott Hamlin says:

    Hooray! Down with Monsanto!

  2. 1924238071134686@facebook.com' Carey Lamb says:

    YAY !! ?

  3. 1652669555016595@facebook.com' Ann Warke says:

    They should be found guilty of a lot more

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  5. 10208252459332149@facebook.com' Dominique Jeuge says:

    Yes!

  6. 1063652910346228@facebook.com' Eddie Fontanez says:

    Monsanto is the devil in disguise

  7. 1063652910346228@facebook.com' Eddie Fontanez says:

    And the government lets them get away with everything.

  8. 10206360036292768@facebook.com' Randy Dockery says:

    But what about DuPont??????

  9. 677161089082794@facebook.com' Dlav Gaucher says:

    They should be held accountable for my Severe “celiac” condition…I do believe beyond ANY shadow of doubt..its because of Monsanto pesticides and herbicides and gmo’s foods ..I have severe celiac condition..thats why I’m against Monsanto…I don’t care what anyone says about my comment…there should be more lawsuits against Monsanto

  10. 10153997123204505@facebook.com' Constance Youland says:

    Vive la France!!!

  11. 842375569191942@facebook.com' Vera Deringer says:

    It may be true that Monsanto ends up paying a small amount of money for their atrocity, but this will be a HUGE benefit to the people… Why? Because the ruling proves that they are manufacturing poisons to kill mankind for profits only…. We will NOT stand for that, will we? We all need to unite to bring Monsanto to their knees as well as put their CEO’s in prison for the murders and maiming of the citizens of this planet…………………….

  12. 183136122036301@facebook.com' Carlo Romero says:

    poisoning only one person?! This is a whitewash.

  13. 10207440134784189@facebook.com' Shannon McCall Pendergrass says:

    While Obama gives him free reign here in America!!!!

  14. emily_amagatos@yahoo.com' Em says:

    Good!!! All users of chemical poisons should become victims of their own handling! Maybe it is not too late to start with the ecologic way… Just, it is sad that the worldwide legislation is so corrupt to allow the PRODUCTION of poisons!!!

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