Timing is everything. On September 29th, the Environmental Protection Agency updated the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard with far more rigorous pesticide protection standards. The following day, lawsuits against pesticide manufacturer Monsanto were filed in California and New York by workers who claim their cancers were caused by exposure to pesticides. Coincidink? I don’t think so.
It’s about time we started taking Monsanto to court. The EPA estimates that between between 10,000 and 20,000 farmworkers are poisoned each year from pesticide exposure, according to Farmworker Justice. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s bestselling herbicide, was recently listed as a possible human carcinogen by the World Health Organization. California is considering classifying the toxic chemical as carcinogenic, under Proposition 65. And France outright banned it.
In France, a similar lawsuit was upheld in appeals court after Monsanto was found guilty of poisoning a farmer who used its pesticides on his crops. In America, Enrique Rubio v. Monsanto Company and Fitzgerald v. Monsanto Company may follow suit, accusing the company of:
“[assuring] the public that Roundup was harmless. In order to prove this, Monsanto championed falsified data and attacked legitimate studies that revealed its dangers. Monsanto led a prolonged campaign of misinformation to convince government agencies, farmers and the general population that Roundup was safe.”
Meanwhile, in the period between May 1st and October 1st, Monsanto’s stock has dropped from $118 to $87 per share. Sounds like Big Ag may be going the way of Big Tobacco.