Monsanto sentenced in France after 13 years of legal battle

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A French court on Wednesday rejected Monsanto's last legal action, which challenged its conviction in the case against a French grain producer intoxicated after inhaling vapors of the herbicide Lasso.

Paul François is now claiming from the American agrochemist the equivalent of $ 1.5 million in damages, an amount on which justice has yet to rule.

<q data-attributes = "{" lang ": {" value ":" fr "," label ":" Français "}," value ": {" html ":" There will be one before and one after this process . It shows that a simple citizen can convict a multinational, welcomed Mr.Francois. It shows that these products are dangerous. "," Text ":" There will be a before and after this trial. It shows that a simple citizen can convict a multinational, said François. It shows that these products are dangerous. "}}" Lang = "fr”>There will be a before and after this trial. It shows that a simple citizen can convict a multinational, said Mr. François. It shows that these products are dangerous.

The farmer says he hopes his experience will set a precedent for other victims.

Me François Lafforgue, his lawyer, evokes a long struggle. <q data-attributes = "{" lang ": {" value ":" fr "," label ":" Français "}," value ": {" html ":" Each Monsanto argument has been discarded one after another by the court, he commented. This puts a definitive end to this long legal fight and it is an exemplary and extremely motivated decision, with 17motivational pages, which is rare. "," text ":" Monsanto's every argument has been dismissed one after the other by the court, "he commented. This puts a definitive end to this long legal fight and it is an exemplary and extremely motivated decision, with 17 pages of reasons, which is rare. "}}" Lang = "fr”>Each Monsanto argument was dismissed one after another by the court, he commented. This puts a definitive end to this long legal fight and it is an exemplary and extremely motivated decision, with 17 pages of reasons, which is rare.

Lasso is an alachlor-based herbicide that was banned from Canada in 1985; it will be in Belgium and the United Kingdom in 1992. In France, it has been banned since 2007.

Well done and thank you to Paul François for his perseverance in the face of a very long fight against Bayer Monsanto. His example is a victory and a major help for all victims of #pesticides, wrote on Twitter the former Minister of Ecology Nicolas Hulot.

Paul François beside a tractor.

Paul François on his farm in southwestern France, in 2015.

Photo: afp via getty images / THIBAUD MORITZ

Judicial harassment

The facts leading up to the trial date back to April 2004. At the time, this grain farmer inhaled toxic fumes of Lasso herbicide when he opened a tank while spraying. He was then victim of blackouts, comas, violent headaches and serious neurological disorders.

Not without difficulty, his pathology was finally recognized as an occupational disease. In 2007, he embarked on a legal marathon that looked like David against Goliath; this same year the Lasso becomes banned in France.

Many times, Monsanto advocates will insist on negligence of the farmer, believing that Paul François knew appropriately that the Lasso was part dangerous products .

The farmer nevertheless wins his case three times; the last time dating back to April 2019 on the basis of liability for defective products.

Justice considers rather that the group should have pointed out the specific danger of using the product in the event of work in tanks, but did not rule on the very toxicity of the Lasso.

Paul François had already won his case at first instance in 2012 and on appeal in 2015. The Court of Cassation, seized by Monsanto, annulled this decision in 2017, following which the farmer requested a new appeal in 2019 .

Read also :

  • Percy Schmeiser, the farmer who stood up to Monsanto, dies
  • Roundup: Monsanto's conviction upheld on appeal in California
With information from TOP NEWS TODAY, South West, and Reuters


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