France: Monsanto found guilty of chemical poisoning
Date: 14 Feb 2012
Monsanto has been found guilty by a court in Lyon of poisoning farmer Paul Francois who suffered neurological problesm after using the company's Lasso weedkiller. The suit charged that Monsanto had failed to provide sufficient warnings on the product label.
The ruling was the first time in France that a manufacturer of pesticides had been found guilty of poisoning. It potentially opens the door for a host of other claims from farmers that have suffered similar problems.
The company has said that it will review whether or not to appeal the decision. It said there was not sufficient proof to prove that exposure to the product had been the cause of the symptoms suffered in this case. Difficulties in showing causal links had led to previous such cases failing.
The pesticide, Lasso, was banned for use in France in 2007.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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