Monsanto, the globally known agriculture chemical company, recently received another blow against them. Monsanto was ordered to pay around $46.5 million to three different plaintiffs who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from exposure to Monsanto’s polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Commercial production of PCBs began in the early 20th century but have recently been banned in multiple countries worldwide due to increased risk of human health and environmental issues. PCBs are synthetic chemicals and are so effective because they are able to resist acids, bases and heat.
Before 2002, Monsanto was responsible for creating about 99% of USA’s PCB supply. In fact it was the sole manufacturer of PCBs in the US from 1935 to 1977, thus health issues relating to PCBs are easily tracked back to Monsanto. Due to being the sole producer of PCBs, the plaintiffs are arguing Monsanto should have known about the risks correlated with PCBs. Furthermore, plaintiffs claimed that with Monsanto’s PCB production, the entire food chain is affected and anyone with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can trace it back to Monsanto.
Monsanto plans to appeal the verdict in this particular lawsuit, but they are currently facing many other similar lawsuits on other PCB’s and other products including but not limited to Roundup.