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Monsanto Must Pay $93 Million After Poisoning Town

Monsanto Ordered to Pay Landmark Settlement to Herbicide Victims

Image source: US News

West Virginia’s state Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory to opponents of Monsanto, and citizens who were impacted by the company’s pollution are now receiving big payouts.

The court approved a settlement last year that will require the agribusiness giant to spend $93 million to clean up toxic contamination created by the production of herbicides and other products in the small town of Nitro, West Virginia, and this month, the settlement was finalized.

The toxic herbicides Monsanto produced in Nitro included Agent Orange, the notorious herbicide [1] used during the Vietnam War. Dioxin, a chemical byproduct from Agent Orange, is believed to cause serious health problems.

Monsanto [2] operated a herbicide factory in Nitro from 1948 to 2004.

“It’s been a real long haul,” attorney Stuart Calwell told The Charleston Gazette. Calwell represented Nitro area residents in a class action suit that prompted Monsanto to make the settlement.

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“The politics of dioxin has been bitterly debated since the Vietnam War, but … we know that there is a health issue there and hopefully people will get their houses cleaned and the risk will come to an end and those exposed in the past will have the benefit of keeping an eye on their health.”

What Monsanto Agreed To In Settlement

“After years of litigation, now the benefits exist,” Calwell’s associate, David Carriger, said of the settlement. “However, we have a small hurdle. We need people to fill out the registration in order to get those benefits.”

Here is what the settlement [4] will require Monsanto to do:

The US Supreme Court cleared the way this year for the settlement to take effect by refusing to hear a challenge brought by some Nitro [5] area residents who disagree with the settlement. Monsanto agreed to the settlement in 2012 to prevent a costly six month trial in West Virginia state courts.

This case did not involve glyphosate, another controversial toxin used in Monsanto herbicides [6] such as Roundup.

Do you believe chemicals from Monsanto’s products can harm humans? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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