A French court on Monday found Monsanto legally responsible for the poisoning of a farmer with one of its herbicides in 2004, in a verdict that could have global implications.
“Monsanto is responsible for Paul Francois's suffering after he inhaled the Lasso product ... and must entirely compensate him,” said the judgment from the court in the south-eastern city of Lyon. “This concerns farmers around the world,” said the farmer's lawyer, Francois Lafforgue.
Grain farmer Francois (47) inhaled the powerful weedkiller when he opened up a sprayer in 2004. He became nauseated, began stuttering and suffered dizziness, headaches and muscular aches, rendering him unable to work for a year.
Monsanto was accused of keeping Lasso on the French market until 2007 despite bans of the product in Canada, Britain and Belgium.
The company also failed to say what its product contained on the label or warn of the risks of inhalation or advise the user to wear a mask, said Mr. Lafforgue.