GM WATCH COMMENT: What is it about the main promoters of GMOs that they have such appalling records - not only in terms of causing environmental devastation and human suffering, but also in terms of delay and denial when it comes to any form of redress?
In Monsanto's case, their unsavoury record takes in amongst other things: dioxin, Agent Orange and PCBs. The latter led to a series of court decisions resulting in US$700m in damages being awarded to thousands of residents of the town of Anniston, Alabama that had been polluted over a period of years by Monsanto's PCB byproducts.
"Though the PCB production was outlawed in 1976 Monsanto dragged the lawsuit out for nearly three decades. It was settled with the following judgement. On February 22, 2002, Monsanto was found guilty of 'negligence, wantonness, suppression of truth, nuisance, trespass, and outrage.' Under Alabama law the rare claim of outrage requires 'conduct so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency so as to be regarded as atrocious and intolerable in civilized society'."
Bayer's record is still more terrible.
EXTRACT: ...for decades BAYER refused to pay compensation to surviving slave labourers. Only when international protests threatened the company's reputation did it hesitantly agree to pay damages - more than 50 years after the end of the war.
BAYER honours war criminal Fritz ter Meer
PRESS RELEASE, November 14, 2006 Coalition against Bayer Dangers
The company BAYER continues to refuse to openly distance itself from the convicted war criminal Fritz ter Meer. On All Saints Day the corporation again had a wreath laid on ter Meer's grave in Krefeld-Uerdingen (Germany).
Ter Meer, born in 1884, was a board member of IG Farben from 1925. During the Second World War he was responsible for the construction of the IG Farben factory in Auschwitz, in which around 30 000 slave labourers went to their deaths. In July 1948 at the Nuremberg IG Farben trial ter Meer was sentenced to seven years in prison for enslavement and looting. During questioning he maintained that no specific suffering was inflicted on the slave labourers "because without this they would have been killed anyway".
After his release from prison, ter Meer became Chairman of the Board of BAYER. After his death in 1967 Bayer named a student support foundation the "Fritz ter Meer Foundation".
(see photo in high resolution: http://www.cbgnetwork.com/images/img001690.jpg).
Axel Köhler-Schnura from the Coalition Against BAYER Dangers: "It is unacceptable that BAYER honours a war criminal like Fritz ter Meer and at the same time refuses to adequately and justly compensate the victims and their descendants. BAYER must face up to its share of the responsibility for the Nazi reign of terror, the war and slave labour." Köhler-Schnura points out that for decades BAYER refused to pay compensation to surviving slave labourers. Only when international protests threatened the company's reputation did it hesitantly agree to pay damages - more than 50 years after the end of the war.
More information: http://www.cbgnetwork.org/365html
Coalition against BAYER Dangers (Germany) www.CBGnetwork.org CBGnetwork@aol.com
Tel: (+49) 211-333 911 Fax: (+49) 211-333 940
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