|Monsanto on trial in France (20/9/2006)|
GM WATCH COMMENT: Monsanto's in court today (20th) - and not for the first time, of course. Most famously, Monsanto lost 'a series of court decisions resulting in US$700 million 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".'
Monsanto on trial in France
Today, 20 September 2006, Monsanto is on trial in Carcassonne, France, for having allegedly illegally imported, in 1999, 100 tonnes of soya seed contaminated with GM varieties. 50 tonnes were sold to 23 farmers by local agriculture suppliers. 50 tonnes were sent back to the USA.
Groups including Confederation Paysanne, Volunteer Reapers (Faucheurs Volontaires), Greenpeace, Greens, etc will be meeting outside the courtroom and there will be activities throughout the day including a march, debates, music and food. The program for the day can be seen here: http://www.monde-solidaire.org/spip/article.php3?id_article=3365