(NaturalNews) GMO king Monsanto has another legal problem heading its way.
A federal judge has said that the city of Spokane, Washington’s lawsuit against the agro-chemical behemoth over pollution in the Spokane River can move ahead.
Last year, the city sued the St. Louis-based Monsanto, alleging that the company knew for decades that it was making and selling chemicals that were dangerous to people and to the environment, The Associated Press reported.
The Spokesman-Review added that Spokane, in conjunction with a few other cities, is trying to force Monsanto to clean up contamination allegedly caused by the polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) the company manufactured.
Meanwhile, Monsanto has asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit based upon eight separate claims, including that too much time has gone by for the city to file its suit.
‘We’re spending millions, they’re making millions’
In a recent ruling, U.S. District Judge Salvador Mendoza, who was appointed by President Obama, denied all but one of the lawsuit’s claims, which cleared the way for it to move ahead.
Rick Eichstaedt, the executive director for the Center for Justice and its Spokane Riverkeeper program, was pleased with Mendoza’s decision, the Spokesman-Review reported.
He referenced the city’s vast investment in storm water tanks and other steps to limit runoff into the Spokane River, adding that the lawsuit complimented those efforts.
“We’re spending millions of dollars to try to get clean-up on this river,” he said, while Monsanto has earned millions of dollars in sales of toxic materials “when they knew there was an impact.”
Officials with Monsanto said that Mendoza’s ruling does not take into account the dismissal of several cases that are similar to the one filed by Spokane and other cities.
“We disagree with the majority of the court’s opinion, which is in conflict with prior decisions in Washington state and California on these very issues,” said Scott Partridge, vice president of global strategy at the agribusiness giant, according to the Spokesman.
Other cases brought by the California municipalities of San Diego, Oakland and Berkeley were dismissed by a federal judge in September.
In addition to Spokane, the city of Seattle has also filed suit against Monsanto, claiming the company’s products were responsible for polluting the Duwamish River. That case is scheduled to go to trial in April 2018, the paper noted.
Monsanto was the only company manufacturing PCBs between 1935 and 1979, after which the U.S. government banned them because of an established link to cancer and other health conditions. They were widely used in industrial, commercial and household products.
PCBs affecting people 40 years later
Spokane is alleging that the now-banned PCBs leached into wastewater and storm water systems from their original compounds, and have contaminated water and poisoned fish in the Spokane River.
High levels of PCBs are a violation of both state and tribal standards of water quality, the Spokesman-Review reported.
“Publications and internal communications in the 1960s and 1970s demonstrate Monsanto’s awareness that PCBs were widely contaminating the environment around the world,” said Mendoza’s order.
The AP noted that Monsanto officials have pledged to “vigorously defend the case.”
In December 2013, Natural News reported that PCBs were still very prevalent throughout the U.S. population, having negative effects on brain development and function some 40 years later.
Maryse Bouchard, a scientist from the University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine, found a significant association between high PCB exposure and lowered cognitive abilities in older people aged between 70 and 84.
“While most studies have looked at the impact of PCBs on infant development, our research shows that this toxin might affect us throughout our lives,” Bouchard reported at the time.
Written by J.D. Heyes
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