The article, from the beginning of 2012, revealed that Monsanto tentatively agreed to a $93 million settlement with some of the residents of Nitro, West Virginia.
First, I never heard of Nitro and second, how they got their name was a mind-blower. During WW1, the town manufactured explosives. Hello Nitro.
But wait, there’s more. Nitro was also the site of a Monsanto chemical plant that manufactured half of the Agent Orange recipe.
That part of the herbicide recipe, 2,4,5-T, was contaminated with dioxin and the 2,4,5-T was phased out in the late ‘70s.
Dioxin is so bad and so dangerous and has a 100-year half-life when it enters the soil or water (but don’t worry, Monsanto says everything they make is safe).
Because of exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam, the VA continues to pay on claims to those exposed that welcomed cancer, their kid’s birth defects, leukemia, liver disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s, diabetes and chloracne, which is a skin disease that manifests only after being exposed to heinous chemicals into their lives.
In 1949, there was an explosion in the Nitro plant and Monsanto never paid a cent to the dioxin exposed employees and citizens.
For the past 7 years (2004-2011), residents of Nitro have been involved in a class action suit against Monsanto. Rather than go to trial Monsanto has tentatively agreed to a $93 million settlement broken down as follows:
$21 million for medical testing, $63 million for additional screening, and $9 million for the cleaning up of 4,500 homes.
It has also been reported that the settlement might reduce Monsanto’s net income by 5 cents a share, but additional lawsuits and fines may be forthcoming and that there are potentially 80,000 property damage claims alone that could cost Monsanto $3.9 BILLION in cleanup costs.
When the case was ongoing the judge ordered a gag order, which equates to “shut-up or die”, and left questions as to whether the following evidence was even allowed to be introduced;
1. Monsanto is alleged to have burned dioxin waste in open pits, which spewed dioxin and its ash into the air, polluting everything.
2. The EPA recommended that Monsanto be criminally investigated for fraud in covering-up the dioxin contamination, failing to report the contamination, substituting false information to show no contamination and sending in “doctored” samples of their products devoid of dioxin to government regulators.
3. The EPA also said that Monsanto should be criminally investigated for their fraud in falsifying the health studies on dioxin where they “proved” dioxin did not cause cancer and other negative health effects except for a possible skin rash. Those alleged bona fide studies were used to deny benefits to our Viet Nam veterans.
4. One of Monsanto’s spin-off companies, Solutia, that was a previous owner of the Nitro plant, was found by the EPA to have buried lots of dioxin-containing drums in a river near Nitro.
That wonderfully safe Nitro plant produced their totally safe shit from 1949 to 1971. As if it couldn’t get worse, Monsanto and Dow Chemical had government immunity as government contractors, due to unbelievable ruling by a judge - Jack Weinstein. Because of the ongoing corporate/government collusion the Supreme Court refused to hear a case that would allow veterans to sue the corporations responsible for their ailments.
There are several reasons, besides it being the humane thing to do, why the corporations should be denied immunity
1. They engaged in defective manufacturing of 2,4,5-T by cooking it at a high temperature when they knew that slow cooking would eliminate the dioxin.
2. The dioxin 2,4,5-T was not a new chemical, but had been produced since the ‘40s and was not created specifically for government purposes.
3. The U.S. government had no knowledge of the dioxin contamination or its ramifications in 2,4,5-T, whereby Monsanto and Dow did.
Proving property damage from dioxin is easier to prove than dioxin-related medical injuries because cancer, for example can take decades to manifest in the body making it extremely difficult to prove dioxin was the cause.
Despite this, the judges in the West Virginia case blocked testimony from a civil engineer and deemed it inadmissible by using the excuse that the cost for the cleanup was too speculative because it ranged from $945, 000 to $3.9 BILLION.
Rather than bending over forward for the corporations the judges should have allowed a jury to determine the facts. Then to add insult to injury, the judges ruled that each plaintiff must sue the corporation individually rather then as a group in a class action suit.
Realizing that individual lawsuits with one attorney could run above $200,000 each, it kind of says f**k you to the individuals. Yet Monsanto offered $9 million to clean some houses giving credibility to property damage complaints.
Besides, an environmental attorney advised those affected that they could sue for negligence, nuisance, trespass and battery and if punitive damages were awarded, 900% over the cost of the damage could be assessed against Monsanto. Monsanto settled the case for $93 million without any finding of wrongdoing and giving them the out of accountability and punitive damage charges.
So, the $93 million Monsanto agreed to is like giving your kid a $5 allowance. But it sets a precedent for settling claims. Hopefully an attorney will immerge and grab hold of the opportunity to hold Monsanto accountable. Don’t hold your breath.
So, I have some questions:
Why, if this case was settled in 2012, was it never talked about on TV or in the newspapers?
Why do we only get to know about it via the internet?
Why, if Agent Orange is harmful if it is sprayed on you, is it safe to eat when sprayed on the cornfields just because Monsanto says so?
Why, if the Seralini study from France, which covered 3 years and proved the growth of cancer tumors and denounced, was the same study done by Monsanto and covering 3 months with no growth of cancer tumors readily accepted?
Why did Michael Goodman, a former Monsanto executive, hired by the Food and Toxicology Journal to the position of “Article Submission Acceptor” reject the Seralini report first and foremost and have that overturned by over 400 independent scientists worldwide?
Why do Federal, State and City/County politicians vehemently reject GMO labeling bills?
Why did the major food corporations that use GMO ingredients that they proclaim are safe, cough up millions of dollars to defeat State GMO labeling bills?
Why does the Monsanto cafeteria in Hawaii serve organics and not GMOs?
Why, why, why, why, why?
Simple: In God we trust. All others pay cash.
Shades of pimps, hookers and tricks!