Monsanto

Seattle. Sixth City to Sue Monsanto Over PCB Contamination

The city of Seattle is suing agrochemical giant Monsanto over the contamination of the Lower Duwamish and city drainage pipes with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

The complaint, filed Monday in federal court, alleges that Monsanto knew how toxic PCBs were to humans and the environment, but continued to produce and sell the chemicals for decades anyway. Seattle is now the sixth city to sue Monsanto over PCB contamination, following San Jose, Berkeley, Oakland, San Diego, and Spokane.

“Long after the dangers of PCBs were widely known, Monsanto continued its practice of protecting its business interests at our expense,” City Attorney Pete Holmes said in a statement. “The City intends to hold Monsanto accountable for the damage its product wreaked on our environment.”

The Lower Duwamish is now considered a federal Superfund site, ranking as one of the most toxic waterways in the United States. The EPA estimates that the full cleanup of the waterway will cost $342 million.

According to the city, PCBs have been detected in 82 percent of drainage pipe samples and 73 percent of street right-of-way catchment basin samples in Lower Duwamish drainage basins. PCB exposure has been linked to several different different types of cancers, as well as endocrine, reproductive, immune system, and nervous system issues. Exposure is wide-ranging; PCBs have been found in everything from fish to human breast milk.

I’ll be heading to a 10:30 press conference at City Attorney Pete Holmes’ office to learn more. In the meantime, read the complaint here.

 

Bernie Sanders Vows to Protect Organic Farming, Calls Out Monsanto As Presidential Campaign Heats Up

Unlike most of the top candidates, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has a long history of speaking out against big corporations, factory farming, and the Biotech giants. As early as 1994 he was fighting against companies such as Monsanto using chemicals that impact human and animal health. He was also one of the few senators that introduced the Farm Bill that would require labeling of any genetically engineered ingredients in food.


 

Unlike another candidate running on the democratic platform Hilary Clinton who fully supports GMOs, Sanders believes that the biotech companies are “transforming our agricultural system in a bad way.” He says that he stands for the right of the people to know what is in our food (through mandatory GMO labeling that he helped pass in Vermont, an effort that the GMO giants are trying to block through the DARK Act) and supports family-owned and organic agriculture.

During a private dinner event on December 27 th, Sanders spoke about how to make sure our food is healthy and our farming is ethical, as well as other big issues that his campaign stands for.

“The debate should be – how do we make sure that the food our kids are eating is healthy food. And having the courage to take on these huge food and biotech companies who are transforming our agricultural system in a bad way,”

– Sen. Bernie Sanders

He also goes off on the fossil fuel industry, saying it’s past due time we start to shift toward renewable and alternative energy.

Perhaps the most exciting part of his speech happens a few minutes in as he describes the food scene in his home state, where organic farming and farmer’s markets are becoming commonplace.

Bernie Sanders

“We have hundreds of farmers markets (in Vermont), you’ll find people buying food, beef and poultry directly from farmers, and there’s a growing farm to school pipeline,”

“It’s something we’ve worked very hard on and I think all over this country people are concerned about the quality of food their kids are eating.”

Sanders goes on to talk about how his own additions to the Farm Bill would help make this vision a reality for people across the country, and also calls out Monsanto on a key food and GMO-related topic that is being completely ignored by the mainstream media once again.

He also gets a few shots in against the factory farm industry. “We need legislation and efforts designed not to protect factory farming, corporate farming but to protect family-based agriculture,” he says.

You can watch the full speech by clickingĀ here.


 

[Photo Credit: E.Hernandez & DonkeyHotey]