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Monsanto Concealed Effects of Toxic Chemical for Decades, Ohio AG Alleges

By the late 1930s, Monsanto had been made fully aware of the fact that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were lethal and they still proceeded to produce this class of chemical for another four decades. 

Autopsies conducted in 1937 revealed three Monsanto employees had died of liver damage after handling PCBs. Further studies conducted by a Harvard University researcher confirmed the deadly nature of PCBs and the results of his study were presented to Monsanto, General Electric, the U.S. Public Health Service and state health officials from Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

Despite this damning information, Monsanto managed to successfully downplay the full danger posed by PCBs and did not cease production in the U.S. until 1977. In 1979 the EPA banned the manufacture of PCBs. Toxic PCBs were widely used in now obsolete carbonless copy paper technology, in hydraulic equipment, to reduce heat transfer and prevent electrical fires, as pigments and dyes, and as plasticizers in rubber, plastic and paint products. They have been linked to fertility, reproductive and endocrine damage along with neurological effects, including damage to learning and memory.

During the four decades that elapsed between Monsanto covering up the dangers of PCBs and when they were finally compelled by popular outcry to cease production, over 1.25 billion pounds were manufactured in the U.S. alone. Monsanto’s monstrous coverup and reckless pursuit of profit resulted in an environmental calamity that continues to this day.  PCBs are an extremely persistent and durable toxin, and any contaminated environment requires extensive remediation. 

Monsanto’s refusal to take responsibility for the widespread presence of PCB pollution has lead the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to file suit. His argument is that Monsanto was forewarned of the danger of PCBs and should pay for the cleanup. An official statement released by DeWine and reported by NBC stated, “Monsanto should be held responsible for the damage it caused.” 

In Ohio alone, dozens of bodies of water have been contaminated with PCBs. The Buckeye state is particularly sensitive to the dangers of PCBs because of the Clyde cancer cluster. This tragedy began to unfold 2006 when an unusually high rate of childhood cancers was detected in Clyde, Ohio. 

As reported by the Huffington Post, 37 local children have been diagnosed with cancer since 1996. The rate of childhood cancers is double what would be expected. Brain and nervous system cancers have been detected at even higher rates.  

The focus of the investigation quickly turned to Whirlpool Park, a popular corporate park built on land owned by Whirlpool Corporation. According to locals, starting in 1950 black sludge had been dumped in an area that was later the site of basketball courts and other recreational facilities where children played. An EPA investigation confirmed high levels of toxic and cancer-causing PCBs in the soil. 

The Ohio Attorney General’s lawsuit against Monsanto is just the start. Seattle is suing Monsanto and asking for help cleaning up the damage they caused. Of course, Monsanto may have ceased production of PCBs, but they still manufacture a wide array of dangerous chemicals such as glyphosate. 

It is in Monsanto’s best interest to keep you in the dark. Their profits are largely predicated on their ability to downplay the health risks of their products. Monsanto is responsible for a murderer’s row of toxic heavy weights such as saccharin, aspartame, Agent Orange, PCBs, DDT, Roundup (the active ingredient of which is glyphosate) and herbicide-resistant genetically engineered seeds. 

So now the question is: Will you continue supporting the corrupt, toxic and unsustainable food system that Monsanto and its industry shills and profit-hungry lackeys have painstakingly crafted? It is largely up to all of us, as consumers, to loosen and break Monsanto’s tight hold on our food supply. The good news is that the tide has been turned.

As consumers worldwide become increasingly aware of the problems linked to GE crops and the toxic chemicals and pesticides used on them, more and more people are rejecting GE foods. There’s also strong growth in the global organic and grass fed sectors. This just proves one thing: We can make a difference if we steadily work toward the same goal.
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