Friday, March 18, 2016

Cities Across The West Coast Are Uniting Against Monsanto

Cities Across the West Coast Unite Against MonsantoMonsanto may have stopped developing Polychlorinated Biphenyls — typically known as PCBs — nearly four decades ago, but on the West Coast, lawsuits associated with this toxic group of chemicals keep mounting against the agrochemical giant.

On Wednesday, the Portland City Council voted to sue the Monsanto Company in federal court. Once Portland files the suit, it will become the seventh city to go after Monsanto over the toxic chemicals it produced, Portland City Attorney Tracy Reeve told ThinkProgress.
“Portland’s elected officials are committed to holding Monsanto accountable for its apparent decision to favor profits over ecological and human health,” Reeve said in a statement. “Monsanto profited from selling PCBs for decades and needs to take responsibility for cleaning up after the mess it created.”

In the resolution unanimously approved by the City Council, Portland claims Monsanto is liable for PCB pollution found in the Willamette River — which crosses the city — the Columbia Slough, and other waterways. PCBs have been widely studied since the class of chemical was first mass manufactured in the late 1920s. Used mainly as insulating fluids in heavy-duty electrical equipment, PCBs were eventually found toxic for humans and wildlife and banned in the United States in 1979.