Tag Archive | "Monsanto"

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Lawyer vs. Monsanto and BiG-Pharma; tree wins.

Posted on 29 October 2009 by admin

86 year-old, ANTI-MONSANTO lawyer, John O’Quinn was allegedly driving 60MPH on a residential 40MPH street in the pouring rain. According to sources: John had a driver AND a passenger; he was driving, and NOT driving. regardless, ALL 2 passengers are both dead.

Wikipedia: “John Maurice O’Quinn (1941 – October 29, 2009) … died in a single car crash in Houston, Texas, aged 68; the cause of the crash is under investigation.”

Houston Chronicle: Prominent Houston lawyer John O’Quinn was the man driving a sport utility vehicle that lost control on the rain-slicked surface of Allen Parkway and crashed into a large tree, killing him and his passenger this morning, based on preliminary information gathered by crash investigators, police said. The passenger was identified as Johnny Lee Cutliff, 56, of the 5300 block of Bacher. Neither man was wearing a seat belt, said the police sources, who asked not to be identified.

LA Times: O’Quinn was killed with his driver when their sport utility vehicle slammed into a tree in Houston, attorney Neil McCabe at the O’Quinn Law Firm confirmed.

SUV crash kills prominent lawyer John O’Quinn
Colleagues mourn; accident also leaves a passenger dead

Police said it appeared that the SUV veered to the left, jumped a curb and careened over a grassy median, crossed the eastbound traffic lanes and hopped another curb onto a second median before smashing into the tree on the south side of Allen Parkway. Tire marks across the first median show the path of the hurtling SUV.

The driver’s side air bag, splashed with what appeared to be blood, was deployed, as well as others around the vehicle.

Houston lawyer Levi Benton, a former judge, said he ran into O’Quinn at Hobby Airport shortly after 7 a.m. this morning. The two lawyers were side by side in the security line headed to the gates.

“He said he was going to a mediation in San Antonio,” said Benton, who was headed to Dallas himself. Benton said O’Quinn looked older than when he last saw him but otherwise seemed fine.

“He had his full strength. He shook my hand. He laughed. He had that great smile. He was John,” said Benton, who was shocked to later hear O’Quinn for some reason had not gotten on the plane, only to be killed in a car crash on Allen Parkway.

Houston attorney Dan Cogdell said he was in Hobby Airport at 9:30 a.m. today and did not yet know of O’Quinn’s death when he heard an operator repeatedly paging O’Quinn, telling O’Quinn to report to a Southwest Airlines gate for departure. The operator paged O’Quinn for about 30 minutes, Cogdell estimated.

“It was very eerie,” Cogdell said. “It seems to me they were holding a plane for him, which Southwest (Airlines) doesn’t usually do … I thought it really strange that he would be flying commercial.”

HPD officials recorded no fatal wrecks on Allen Parkway in 2008, 2007 and 2005. One fatal crash occurred in 2006 and six in 2004.

John O’Quinn, Texas personal-injury lawyer, killed in car crash

O’Quinn, 68, and his driver were killed in Houston when their SUV hit a tree.

“He had lots of earth-shattering verdicts,” Richard Laminack, a former partner at the firm, said in an interview. “He won $12 million for a dead bull, $105 million for the death of a worker at MONSANTO. He had quite a track record.”

O’Quinn was one of five Texas lawyers who shared $3.3 billion in legal fees for their role representing the state in negotiating a $17.3-billion settlement with the tobacco industry.

In 2004, he won a $900-million punitive-damages judgment as part of a $1-billion verdict against Wyeth on behalf of the family of a woman who died after taking the diet drug fen-phen. The case was appealed by the company and later was settled, O’Quinn told Bloomberg News this year.

Jurors Assess Monsanto $108 Million Over Death

Reinhold, Robert. “Jurors Assess Monsanto $108 Million Over Death“, The New York Times, December 13, 1986. Article regarding verdict obtained by John O’Quinn for the death of a chemical worker who developed leukemia after exposure to benzene.

A Federal jury in Galveston, Tex., today ordered the Monsanto Company to pay $108 million to the family of a chemical worker who died of leukemia after working with the chemical benzene for five years at a Monsanto plant near here.

Benzene: a colorless volatile liquid hydrocarbon present in [rockefeller] coal tar and petroleum, used in chemical synthesis. Its use as a solvent has been reduced because of its carcinogenic properties. Chemical formula: C6H6.

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Protesters rally peacefully against herbicide application

Posted on 30 August 2009 by admin

The Pitchfork Rebellion founder involved in a 2008 police conflict puts Monsanto “on trial”

BY KAREN MCCOWAN
The Register-Guard
Appeared in print: Sunday, Aug 30, 2009

News Updates: Story

The Pitchfork Rebellion, organized to restrict or halt aerial herbicide spraying on Oregon’s forests, went to the local doorstep of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Saturday to lampoon what they said were the agency’s ties to pesticide manufacturer Monsanto.

Triangle Lake area resident Day Owen, a co-founder of the activist group, donned a jester’s hat to preside over mock trials of Monsanto and the state Department of Forestry before a crowd of more than 100 people.

Owen’s wife, his daughter and neighbor Maya Gee also said they were personally affected after helicopters sprayed the Monsanto product Round-Up on forests near their farms in 2007. The women said they were sickened by their exposure to drifted spray, immediately suffering breathing problems and muscle weakness, followed by diarrhea, early and painful menstrual cycles, and muscle and joint pain lasting for months.

Owen accused the St. Louis-based multinational company of covering up evidence that the herbicide poses human health risks. According to Monsanto’s Web site, increased sales of Round-Up helped the corporation post record net sales of $11.4 billion in 2008.

Monsanto’s Web site also states that regulatory agencies around the world, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, have concluded that glyphosate herbicides such as Round-Up “pose no unreasonable risks to human health and the environment when used according to label directions.”

Rally organizers set a nonviolent tone early in Saturday’s event, with Owen inviting attendees to walk in a circle around the building’s plaza to the song “We Are All in This Together.” Before beginning the music, he addressed several law enforcement officers monitoring the rally from inside the building, saying the song’s “we” included Eugene police and Homeland Security officers.

The last public encounter between Owen and those agencies did not end peacefully.

Owen was among several people arrested at a downtown Eugene anti-pesticide rally in May 2008, when a Eugene police officer used a Taser to apprehend a University of Oregon student later convicted of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Owen said he was slammed to the grand and knocked unconscious after he questioned a different Eugene officer about use of the Taser when the student, Ian Van Ornum, was already face down on the ground.

Owen, who was never charged with a crime, said he was also kicked in the knee by a Homeland Security officer assisting in his arrest. Owen has filed an excessive use of force complaint with Eugene’s police auditor.

Eugene police testified at Van Ornum’s trial that they had been summoned to the downtown protest by a Department of Homeland Security agent monitoring the May 2008 demonstration. The agent, Tom Keedy, testified that he was there because Owen, a featured speaker, had urged people attending a March 2008 rally at the federal courthouse to “commit acts of civil disobedience … in a peaceful, nonviolent revolution.”

Owen on Saturday disputed that reason, charging that the federal agency was monitoring him because of the title of his talk at the May 2008 rally: “The Need to Reform Homeland Security.” He also said top officials at Homeland Security don’t want him to publicize what he alleges are ties between Homeland Security and Monsanto, including what he says is the agency’s financing of the development of genetically engineered food by Monsanto.

He called Monsanto and clear-cutting timber companies “the real bioterrorists.”

Rally participants were invited to launch a boycott of all crops treated with Round-Up and to sign a petition calling for aerial spraying buffer zones around homes and schools.

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Scientist Warning of Health Hazards of Monsanto's Herbicide Receives Threats

Posted on 30 August 2009 by FOOD

The following article is from GRAIN, also found at Organic Consumers Association website;

“Scientist Warning of Health Hazards of Monsanto’s Herbicide Receives Threats”

GRAIN: Seeds of Information, July 2009

Straight to the Source

“I expected a reaction but not such a violent one”

“In April 2009 Andrés Carrasco, an Argentinian embryologist, gave an interview to the leading Buenos Aires newspaper Página 12, in which he described the alarming results of a research project he is leading into the impact of the herbicide glyphosate on the foetuses of amphibians. Dr Carrasco, who works in the Ministry of Science’s Conicet (National Council of Scientific and Technical Investigations), said that their results suggested that the herbicide could cause brain, intestinal and heart defects in the foetuses. Glyphosate is the herbicide used in the cultivation of Monsanto’s genetically modified soya, which now covers some 18 million hectares, about half of Argentina’s arable land. [1]

Carrasco said that the doses of herbicide used in their study were “much lower than the levels used in the fumigations”. Indeed, as some weeds have become resistant to glyphosate, many farmers are greatly increasing the concentration of the herbicide. According to Página 12, this means that, in practice, the herbicide applied in the fields is between 50 and 1,540 times stronger than that used by Carrasco. The results in the study are confirming what peasant and indigenous communities – the people most affected by the spraying – have been denouncing for over a decade. The study also has profound consequences for the USA’s anti-narcotics strategy in Colombia, because the planes spray glyphosate, reinforced with additional chemicals, on the coca fields (and the peasants living among them).

Three days after the interview, the Association of Environmental Lawyers filed a petition with the Argentine Supreme Court, calling for a ban on the use and sale of glyphosate until its impact on health and on the environment had been investigated. Five days later the Ministry of Defense banned the planting of soya in its fields. This sparked a strong reaction from the multinational biotechnology companies and their supporters. Fearful that their most famous product, a symbol of the dominant farming model, would be banned, they mounted an unprecedented attack on Carrasco, ridiculing his research and even issuing personal threats. He was accused of inventing his whole investigation, as his results have not yet been peer-reviewed and published in a prestigious scientific journal.

http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/08/30/18620188.php

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Nearly 100 MORE Cancer lawsuits filed against monsanto

Posted on 26 August 2009 by admin

By Chris Dickerson -Putnam Bureau

WINFIELD – Three weeks after an original 50 were filed, nearly 100 more lawsuits have been filed alleging Monsanto and related companies are responsible for causing cancer.

Like the other 50 filed earlier this month, the 97 newest complaints filed Aug. 24 in Putnam Circuit Court say Monsanto and its successor companies caused cancer by exposing the plaintiffs to dioxins/furans contamination of the air and property in and around Nitro. The cases mention the “negligent and otherwise unlawful release of dioxin from defendants’ waste disposal practices on properties … located in and about Nitro, West Virginia.”

These individual cases, filed by Stuart Calwell and The Calwell Firm of Charleston, are not part of an ongoing class action involving thousands of current and former Nitro residents alleging Monsanto polluted the area with dioxin. The class action case specifies no specific damages, and the class-action plaintiffs seek medical monitoring.

The plaintiffs in the 147 new cases, also represented by Calwell, are residents and former residents of Nitro or one or more of several surrounding communities of the now defunct chemical plant located near Nitro. They lived, worked or attended school in Nitro. Some of the plaintiffs are deceased, and those suits are filed by family members.

Monsanto owned and operated the plant from 1934 to 2000. From 1949 to 1970, the company produced an herbicide that was heavily contaminated with dibenzo dioxins and dibenzo furans. The complaints say the company disposed of the dioxin-contaminated waste in a way which caused dioxins to escape into the air.

The plaintiffs say their property and soil was contaminated.

“During the years that Old Monsanto was operating it’s trichlorophenol plant, it adopted an unlawful practice of disposing of dioxin waste materials by a continuous process of open ‘pit’ burning,” the complaints state. “This practice was largely denied by Old Monsanto whose representatives characterized the practice as an ‘incineration process’ when asked by regulatory authorities.

“Old Monsanto and its successors … failed to adequately control the dioxin contaminated soils and other dioxin contaminated waste materials both on and off the plant site. Dioxins/furans continued to be re-deposited and re-distributed from the plant site and the off-site dumps so as to continue the process of air and property contamination.”

The complaints say the defendants knew of the dangers.

The defendants “should have known of the highly toxic properties of dioxin and that dioxin was and is a known promoter of cancer and that dioxin was and is a known human carcinogen,” the complaints state. The defendants “knew that the area around the Monsanto plant was populated with permanent residents who would likely live out their lives in the area contaminated.”

The complaints also detail the history of Monsanto and the company’s knowledge regarding dioxin. The Nitro plant produced herbicides, rubber products and other chemicals, including Agent Orange.

Dioxin has been linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities, endometriosis, infertility and suppressed immune functions.

The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages for medical bills past and future, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of enjoyment of life. They also seek punitive damages for the “willful, wanton and reckless” actions of the defendants “evidencing a callous disregard for the health and wellbeing of the residents of the Nitro area.”

Putnam Circuit Court case numbers 09-C-243 through 09-C-282 and 09-C-315 through 09-C-411

http://www.wvrecord.com/news/220760-nearly-100-more-cancer-lawsuits-filed-against-monsanto

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Illinois residents file 6th PCB lawsuit

Posted on 03 August 2009 by admin

By Kelly Holleran

One more group of Illinois residents who live in or near Sauget have filed a separate lawsuit over the release of various hazardous substances they claim have created a severe health risk and have contaminated their properties.

The 37 plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed July 29 against Cerro Flow Products, Inc., Pharmacia Corporation, Solutia, Inc., Pfizer and Monsanto AG Products are the sixth group of residents to file complaints against the companies this year.

The first was a class action lawsuit filed in February; the second was a lawsuit involving 21 plaintiffs filed June 5; the third was a lawsuit involving 19 plaintiffs filed June 11; the fourth was a lawsuit involving four plaintiffs filed June 19; and the fifth was a lawsuit involving 30 plaintiffs filed June 26. All are nearly identical to the July 29 complaint.

In all complaints, plaintiffs argue that three release sites – a 90 acre landfill operated by Sauget and Co., a 314-acre W.G. Krummrich Plant and property owned by Cerro Flow Products – have released PCBs and other various substances, including dioxins and furans, into the atmosphere for more than 70 years.

Some of the plaintiffs in the July 29 lawsuit say they have developed cancer and other life-threatening diseases as a result of their exposure to the PCBs, which have been shown to result in toxic effects in the brain and nervous system and in low birth rates and birth defects.

“According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, a lifetime dose of one milligram of PCBs is sufficient to cause cancer and other serious and life-threatening diseases,” the suit states. “According to the World Health Organization, there is not a safe level of exposure to PCBs.”

Dioxins and furans, which were also released at the site, according to the complaint, are also known to be dangerous and to create significant health problems through inhalation, ingestion, dermal absorption and ingestion of homegrown produce.

Other plaintiffs in the July 29 complaint say the PCBs have damaged their property.

For example, the chemicals released by the companies discharge into surface waters, resulting in the contamination of soil and dust. They are also discharged into wastewater, causing water and soil to become contaminated, the suit claims.

The releases began after the W.G. Krummrich Plant, which is also referred to as the Monsanto Facility in the complaint, began producing, storing and disposing PCBs at its facility, the residents claim.

In fact, “more PCBs were produced at the Monsanto Facility than at any other site in the United States, and perhaps even the free world,” the suit states.

Cerro, which owns land adjacent to the Monsanto Facility, recycles copper. Part of that work entails scrapping PCB transformers, draining wastewater and PCB oil into the Dead Creek and landfilling substances on its facility. In turn, those activities cause large quantities of the toxic substances to be released into the environment, according to the complaint.

At Sauget and Co., millions of tons of the toxic substances were disposed of in its landfill, residents allege.

The combined activities of the three companies released the deadly substances into the environment through smokestack emissions, wind erosion, smoke from fires in waste piles and airborne releases, according to the complaint.

Plaintiffs say the defendants knew about the potential consequences of the chemicals’ releases, but attempted to conceal health risks and property contamination from the public.

“To this day, one or more of the Monsanto Defendants and their consultants are actively engaged in a campaign of deception to mislead the residents and real property owners of communities adjacent to the Release Sites, including the Plaintiffs, into believing that the Substances do not present, and have never presented, any threat to the residents or to the real property of those adjacent communities,” the complaint says.

Claims in the July complaint include negligence, strict liability, nuisance,battery and trespass.

In each of the seven-count suits, plaintiffs are seeking a judgment in excess of $800,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

They are represented by the same group of lawyers who filed the February and June complaints — Robert Leslie Palmer, Gregory A. Cade, H. Gregory Harp, Christina E. Wall and Mark L. Rowe, of Birmingham, Ala; Paul G. Schoen of Schoen, Walton, Telken and Foster in East St. Louis and James L. “Larry” Wright of Austin.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-404.

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Food, Inc. – New Documentary In Theaters NOW!!

Posted on 02 August 2009 by admin

official website: http://www.foodincmovie.com/

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Monsanto lobbyists to be placed in charge of food safety

Posted on 24 July 2009 by admin

Monsanto lobbyists to be placed in charge of food safety

By Jeffrey Smith

The person who may be responsible for more food-related illness and death than anyone in history has just been made the US food safety czar. This is no joke.

Here’s the back story.

When FDA scientists were asked to weigh in on what was to become the most radical and potentially dangerous change in our food supply — the introduction of genetically modified (GM) foods — secret documents now reveal that the experts were veryconcerned. Memo after memo described toxins, new diseases, nutritional deficiencies, and hard-to-detect allergens. They were adamant that the technology carried “serious health hazards,” and required careful, long-term research, including human studies, before any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could be safely released into the food supply.

But the biotech industry had rigged the game so that neither science nor scientists would stand in their way. They had placed their own man in charge of FDA policy and he wasn’t going to be swayed by feeble arguments related to food safety. No, he was going to do what corporations had done for decades to get past these types of pesky concerns. He was going to lie.

lots more…. read on…

http://waronyou.com/topics/monsanto-lobyists-to-be-placed-in-charge-of-food-safety/

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Venezuela bans Coke Zero [ASPARTAME]

Posted on 10 June 2009 by admin

Venezuela bans Coke Zero, cites “danger to health”

10 Jun 2009 23:49:38 GMT
Source: Reuters

* Minister orders Coke Zero withdrawn from market

* Socialist government increasing scrutiny of business

CARACAS, June 10 (Reuters) – The Venezuelan government of U.S.-critic President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday ordered Coca-Cola to withdraw its Coke Zero beverage from the South American nation, citing unspecified dangers to health.

The decision follows a wave of nationalizations and increased scrutiny of businesses in South America’s top oil exporter.

Health Minister Jesus Mantilla said the zero-calorie Coke Zero should no longer be sold and stocks of the drink removed from store shelves.

“The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans,” the minister said in comments reported by the government’s news agency.

Mantilla did not say what health risks Coke Zero, which contains artificial sweeteners [Monsanto's ASPARTAME], posed to the population.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N10470891.htm

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From Seeds of Suicide to Seeds of Hope: Why Are Indian Farmers Committing Suicide and How Can We Stop This Tragedy?

Posted on 28 April 2009 by FOOD

Vandana Shiva

In a land where reincarnation is a commonly held belief, where the balance sheet of life is sorted out over lifetimes, where resilience and recovery has been the characteristic of the “kisan,” the peasant cultivation, why are Indian farmers committing suicide on a mass scale?

200,000 farmers have ended their lives since 1997.

In 1998, the World Bank’s structural adjustment policies forced India to open up its seed sector to global corporations like Cargill, Monsanto and Syngenta. The global corporations changed the input economy overnight. Farm saved seeds were replaced by corporate seeds, which need fertilizers and pesticides and cannot be saved.

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A Hormone-Free Milk Labeling Victory

Posted on 24 April 2009 by FOOD

4.24.2009 9:44 am

A “Hormone-Free” Milk Labeling Victory

Just weeks after agrichemical businesses won in Ohio court, consumers win in Kansas, where Gov. Sebelius vetoed a measure that would have prevented dairies from simply labeling their milk “hormone free.”

Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is standing up for consumers’ right to know in a big way.

She has repelled the latest attempt by the agrichemical industry to prevent the simple labeling of milk that is produced without the use of synthetic hormones. Monsanto, before it sold its recombinant bovine growth hormone (known as rgGH or rbST), had started a backroom state-by-state campaign to convince state agricultural departments to ban the use of “hormone-free” milk labeling

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