For almost four decades, the Monsanto Company discharged toxic waste, including millions of pounds of PCBs, into creeks and landfills in Anniston, Ala. For most of that time, the company knew PCBs were highly toxic: Monsanto consultants placed fish in the contaminated creeks and watched them die within 10 seconds, and confidential internal reports acknowledged the evident dangers. But the company didn’t share that information with Anniston residents, who grew up playing in contaminated dirt and fishing and swimming in toxic lakes and streams. The effects on residents remain unknown, and Monsanto opposes comprehensive health studies. Now it’s up to the courts to decide if Monsanto is liable for environmental and health damage in the area — next week, 3,600 plaintiffs, one of every nine Anniston residents, plan to file suit against the company.
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