In 2004, Paul François, a French farmer, breathed in the vapor of Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller while cleaning out the tank of a crop sprayer. He lost consciousness and later suffered from memory loss and headaches. Monday, a French court found that Monsanto could be held liable for poisoning François.
François told a French TV station that he was fighting against the company because he believes that companies like Monsanto lied to farmers for decades about the dangers of products like Lasso. France banned Lasso weedkiller in 2007.
In similar cases, it’s been hard for plaintiffs to establish a direct connection between health problems and pesticides, but since François’ troubles could be traced to one incident, his case was clearer. An independent expert will now assess the damages the company owes him.