(NaturalNews) The city of San Diego, California recently initiated a lawsuit against Monsanto, home of GMO-produced foods, dangerous chemicals such as glyphosate and of course, denial.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court claiming that Monsanto is polluting the San Diego Bay. Officials from San Diego allege that chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), have been found in both water samples and in the tissues of marine life living in the area. The complaint also alleges that these Monsanto chemicals, some of which were banned over 30 years ago, are still active in the city’s waterways.
About San Diego’s lawsuit against Monsanto
The lawsuit claims that the contamination by Monsanto’s PCBs “affects all San Diegans and visitors who enjoy the Bay, who reasonably would be disturbed by the presence of a hazardous, banned substance in the sediment, water, and wildlife.”
Included in the lawsuit are Monsanto and two other companies: Solutia Inc., a Monsanto spinoff, and Pharmacia Corporation. The latter, based in New Jersey, took over Monsanto’s pharmaceutical division and is now owned by Pfizer.
The complaint reports that the chemical company contaminated San Diego Bay with PCBs from the 1930s through the 1970s, and that during that time, Monsanto was aware that the chemicals were toxic, carcinogenic and environmental hazards. The city is asking for a jury trial and is seeking punitive damages, demanding that Monsanto pay for bay cleanup and provide compensation involving loss of the area’s natural resources. Both the city of San Diego and the San Diego Unified Port District filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in California’s Southern District in March 2015.
The suit claims that Monsanto knew of the health concerns regarding PCBs as far back as the 1930s, yet continued to manufacture and sell the product which they sold under the trademarked name “Aroclor.” Aroclor was used as a sealant and abrasive, and in dental castings, as well as in building materials and cable coatings.
Documents quoted in the complaint state that Monsanto knew that they could not prevent environmental contamination, however, they still told U.S. government officials that the chemicals were not toxic and would not spread into the environment.
Monsanto’s response to the lawsuit
Monsanto has responded to the lawsuit by saying that they — no surprise here — are not responsible for the costs.
They state that they sold, “a lawful and useful product at the time,” suggesting that the U.S. Navy and other third parties had a role in improperly disposing certain chemicals.
Therefore, Monsanto suggests that these parties “should bear responsibility for these costs.”
PCBs in the San Diego Bay
Both the water and the wildlife in the San Diego Bay have been found to contain PCBs, a known carcinogen. PCBs’ chemical structure of chlorine atoms connected to the double carbon-hydrogen ring causes not only cancer, but also other health issues in humans and animals alike. Fish, lobsters, and other marine life have been affected by Monsanto’s PCB disposal into the Bay.
The city has already paid out $949,634 in fines because of the chemicals that have been dumped.
Additionally, the city has also paid $6.45 million to the Shipyards Sediment Site for clean up.