Pull up a chair. You might want to sit down for this news.
You’ve probably heard of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). For those who haven’t here’s a quick summary: PCBs were used in the 1930s through the 1970s in electrical equipment, plastics, flooring and many other industrial products, until they were later banned in 1979. They have been linked to cancer in animals, endocrine damage, fertility and other reproductive damage, as well as memory, learning and other neurological effects.
Almost all of the PCBs sold in the U.S. where created by, you guessed it, Monsanto.
While Monsanto defends itself against potential legal charges, the United States House of Representatives intends to give Monsanto the ultimate gift in such a situation—immunity against what is anticipated to be millions of dollars’ worth of damages the company faces linked to its development and distribution of PCBs.
Congress is currently working to reform its Toxic Substances Control Act, with the addition of one paragraph that lets Monsanto off the hook for any legal liability for human, wildlife, or environmental destruction the company may have caused as a result of PCBs.
The clause, found at section 7(c) of H.R. 2576, would block PCB lawsuits by state and local governments, as well as American citizens. It would even prevent states from passing their own PCB regulations.
The legislative provision for PCBs, along with several other sticking points, must be resolved before Congress passes the new legislation revamping the way that thousands of chemicals are regulated in the US.
While many people agree that the chemical legislation has been in serious need of being overhauled, this new legislation will largely determine how the chemical industry is regulated, who can sue, and possibly even which chemicals will be allowed or disallowed.
But for some unknown reason that neither the federal lawmakers or Monsanto will take credit for, the new wording serves to protect only a single company—Monsanto, not the thousands of people who may have been harmed by PCBs in the United States. The government itself knows about the very serious health threats linked to PCBs, as is clear in its “Health Effects of PCBs” article on the Environmental Protection Agency’s own website.
The Environmental Working Group criticizes the clause for being “written so broadly it could even stop states and individuals from suing under negligence, product safety, clean air, and clean water laws for damages related to PCBs. At stake are a staggering amount of human and environmental devastation – and a lot of Monsanto’s money.”
In Anniston, Alabama, over 4,600 people have come together in a class-action lawsuit to hold Monsanto accountable for the damage it caused there, including allegations that the company has poisoned multiple properties in the city.
Earlier evidence suggested that Monsanto may also have been involved in a decades-long cover up about the serious health risks linked to its chemical herbicide known as Roundup. Check out my post “Has Monsanto Covered Up Evidence of Roundup’s Health Risks for Decades?”
Why would the government grant immunity to one corporation against the damage it caused in the midst of potentially millions of dollars’ worth of lawsuits? According to the New York Times, Monsanto insists that it did not request this immunity and the House of Representatives denies that the legislation is a gift to the only company it benefits, but I’m not buying it.
The House of Representatives is supposed to represent the millions of taxpayers in the US and not the one multinational corporation with a reputation for environmental and human health degradation – the company sometimes referred to as “Monsatan.”
Tell the government that the “Monsanto PCB Shield,” also being referred to as the “Monsanto Bailout Clause” must go. The company is not above the law and needs to be accountable for the damage to both humans and the environment it has caused. Sign the petition “Don’t Let Monsanto Get Away with Poisoning Anniston!”
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, is an international best-selling and 19-time published author whose works include: Weekend Wonder Detox: Quick Cleanses to Strengthen Your Body and Enhance Your Beauty.