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This article, by Paul J. Nyden, appeared Dec. 16 in the Sunday Gazette-Mail, Charlestown, West Virginia.

People who lived near the former Monsanto plant in Nitro that produced dioxins and related chemicals may still sue the company for personal and property damages.

So can residents who lived near more than 40 other chemical plants throughout the country that Monsanto once owned and operated.





In December 2003, Solutia, a successor to most of Monsanto’s chemical plants and assets, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to reorganize its debts, including potential claims alleging dioxin and chemical poisoning.


During a July 17 hearing, Beatty stated that a federal jury in Charleston ruled in April 1985 "that the chemical [dioxin] was poisonous and they did make the finding that the parties were harmed by the chemical....


"The jury believed the chemical was harmful," Beatty stressed. "It just didn’t believe that there was the intention that was needed, that the [U.S. District] court found was needed, to get around the Workman’s Compensation law."


After the trial, held by U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver, jurors concluded those workers could not collect Workers’ Comp benefits because state law required an employer to "intentionally" injure workers before employees could collect compensation for their injuries.


Beatty told John C. Longmire, one of Solutia’s New York lawyers, that Calwell had "a jury verdict that made a finding in his favor on the chemical issue ... the chemical connection between exposure and illness.

Additional links include:

Another Monsanto study involved independent medical examinations of surviving employees by Monsanto physicians. Several hundred former Monsanto employees were too ill to travel to participate in the study. Monsanto refused to use the attending physicians' reports of the illness as part of their study, saying that it would introduce inconsistencies. Thus, any critically ill dioxin exposed workers with cancers such as non Hodgkin's lymphoma (associated with dioxin exposures) were conveniently excluded from the Monsanto study.
This link provides a compilation of lawsuits and complaints against Monsanto

The Dow Chemical Co. is asking the Michigan Court of Appeals to review the decision that upped the number of property owners suing it over dioxin contamination from a couple hundred to a couple thousand.
   It also wants the case put on hold until the higher court makes a decision.
   Saginaw County Circuit Judge Leopold Borrello in October certified the now nearly three-year-old suit, led by Freelanders Kathy and Gary Henry, as a class action, meaning about 2,000 property owners could take part in the litigation.
Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News

DOD info on uses of Dioxin in the US

Originally posted to flowerfarmer on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:31 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Where is the tipping point? (7+ / 0-)

    Here's hoping the courts will finally step in and stop them.

    From the flatlands of Blue NH... Deja Moo-I've heard this bull before.

    by flowerfarmer on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:35:45 AM PST

  •  Although you wrote lymphoma (0+ / 0-)

    dioxin is one of the most commonly used carcinogens in a wide array of household products, in case this needs to be spelled out.

    Lead in Chinese goods? (That incidentally are made in the same factory as the non leaded goods that go to Europe.)  Later in this century people are going to wonder why were nuts enough to have dioxin all over our homes and in our bodies!

    It's not often you find a politician talented enough to smear the opponent as a drug dealer, terrorist AND uppity black boy

    by Nulwee on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:37:13 AM PST

    •  what household products? n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  feminine hygeine (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "To look as white as possible, conventional pads and tampons are usually bleached with chlorine, a process that can create dioxin, a known carcinogen."

        for starters.

        It's not often you find a politician talented enough to smear the opponent as a drug dealer, terrorist AND uppity black boy

        by Nulwee on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:19:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Also dioxin (0+ / 0-)

          is commonly found in many other household products, including other topical (skin-applied) goods, and can even be found in soil and make its way into foods.

          It's not often you find a politician talented enough to smear the opponent as a drug dealer, terrorist AND uppity black boy

          by Nulwee on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:20:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Be afraid.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Unfortunately, according to the EPA, much of the population of the U.S. is at the dose at which there can be serious health effects. How did this happen? For about 40 years we have seen a dramatic increase in the manufacture and use of chlorinated organic chemicals and plastics. For chemicals, it was insecticides and herbicides (weed killers). For plastics, it was primarily polyvinyl chloride (PVC). From phonograph records to automobile seat covers to wire insulation to shampoo bottles to handbags to house siding to plumbing pipes to wallpaper, we are literally surrounded by PVC. When these chemicals and plastics are manufactured or burned, dioxin is produced as an unwanted (but inevitable) by-product. Dioxin is also formed in paper bleaching, so that most paper products are contaminated. This exposes people who use chlorine-bleached coffee filters (most of the products available), as well as compounding the risks of cancer of those who smoke cigarettes.

        If your family drinks milk, drink only skim milk, since dioxin is carried in the butterfat. Avoid all full-fat dairy products, such as butter, cheese and ice cream. Use non-fat skim-milk products or non-dairy substitutes. If you are female and are considering having children, it is essential that you eat a non-dairy, low-fat vegetarian diet for several years before you have children. Dioxin is passed from the woman's body to the infant through the placenta and in breastmilk, which contains more dioxin than any other food (in relation to an infant’s body weight) for women who consume meat and milk.[1]

        Avoid all organic chemicals that have "chloro" as part of their names (such as the wood preservative pentachlorophenol, which is probably the most dioxin-contaminated household chemical). Avoid chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) and products containing it. (Use oxygen bleach instead). Use unbleached paper products.


        From the flatlands of Blue NH... Deja Moo-I've heard this bull before.

        by flowerfarmer on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:23:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wasn't Monsanto the company that hosted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the rural americans for Clinton DC shindig?

    •  and their subsidiary Searle (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tinfoil Hat, skywriter

      lied its way through the FDA for deadly carcinogen Aspartame to get approved, with Donald Rumsfeld as corporate executive.

      It's not often you find a politician talented enough to smear the opponent as a drug dealer, terrorist AND uppity black boy

      by Nulwee on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:38:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe it would be more accurate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        To call Aspartame a suspected human carcinogen, rather than "deadly carcinogen Aspartame," unless you have some references that indicate otherwise.  Are you referring to the Soffritti study?  

        From the New York Times:

        Aspartame is sold under the brand names Nutra-Sweet and Equal and is found in such popular products as Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Diet Snapple and Sugar Free Kool-Aid. Hundreds of millions of people consume it worldwide. And Dr. Soffritti's study concluded that aspartame may cause the dreaded "c" word: cancer.


        No regulatory agency has yet acted on Dr. Soffritti's findings, although Roger Williams, a member of Parliament, called for a ban on aspartame in Britain last December. Last month, the European Food Safety Authority, an advisory body for the European Commission, began to review 900 pages of data from Dr. Soffritti; the goal is to finish by May. A commission spokesman, Philip Tod, said it was too early to know what the next steps would be if the scientists reviewing the data concurred with Dr. Soffritti's findings.

        In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration says it has also taken note of the study, which is available online and is scheduled to be published next month in a medical journal financed by the National Institutes of Health. F.D.A. officials say that they, too, intend to conduct a thorough review.

        But both the F.D.A. and the European Commission have cautioned that there is no need for people to avoid aspartame. "We don't see any concerns at this stage," said George H. Pauli, associate director for science policy in the F.D.A.'s Office of Food Additive Safety. "We've gone through a humongous amount of data on aspartame over the years."

  •  Why the hate on "Rural Americans for Hillary"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I do not trust Hillary Clinton.

    by The Dead Man on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:38:49 AM PST

  •  Its not like they didn't know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywriter, flowerfarmer

    That dioxin was deadly.

    From the last page of the article:

    At the time, Monsanto lawyer David Snively said the federal verdict vindicated the way Monsanto handled employee exposure to dioxin, a toxic byproduct in making 2,4,5-T, an herbicide produced at the Nitro plant between 1948 and 1969.

    During the Vietnam War, U.S. planes dropped 2,4,5-T — commonly called Agent Orange — to defoliate forests and agricultural fields in Southeast Asia.

    It was NOT a toxic byproduct. It was a contaminant. One they knew about.
    Link to my diary on the Vietnamese victims of AO.

    As the government asked the chemical companies to produce more and more herbicide as the war escalated, whatever quality control that may have existed became non-existent. With greater demand, the companies in effect sped up their production line, which led to higher temperatures and pressure in the production process. Defendants knew from the experiences of Boehringer and another German company, Badische, that higher temperatures and pressure lead to greater dioxin content. After Boehringer shut down its plant in the 1950’s due to dioxin contamination, it discovered why dioxin was formed and how to avoid it. The company later reopened its plant and managed to keep dioxin levels at a reasonably low level. This new process involved keeping an upper temperature limit of between 150 and 155 degrees Centigrade. In Boehringer’s system, an alarm would go off when the temperature rose above 157 degrees. This meant that the reaction to form TCP (when dioxin is normally produced) took 12 to 13 hours, much longer than with higher temperatures. Boehringer shared this information with the chemical companies in 1957, after it had experienced a measure of success in avoiding dioxin formation. ...Though defendants knew in the 1950s that decreasing temperature in the autoclave reaction would greatly lower levels of dioxin in their 2,4,5-T, they intentionally and deliberately failed to follow these precautions.
    Dow’s reaction temperature during the early 1960s ran as high as 212 to 225 degrees, nowhere near the safe level of 150 degrees, and the reaction took only 45 minutes. ...The reason for this was that lowering the temperature of the reaction and therefore slowing down the process would have cost more and taken longer.


    Someone once asked me if I had learned anything from going to war so many times. My reply: Yes, I learned how to cry.
    Joe Galloway

    by BOHICA on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 07:52:21 AM PST

  •  They know & don't care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know/knew several Vietnam vets battling cancer as a result of Agent Orange- of course Monsanto knew-

    it's just that corporate profits trump ant consideration for their employees or anyone using their products-

    what's the harm in a little collateral damage, in the larger scheme of things.....

    Fuckers, indeed.

    From the flatlands of Blue NH... Deja Moo-I've heard this bull before.

    by flowerfarmer on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 08:11:10 AM PST

    •  Federal Judge Jack Weinstein sold vets down river (0+ / 0-)

      ... in 1985 with a miserable settlement that provided little for sick vets and next to nothing for vets dead of the dioxin in Agent Orange, and $10 million for the March of Dimes (wtf?).

      His rulings in that case consistently excluded evidence of direct links between dioxin and the illnesses and deaths of vets.

  •  Amy Goodman interview with Vietnamese litigants (0+ / 0-)

    U.S. warplanes dumped about 18 million gallons of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The Vietnamese government says this has left more than 3 million people disabled. We speak with two Vietnamese Agent Orange victims and their lawyers about how the toxin has affected their lives and why they're suing over three dozen U.S. chemical companies who
    manufactured it.

  •  Peter Montague of Rachel's Weekly.. (0+ / 0-)

    wrote this in 1992 and it is worth reading to glimpse an inkling of the powerful fight the chemical companies put on to defend their poisons.

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