Argentine Farmers Sue Monsanto, Tobacco Companies Over "Devastating Birth Defects"

WILMINGTON

Full Story - Farmers from Argentina have alleged that agri-giant Monsanto, together with Philip Morris and other U.S. tobacco companies, asked them to use chemicals on their crops that caused "devastating birth defects." The suit was filed this week at New Castle County Court, Delaware and Monsanto, Philip Morris Cos, Philip Morris USA, Carolina Leaf Tobacco, Universal Corporation and others are said to have "wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects," including "cerebral palsy, epilepsy, spina bifida, congenital heart defects, Down syndrome, missing fingers and blindness." They say the defendants pushed for excessive use of pesticides and failed to warn them of the dangers or provide them with information or protective gear. Monsanto's pesticides contaminated the farmers' non-tobacco crops, water wells and streams meant for family use, exposing their families to the toxic substances, said a farmer. "The plaintiff tobacco farmers' lack of training and instruction on the safe disposal of unused Roundup and other pesticides caused further exposure," the complaint states. "Leftover pesticides were discarded in locations where they leached into the water supply."

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