Argentina Lawsuit Challenges Monsanto

Federal Judge in Argentina Accepts Class Action Lawsuit Against Monsanto

Will Monsanto be able to bully itself to victory?
Christina Sarich
by Christina Sarich
Posted on June 27, 2015

While Monsanto tries to dodge a class action lawsuit in California by requesting that it be dismissed by the court, a federal judge in Argentina has accepted a class action lawsuit that would force GMO labeling and provisionally suspend the cultivation of genetically modified crops.

The lawsuit targets Monsanto for causing a seed monopoly through mono-cultivation. It argues for a complete ban on GMOs and on:

“. . .the application of pesticides used for farming until their safety for the environment, ecosystems, biodiversity, the health of living beings, the cultural heritage of the Argentine people, and the sustainability of the production model is scientifically proven.”

Residents of the country of Argentina believe that the commercialization of seed through companies like Monsanto should be forbidden. The lawsuit is titled:

“Gimenez Alicia Fanny and others against the national government, Monsanto and others, over environmental damage.”

Monsanto is not the only party listed as a defendant. Also listed are:

  • The Argentine national government
  • The Federal Council for the Environment
  • A group of companies, including Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Novartis, Nidera, Dow AgroSciences, Pioneer, Agrevo, Ciba Geigy, Argenbio, and Bayer Sciences

Monsanto is currently trying to remove their class action suit being filed by T. Matthew Phillips to federal court in order to “prohibit inconsistencies in ruling,” but they also want to have the class action suit dismissed.

Previously, more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals in Argentina asked that glyphosate be banned. The doctors are part of FESPROSA, Argentina’s Union of medical professionals.

FESPROSA explained:

“In our country glyphosate is applied on more than 28 million hectares. Each year, the soil is sprayed with more than 320 million litres, which means that 13 million people are at risk of being affected, according to the Physicians Network of Sprayed Peoples (RMPF). Soy is not the only crop addicted to glyphosate: the herbicide is also used for transgenic maize and other crops. Where glyphosate falls, only GMOs can grow. Everything else dies.”

The doctors also talk about vindicating one of their own:

Our trade union, the Federation of Health Professionals of Argentina (FESPROSA), which represents more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals in our country, includes the Social Health Collective of Andrés Carrasco. Andrés Carrasco was a researcher at [Argentine government research institute] CONICET, who died a year ago, and showed the damage caused by glyphosate to embryos. For disseminating his research, he was attacked by the industry and the authorities at CONICET. Today, WHO vindicates him.”

If the federal judge who reviews this case prior to the end of the month has any moral fiber, he will stand against Monsanto for a fair trial as Argentina has.