They’re the seventh city to sue Monsanto for the same reason.
Portland, OR — Becoming the seventh city to sue Monsanto over contaminated waterways, Portland passed a resolution last week authorizing city attorney Tracy Reeve to take the biotech company to federal court over its decades-long dispersal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The city has spent more than $1 billion cleaning up PCB pollution in the Willamette River, and now it wants the agrochemical giant it deems responsible for the contamination to pay for the damages.
For decades, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), a highly toxic group of chemicals, were used to insulate electronics, as well as in paint, transformers, caulk, and other items. Between the 1930s and 1970s, Monsanto, which was the sole manufacturer of the chemical compound, produced more than 1 billion pounds of PCBs. Now they are dispersed throughout the environment, littering air supplies, rivers, waterways, and landfills.
In a statement, city attorney Reeve said:
“Portland’s elected officials are committed to holding Monsanto accountable for its apparent decision to favor profits over ecological and human health. Monsanto profited from selling PCBs for decades and needs to take responsibility for cleaning up after the mess it created.”
Monsanto continues to maintain that it stopped producing PCBs when they were discovered the government to be toxic and banned by the EPA in 1979. But documents show the company knew “as far back as 1969 that PCBs led to contamination of fish, oysters and birds” and that “global contamination” posed a risk to human health. Portland’s lawsuit contends that the company actually knew as far back as 1937 that its product was hazardous to human health.