French court finds Monsanto's Lasso weedkiller to blame for farmer's health problems

A French court has ruled that Monsanto was liable for the sickness of a farmer who inhaled one of its weedkillers, in another legal setback for the Bayer-owned business over health claims, Reuters reports. 

In the latest stage of a decade-long legal tussle, the appeals court in Lyon on Thursday found in favour of farmer Paul Francois’ claim that Monsanto’s Lasso weedkiller had made him sick and that the product’s labelling had been inadequate. 

Francois, 55, says he suffered neurological problems, including memory loss, fainting and headaches, after accidentally inhaling Lasso in 2004 while working on his farm. 

“Mr Francois justifiably concludes that the product, due to its inadequate labelling that did not respect applicable regulations, did not offer the level of safety he could legitimately expect,” the court said in its ruling. 

The latest verdict, however, did not determine compensation for the farmer, which will now be considered by another court in Lyon. 

Francois is seeking about €1 million in damages. 

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