DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against chemical company Monsanto and spinoffs Solutia and Pharmacia, alleging long-lasting damage to the state's natural resources.
The lawsuit filed Delaware Superior Court on Wednesday alleges Monsanto knew as early as 1937 that polychlorinated biphenyls had systemic toxic effects on humans and animals and it seeks to recover damages and clean-up costs, Attorney General Kathy Jennings said in a news release.
“Monsanto knew that PCBs were toxic and that once they entered the environment, they would be there to stay,” Jennings said. “Even as PCBs’ environmental harms became undeniable, Monsanto not only continued to manufacture and sell PCBs, but increased production. Now, decades since PCBs were banned, Delaware taxpayers are still footing the cleanup bill. We’re suing Monsanto and its spinoffs to make them pay to clean up their mess.”
The suit also claims Monsanto understood and “actively promoted the fact that PCBs do not naturally break down; and continued to manufacture, market and sell PCBs despite full awareness of these dangers.”
Bayer, which purchased Monsanto in 2016, responded to the lawsuit saying the company voluntarily ceased all PCB production in 1977, two years before production was banned, The News-Journal reported.