Neil Young has joined the long list of celebrities who have spoken out against the agrochemical company Monsanto and their dangerous “product” lines — from PCBs to GMOs, Saccharine, Agent Orange and DDT.
When someone with as much star power as Neil Young goes so far as to produce a ten-minute documentary, write an entire album centered around Monsanto, titled “The Monsanto Years,” and speak out against Monsanto during his valuable time on stage, you know there’s something big at stake.
The City of Spokane is being affected due to Monsanto’s decision decades ago to continue to use dangerous PCB chemicals in their products, despite serious risks that were well-known inside Monsanto.
PCBs are man-made chemicals that were produced by Monsanto from the early 1930s until the late 1970s, when Congress banned the use and production of PCBs due to their inherent danger to the environment, wildlife, and humans. Yet the effective ban may have come far too late. That’s because, by the 1930s, Monsanto knew that PCBs were toxic and by the late 1960s, Monsanto knew that PCBs were being found in oceans, fish and animal tissues, and air. Internally, Monsanto acknowledged that the chemicals were becoming a “global contaminant.” And yet, PCBs were still used for decades before the 1970s ban, in materials ranging from building materials to electrical equipment and paint to and caulking materials. PCB products that were sold or installed before the ban remain in place in many schools and commercial buildings across the United States. And the PCBs that escaped into the environment persist there, too.
Unlike asbestos, PCBs can be made airborne without a severe disturbance. Meaning it is relatively easy for PCBs to disperse into the air and ground. From there, all it takes is some rain, and the storm water can carry those dangerous man-made chemicals straight into the local rivers (— and beyond, based on studies showing that PCBs were capable of traveling up many miles).
PCBs are a known carcinogen that can cause cancer and death in humans. They can destroy wildlife; wreak havoc on fish and bird populations. They can contaminate waters.
And yet there are currently no measures for cities like Spokane whose riverbeds are devastated by Monsanto’s PCBs to begin their cleanup — without using taxpayer money. That’s why we are filing a PCBs lawsuit on Spokane’s behalf, in order to help the city demand the money they need to clean up Monsanto’s dangerous, life-threatening mess.
PCB lawsuits are an important step in the right direction to hold Monsanto accountable for the damage they have done to our country, its land and its people; but there’s still more to go.
We thank celebrity figures like Neil Young for all of their advocacy and awareness work, work they do from the heart. Celebrities like Dave Mathews and Danny DeVito have also spoken up against Monsanto. And all of this advocacy work is wonderful and appreciated.
However, the truth of the matter is, Monsanto is a very powerful company that has decades of experience creating chemicals that have the potential to destroy the things we hold the most dear. It is estimated that around 70% of the food in America’s supermarkets today may contain Monsanto’s GMOs.
It has to be said that Monsanto is also responsible for systemic efforts to deny Americans their right to know what foods are genetically modified.
If this scares you as much as it does our environmental lawyers, we ask you to take some inspiration from Neil Young and help us celebrate the heroes like the City of Spokane who are standing up against Monsanto by sharing this article on your Facebook page.