Monsanto to Appeal French Court Ruling

Judicial system says manufacturer's Lasso herbicide caused farmer's illness.

Agro giant Monsanto said Tuesday that it would appeal a court ruling that found the U.S. manufacturer legally responsible for the poisoning of a French farmer with one of its herbicides in 2004.

"The demonstration of a causal link between the weedkiller Lasso and symptoms reported by Mr. Francois is lacking," a French-language statement released by Monsanto said.

On Monday, a French court found Monsanto legally responsible for the poisoning of Paul Francois with one of its herbicides in 2004, in a verdict that could have global implications.

Grain farmer Francois, 47, inhaled the powerful weedkiller when he opened up a sprayer in 2004.

He became nauseated, began stuttering and suffered dizziness, headaches and muscular aches, rendering him unable to work for a year.

Monsanto was accused of keeping Lasso on the French market until 2007 despite bans of the product in Canada, Britain and Belgium.

On Tuesday, the Monsanto statement said: "We disagree on the point that a prejudice could have been caused accidentally by Lasso or on the point that Monsanto allowed this prejudice to occur.

"We are thus disappointed by the court's decision and will therefore file an appeal."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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