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The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to file a nuisance lawsuit demanding the company be held accountable for the cost of cleaning up contamination linked to polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), previously found in many of their products.
PCBs were produced almost exclusively by Monsanto from 1935-1977, until they were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1979 for being a probable cause of cancer. Despite the ban, the carcinogenic chemical used in many products such as paint in the past, continues to pollute the bay.
Monsanto is currently being sued by the city of Oakland, who filed their lawsuit over PCBs in November, seeking compensatory and punitive damages for continuing pollution.
"Monsanto's polluting proliferation of PCBs was a corporate crime and restitution for this nefarious nuisance should come from Monsanto's profits, not from the taxpayers' pockets,” Berkeley City Councilman Kriss Worthington, who lead the effort to file the lawsuit, told Mercury News.
While the councilman stated that it is possible their lawsuit will be combined with other cities, he told the paper that he hopes they remain separate, as "our issues are specific to Berkeley."
According to Monsanto internal findings, the company knew of environmental risks associated with the use of the chemical since at least the 1960’s, but continued to market products containing the chemicals, Anti Media reported.
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