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Farmer sues Monsanto after inhaling weedkiller

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12:11 CET+01:00

Farmer Paul François is suing US biotech giant Monsanto after he inhaled weedkiller Lasso at work. The trial opens in the French city of Lyon on Monday.

In 2004, Paul François, a cereal farmer in the southwestern department of Charente, opened the tank of his pulveriser machine. He inhaled fumes of Lasso, a weedkiller manufactured by Monsanto, and fainted.

He was taken to hospital and stopped work for almost a year, reports radio station France Info. He suffers from memory loss and often feels faint.

The farmer is now suing Monsanto for damages and says the biotech firm did not specify the ingredients contained in the weedkiller on its packaging.

In May 2005, tests showed François still had traces of weedkiller chemicals in his blood. In 2008, a local court ruled François is suffering from an occupational disease.

In an interview with French radio station RTL on Monday, François says Monsanto knew there were health hazards linked to the weedkiller, but did not discontinue its production.

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