By Anthony Gucciardi
Monsanto may soon be forced to pay as much as 7.5 billion dollars back to the farmers who say that the mega corporation took their rightfully earned income and taxed their small businesses to financial shambles. It all started with a monumental lawsuit launched by over 5 million farmers against Monsanto looking to recover financial losses from ridiculous seed taxes that bankrupted many families.
Back in April, a Brazilian court ruled that Monsanto absolutely was responsible for paying back the exorbitant amounts of cash back to the farmers, ordering the company to issue back all of the taxes collected since 2004 — a minimum of 2 billion dollars. Afterwards, Monsanto appealed the decision and the case is now suspended until a further hearing is initiated by the Justice Tribune of the local court stationed in Rio Grande do Sul.
Recently, however, the Brazilian Supreme Court declared that any decision reached in a local court case should apply nationally. The result? Monsanto now faces even larger charges, due to the larger legal application on a national level. Now, the charges total or exceed 7.5 billion dollars.
“The values involved could total 15 billion reais ($7.5bn),” said the Superior Tribunal of Justice on its website.
Lawsuits and criminal charges continue to hit Monsanto, scratching away at the financial foundation of the agricultural behemoth. Monsanto has been found guilty of chemical poisoning in France after their weedkiller product led to neurological problems, and the company has even dished out 93 million to victims of toxic dioxin. As Monsanto continues to be slammed with lawsuits, many of which are from multitudes of affected farmers and individuals, awareness spreads among the general public regarding the corporation’s true acts.
It was this same corporation that was caught running what has been labeled slave rings, in which workers were forced to work for 14 hours per day or more cultivating the fields and were not permitted to leave. Monsanto’s crimes are slowly coming to light, and the public is demanding action.