JOHN VIDAL, GUARDIAN, UK - Evidence has emerged that the Monsanto chemical company paid contractors to dump thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in British landfill sites, knowing that their chemicals were liable to contaminate wildlife and people. The Environment Agency said it had launched an inquiry after the chemicals were found to be polluting underground water supplies and the atmosphere 30 years after they were dumped. According to the agency it could cost up to L100m to clean up a site in south Wales that has been called "one of the most contaminated" in the country.
A previously unseen government report read by the Guardian shows that 67 chemicals, including Agent Orange derivatives, dioxins and PCBs which could have been made only by Monsanto, are leaking from one unlined porous quarry that was not authorized to take chemical wastes. . .
Much of the new information about Monsanto's activities in Britain in the 1960s and early 1970s has emerged from court papers filed in the US and previously unseen internal company documents. They show how the company knew from 1965 onwards that the PCBs - polychlorinated biphenyls used mainly as flame retardants and insulaters - manufactured in the US and at its plant in Newport, south Wales, under the trade name Aroclor, were accumulating in human milk, rivers, fish and seafood, wildlife and plants.
The documents show that in 1953, company chemists tested the PCB chemicals on rats and found that they killed more than 50% with medium-level doses. However, it continued to manufacture PCBs and dispose of the wastes in south Wales until 1977, more than a decade after evidence of widespread contamination of humans and the environment was beyond doubt. . .