U.S. Chamber Calls Environmentalists' Monsanto Suit A Blatant Anti-Business Lawsuit Abuse | U.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Chamber Calls Environmentalists' Monsanto Suit A Blatant Anti-Business Lawsuit Abuse

Tuesday, December 14, 1999 - 7:00pm


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States Chamber of Commerce sharply criticized environmental extremists for their latest attempt to attack business through abusive legal action, by filing a class action lawsuit against Monsanto.

"This lawsuit is a last-ditch effort by a group of extremists that have failed to stop biotech foods through fear mongering in the court of public opinion," said William Kovacs, vice president of environment and regulatory affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"It is irresponsible to attempt to force an anti-science agenda through the courts, after the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and research scientists across the country have found no cause for concern," said Kovacs.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a coalition of "farmers," but is actually a group of well-known activists led by Jeremy Rifkin and Greenpeace, according to the Chamber. American business has increasingly had to defend itself against assault by unscrupulous trial lawyers, said Kovacs.

"Since 1980, the number of civil lawsuits filed each year has jumped over 240 percent," said Kovacs. "Every year 209,000 cases cost American consumers $163 billion dollars. This amounts to a 'lawsuit tax' of $2,400 per family, per year."

We should applaud, not attack, a technology that safely provides benefits such as reduced pesticide use, greater crop yields, hardier plants, higher nutritional values, and lower water and fertilizer requirements, said the Chamber. Biotech foods will make it possible to support the world's growing population in the most efficient and environmentally friendly manner possible.

The United States Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector and region.