SAN MATEO—The company known for it’s controversial product, Roundup, is now being sued by San Mateo County and nine of it’s surrounding cities so that they can recover from the cost it took them to remove toxic substances the company allegedly left across the region. The nine other cities included in the lawsuit are: Atherton, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo and Woodside. 

According to the lawsuit that was filed Thursday, April 22, Monsanto knowingly left behind polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) throughout the county. PCB, as it is commonly known, is known to be a carcinogenic and an environmental pollutant. The suit alleges that Monsanto knowingly mislead the public about the dangers of PCBs and that the corporation has known about the health and environmental threats caused by PCB for more than 50 years. 

In a county statement Attorney John Nibbelin wrote, “The evidence is clear that Monsanto knew – and hid the truth for decades – about the dangers of PCBs. There’s no reason in the world why our taxpayers should have to pay for the hundreds of millions of dollars we need to spend to prevent further PCB pollution and contamination. That’s Monsanto’s responsibility, and that’s why we’re taking them to court.”

According to reports, contamination in and around the harbor was so bad locals were advised not to eat certain types of fish caught in the harbor. Children and women aged 18 to 49 were advised not to eat striped bass, sharks, and white sturgeon caught in the bay. The skin and fatty tissue of any fish caught in the bay was said to be toxic.