Pesticide victims: French authorities asked to compensate farmer
For the first time, the French authorities have been asked to compensate a farmer because he developed a cancer associated with his exposure to chemical substances contained in pesticides.
The court of appeals of Nancy confirmed a ruling by the claims commission of Epinal (Commission d’indemnisation des victimes d’infraction), which has ordered the authorities to compensate Dominique Marchal, a cereal farmer.
In 2006, Marchal was the first person in France to win recognition that his leukaemia was work-related. When he first became ill, it was his wife who suspected that his daily exposure to pesticides during the spraying on their 100,000 hectare farm might be the cause. When medical authorities refused the idea that pesticides could be the cause, the Marchals conducted their own investigation and had samples analysed. When the results came back they showed that 40 per cent contained benzene, a substance known to increase the risk of leukaemia but which was not listed in any of the labels on the pesticide products.
The amount of the compensation is still to be determined after an expertise.
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Originally posted on 11 April 2013