CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A $93 million settlement between Monsanto Co. and thousands of West Virginians includes a provision to step up medical monitoring if blood tests show high levels of the chemical dioxin.

Last month, a judge approved the proposed deal ending a class-action lawsuit by current and former Nitro residents who say Monsanto polluted their community by burning waste from Agent Orange production.

St. Louis-based Monsanto also agreed to pay up to $29.5 million in legal fees.

The Charleston Gazette obtained details through a Freedom of Information Act request and posted them online Wednesday.

Initial blood tests will document dioxin levels among the participants. If 25 percent or more of those people have more than so-called “background” levels, the frequency of testing will increase from every five years to every two.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Link: Charleston Gazette


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