Concerned about the reduction of the European bee population, the European Commission has proposed a two-year partial ban on three types of insecticide. The pesticides would not be used on such crops as cotton, sunflower, maize, and oil rapeseed. The reason for this proposed ban is that the chemicals harm the bees' central nervous system, leading to paralysis and death. The European Union is currently reviewing the Commission's study and determining whether to implement the proposal.
Other studies released in 2012 found that when bees came into contact with insecticides containing neonicontinoids, the population plunged 85%. Already European countries like France, Italy, and Slovenia have introduced bans of these sorts of insecticides. However, other European countries where the chemicals are made, such as Germany, have been more resistant.
Besides harming the bee population, pesticides and herbicides have also been linked to human health problems, including birth defects. Here in the United States, one of the most notorious herbicides, glyphosate (known commercially as Round-up), has come under heavy scrutiny for polluting the ground water and causing a variety of illnesses, including sterility, obesity, cancer, and neurodegenerative conditions. Some companies, like Agri-Neo of Canada, are seeking to develop a bio-pesticide that controls bacteria while being safe for the environment and human health. If the company's efforts are successful, it is unknown when the pesticide would be available on the open market.
Meanwhile, if your child has a birth defect that you believe is due to your exposure to pesticides or herbicides while pregnant, you have the option of filing a toxic tort lawsuit against the companies responsible for spreading the product, as well as a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. In the case of the toxic tort lawsuit, you would argue that the company (likely an agricultural company or local farm, but may even be a golf course) had a duty to the surrounding community to operate as safely as possible. Instead, the company breached its duty by using an unreasonably dangerous pesticide or herbicide, and you were exposed not only during your pregnancy, but also before and after. As a result of your exposure, your child was born with a birth defect.
With a product liability lawsuit, the steps would be almost the same, except that you would not need to show that the manufacturer was negligent in creating the product -- just that the manufacturer's product was unreasonably dangerous, and/or lacking a proper warning label. Your case would naturally be strongest if you lived very close to the source of the pesticides or herbicides, and if others in your community were similarly affected. If you live a few miles away, it might be less obvious that that particular farm or manufacturer were responsible for your child's birth defect. However, you could obtain samples of your water source and of the water near the source of the pesticides/herbicides and determine whether they contain the same chemicals.
The birth defect attorneys at Oshman & Mirisola, LLP have successfully represented clients in birth defect lawsuits for more than 35 years. If your child suffers from a birth defect that you believe could be due to your being exposed to harmful toxins while pregnant, please contact us today by calling (800) 400-8182, or submit our online Contact Us form.