How an Oregon activist’s barn produced the ‘Poison Papers’ that aids in a lawsuit against Monsanto

St. Louis Public Radio has published a new article about The Poison Papers and Carol Van Strum. Van Strum is an activist who collected the documents during her past 40 years involved in lawsuits against chemical companies and the federal government. Making the Poison Papers available to the public on DocumentCloud is a project of The Bioscience Resource Project and the Center for Media and Democracy.

It began in the early 1970s, when Van Strum’s family saw an ad in the San Francisco Chronicle and moved to a farm in the Siuslaw National Forest.

Soon after, she said, they were sprayed by a helicopter with 2,4,5-T — a component of Agent Orange — that was meant to treat a timber crop on nearby public land.

She banded together with neighbors, sued and won an injunction to stop the spraying.

The hope is that the newly digitized Poison Papers will aid in current efforts to protect the public from toxic exposure.

Bill Sherman, assistant attorney general for the state of Washington, said he was reviewing the new documents and expected they would be involved in the state’s lawsuit against Monsanto.

‘They confirm that Monsanto was aware of the harms that their PCBs were causing and continued to sell them without telling the public or their customers,” Sherman said of the documents.’