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We’re not number one. No, we’re number 485 and 494 out of 500. Newsweek did a year long study of the nation’s 500 largest companies and rated them according to how “green” they are. The only Missouri companies I saw on the list were Monsanto at 485 and AmerenUE at 494.

You can check out the entire list of 500 as well as the explanation of how Newsweek arrived at the rankings.

The article doesn’t go into details about the reasons for the rankings of particular companies in the list, so I don’t know specifically why Ameren would rate as one of the worst large corporations in the U.S., environmentally speaking. I suspect, though, that the recent lawsuits against Monsanto for its operations in Sauget, IL (right across the Missouri border) didn’t help its rating any.

Five lawsuits have been filed this year against Monsanto and a group of its spinoff companies by groups of cancer victims living in or within two miles of Sauget.

The legal complaint alleges that up until 1997, “more PCBs were produced at the Monsanto Facility than at any other site in the United States, and perhaps even the free world.”

(…..)

Carcinogens have been continuously released into the atmosphere from the Sauget locations since as early as 1935, the lawsuit claims.

“Defendants each knew or should have known that their conduct was causing the release of millions of tons of carcinogenic substances into the environment,” stated a 15-page complaint filed Aug. 21. The carcinogens are listed as PCBs, dioxin and furans, the byproducts of copper recycling and other industrial procedures that allowed the poisons to escape into the atmosphere or contaminate groundwater, the complaint alleged.

(…..)

The complaint involving the 32 women and one man recently filed in St. Clair County, alleges that Monsanto AG Products LLC, also called the “Monsanto defendants,” conspired with Industrial Bio-test Labs of Northbrook, Ill., “to falsely certify that the substances being released (in Sauget) were not carcinogenic, despite empirical evidence to the contrary.”

So Monsanto is number 485 out of 500, eh? Newsweek forgot to mention that its executives for these last fifty years also belong in the fourth circle of hell.