Published: June 9, 2021

Category: Pesticide News

First glyphosate herbicide was the target of lawsuits over its connection to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer, and now makers of paraquat herbicide are facing lawsuits because the weedkiller is linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Doug Holliday, a farmer in Adair County, Iowa, is leading a nationwide class-action lawsuit against the manufacturers of paraquat. On behalf of himself and other farmers who have used paraquat, Holliday is suing Syngenta and Chevron for manufacturing and selling the herbicide in Iowa and throughout the U.S. Holliday says he used paraquat on his crops starting in the 1990s.

The lawsuit says paraquat is “the most highly, acutely toxic herbicide to be marketed over the last 70 years.” It is banned in more than 30 countries, including European Union nations, and even in China, which is known for its lax regulatory stand on health and environmental issues.

The defendants are accused of failing to adequately warn Holliday and other users that exposure to paraquat significantly increases their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, and with failing to adequately test paraquat.

2011 study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the Parkinson’s Institute collected data from a federal survey of farm families in Iowa and North Carolina, and concluded that those individuals were two and a half times more likely to develop Parkinson’s if they had used paraquat or another herbicide, rotenone.

In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that “there is a large body of epidemiology data on Paraquat dichloride use and Parkinson’s disease.”

Despite the health risks, the product remains legal to sell and use in the United States where its use in soybean fields has increased.

Source: Iowa Capital Dispatch

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights June 2021