GMO Firm Syngenta allegedly tainted the water supply of 52 million with hormonally-disruptive chemical Atrazine
May 29, 2012
The Swiss-based GMO company Syngenta settled a class action lawsuit for some $105 million over the dangers posed by its gender-bending herbicide Atrazine.
Water utilities in the U.S. Midwest sued over alleged contamination resulting from Syngenta’s weed killer Atrazine, which leaked into systems and potentially affected the drinking supply of some 52 million Americans in more than 2,000 water districts, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Atrazine, used as a herbicide by half of American corn growers, is banned in Europe and linked to “disrupting sexual reproductions in frogs” with some studies also linked to reproductive problems in humans.
However, Syngenta maintains that Atrazine is “safe,” and admitted no liability in its lawsuit settlement. “No one ever has or ever could be exposed to enough atrazine in water to affect their health,” a statement from the company claimed, perhaps ludicrously.
The EPA for its part has refused to ban Atrazine, but has looked at its potential dangers, and claims a “robust” regulation process that keeps America safe. However, a closer look at regulatory agencies including the FDA, EPA and USDA has demonstrated dangerous and uncomfortable dominance from biotech industry lobbyists. For instance, former Monsanto Vice President and lobbyist Michael R. Taylor (no known relation to Syngenta’s top exec) is the classic example of revolving door corruption, with a top post at the FDA and a role in writing regulatory policies (which invariably favor biotech interests).
This is yet another alarm bell warning us to proceed with grave caution with biotech, rather than rolling out the proverbial red carpet for industry to dominate our lives, economy and environment, in spite of all known risks.
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