Blood Hurst & O'Reardon Investigates Syngenta AG's Disclosure of Atrazine Risks

Jun 17, 2010, 13:44 ET from Blood Hurst & O'Reardon, LLP

SAN DIEGO, June 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blood Hurst & O'Reardon, LLP is investigating whether Syngenta AG has been forthcoming regarding risks associated with atrazine, one of the  most widely used herbicides in the United States, in connection with its obligations to its stockholders.

Syngenta AG is a Swiss based agribusiness concern that markets and sells atrazine, an herbicide used in weed control for corn, sorghum and sugarcane crops. Atrazine is used in the production of 60% of corn, 75% of sorghum and 90% of sugarcane produced in the U.S. Syngenta says "it believes in atrazine" and maintains that atrazine "poses no threat to the safety of our drinking water supplies" and "passes the most stringent, up-to-date safety requirements in the world."

Notwithstanding Syngenta's assertions there is increasing concern about the effects of atrazine on human health and industry-funded portrayal of the science:

  • Recently the U.S. EPA announced that it "is considering the potential for atrazine cancer and non-cancer effects, including data generated since 2003 from laboratory animal and human epidemiology studies." In furtherance of this objective the EPA is seeking advice from an independent Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). The SAP met on April 26-29, 2010 to evaluate the human health effects of atrazine.
  • The President's Cancer Panel report published in April 2010 states that atrazine is "believed to have endocrine disrupting and possible carcinogenic properties." (p.22)
  • Syngenta, through a subsidiary, sells atrazine in the United States, but The President's Cancer Panel report notes that atrazine was "banned by the EU in October 2003 because of its ubiquitous and unpreventable water contamination" (p.22), and further states that "some evidence suggests that eliminating its use would have little impact on usable crop levels." (p.46)
  • A paper published in the spring of 2010 by two biologists at the University of South Florida stated that a "recent industry-funded review … on the biological effects of atrazine arguably misrepresented over 50 studies and had 122 inaccurate and 22 misleading statements. Of these 144 seemingly inaccurate or misleading statements, 96.5% appeared to be beneficial for Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. [a subsidiary of Syngenta AG], whereas only 3.5% appear to be neutral or detrimental to the company." "Preserving environmental health and scientific credibility: a practical guide to reducing conflicts of interest," Conservation Letters, 00 (2010) 1-8 at 4, J.R. Rohr and K.A. McCoy.

Syngenta investors, for more information please contact Timothy G. Blood, (619) 338-1100 or

tblood@bholaw.com

Blood Hurst & O'Reardon, LLP is a law firm specializing in the nationwide prosecution of complex class and representative actions. The firm represents consumers, insurance policy holders and investors in state and federal courts throughout the country, taking on the largest corporations, financial institutions and insurance companies whose actions injure people and small businesses. The firm prides itself on litigating cases to achieve meaningful results for individuals and society, and to hold insurance companies, banks corporations and other powerful entities accountable.

SOURCE Blood Hurst & O'Reardon, LLP



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