Atrazine Settlement a Relief for Farmers

Cindy Zimmerman

Syngenta is hoping that a settlement reached last week over atrazine in water supplies will help the farmers who depend on the herbicide that is more than 50 years old.

The proposed settlement agreement will cost the company $105 million and still requires court approval but the hope is that it will “end the uncertainty and expense of almost eight years of litigation.”

“This settlement is good for the company and the farmers who depend on atrazine, as well as our retailers, distributors, partners, and others who have been inconvenienced by this ongoing and burdensome litigation,” said Syngenta officials in a press release.

“We’re relieved that a settlement has been reached that will allow our farmer members to use this proven and safe tool on their farms,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Garry Niemeyer. “Atrazine safety has been verified by thousands of studies and numerous reviews by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and we’re happy to have this nuisance lawsuit behind us so our growers can move forward and do what they do best – help feed and fuel the world, sustainably.”

In making the settlement, Syngenta “acknowledges no liability and continues to stand by the safety of atrazine,” while the $105 million will be used for water systems that have “detected any amount of atrazine in its raw or finished water in the past or up to approximately 90 days after the date of preliminary approval of the settlement.”

According to the settlement, the scientific evidence continues to make it clear that no one ever has or ever could be exposed to enough atrazine in water to affect their health when the product is used according to its label. The plaintiffs acknowledge that they have not commissioned and are not aware of any new scientific studies relating to the safety of atrazine.

The court settlement hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

Corn, Crop Protection, NCGA