Paraquat (also known by the brand name Gramoxone) is an herbicide that American farmers have been using since the 1960s. Paraquat is commonly used to “burn down” fields before planting or to desiccate crops such as cotton prior to harvest. Though paraquat has been on the market for decades, its use has increased substantially over the past decade and it is now one of the most commonly used herbicides in the United States.
Doctors and scientists have long suspected that that paraquat exposure is linked to Parkinson’s disease – a progressive, debilitating neurological condition that causes, among other symptoms, a resting tremor, muscle rigidity, slowed movement, and mental impairment. The leading study on the connection between paraquat and Parkinson’s found that farmworkers who were exposed to paraquat were two and a half times more likely to develop Parkinson’s than those who had not been exposed to paraquat. This finding is bolstered by numerous other research and studies, dating back at least to the 1980s, showing that those who were exposed to paraquat were at a greater risk for developing Parkinson’s.
In 2007, a court in the European Union went as far as to ban the sale of paraquat, thereby preventing paraquat from being sold in the 27 countries that are members of the EU. Numerous other countries—including South Korea, China, and Brazil—have also banned the sale of paraquat within their borders in recent years.
While the sale of paraquat remains legal in the U.S., health officials are becoming increasingly concerned about the dangers posed by paraquat exposure. The EPA imposed regulations in 2020 that placed additional restrictions on the use of paraquat and required that additional safeguards be taken by those handling paraquat.
Paraquat has been produced by numerous manufacturers, but the primary producer of paraquat over the past 30 years has been Syngenta and its corporate predecessors. Hare Wynn previously took on Syngenta for its negligence that led to a drop in the price of corn and helped obtain a $1.51 billion settlement from Syngenta for American corn farmers.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed by a physician with Parkinson’s and used paraquat prior to that diagnosis, Hare Wynn may be able to help you. If you are interested in pursuing a lawsuit against producers of paraquat, contact the defective product lawyers at Hare Wynn by calling 855-472-7824or completing our contact form.
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