Commentary: Smear campaign against atrazine and Syngenta
The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) recently took a wild swing at Syngenta Crop Protection, and although AgProfessional doesn’t agree with the organization’s position, we feel it's important to inform our readers that outrageous claims have been distributed to the mass media. We don’t even see the need for a response from Syngenta because the company has previously disavowed the claims against atrazine as untrue and as information pulled out of context.
The CMD posted more than 200 emails, invoices and other documents from lawsuits against Syngenta related to the continued registration of atrazine. The CMD comes out throwing mud with claims that Syngenta and its “PR flaks” have spent millions of dollars “to influence the public’s perception of atrazine in an effort to stave off regulatory and legal action against the weed-killer.”
Wow, what a discovery! Yes, Syngenta has had to spend millions of dollars to counter the negative and false information spread about atrazine. The crop protection herbicide has been the focus of attacks by activists even though it has gone through appropriate Environmental Protection Agency review. Since when is it a crime to pay for scientific review or research by a third-party?
The CMD calls Syngenta’s actions a “greenwashing effort.” Sensationalism and name calling is what the CMD appears to be the best at doing in their “news” report.
The CMD points to some of those activist lawsuits against Syngenta as proof of something going on, although I don’t see proof, just claims. They cite The Holiday Shores Sanitary District vs. Syngenta and Growmark Inc. lawsuit, filed in 2006, which is still in a pre-trial stage. The suit was filed because some level of atrazine was found in drinking water and the plaintiffs have their own so-called scientists talking about “endocrine disruptive effects” from atrazine.
In essence, it appears that through this lawsuit, the activists want Syngenta to pay for high-priced filtration systems for every community in the U.S. to remove every molecule of atrazine. Both are completely absurd—paying for filtration of every drop of water in the U.S. and assuring that there won’t be a single molecule of atrazine or any other molecule of herbicide in U.S. drinking water.