Documents: "Syngenta's Campaign To Protect Atrazine, Discredit Critics"

"To protect profits threatened by a lawsuit over its controversial herbicide atrazine, Syngenta Crop Protection launched an aggressive multi-million dollar campaign that included hiring a detective agency to investigate scientists on a federal advisory panel, looking into the personal life of a judge and commissioning a psychological profile of a leading scientist critical of atrazine."

"The Switzerland-based pesticide manufacturer also routinely paid 'third-party allies' to appear to be independent supporters, and kept a list of 130 people and groups it could recruit as experts without disclosing ties to the company. Recently unsealed court documents reveal a corporate strategy to discredit critics and to strip plaintiffs from the class-action case.

The company specifically targeted one of atrazine’s fiercest and most outspoken critics, UC-Berkeley's Tyrone Hayes, whose research suggests that atrazine feminizes male frogs. The campaign is spelled out in hundreds of pages of memos, invoices and other documents from Illinois’ Madison County Circuit Court, that were initially sealed as part of a 2004 lawsuit filed by Holiday Shores Sanitary District. The new documents, along with an earlier tranche, open a window on the company’s strategy to defeat a lawsuit that could have effectively ended sales of atrazine in the United States."

Clare Howard reports for 100Reporters and Environmental Health News June 17, 2013.

SEE ALSO:

"Frogs Feminized, But Atrazine's Effects On People Uncertain" (Environmental Health News)

Source: EHN/100Reporters, 06/18/2013