Popular Herbicide Linked to Parkinson’s Disease: Paraquat Lawsuit

 

Lawsuit Against Paraquat

Plaintiffs who were exposed to paraquat and were then diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are now filing paraquat lawsuits. If you or a loved one has Parkinson’s disease and suspect it is caused by paraquat exposure, please contact TorHoerman Law today to talk with a paraquat Parkinson’s disease injury lawyer or use our chatbot below for a free, instant online case review.

If you or a loved one was exposed to paraquat and then diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you might be eligible to join the paraquat case. Contact TorHoerman Law today for a private, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.

Do you want to know right away whether you qualify for the Paraquat Parkinson’s disease lawsuit? For a free instant online case review, please use the chatbot below.

What exactly is paraquat?

The chemical agent paraquat dichloride (paraquat) is most widely used as a herbicide. Although it was developed more than 130 years ago, its use as a herbicide did not become widespread until the mid-twentieth century. The herbicide agent paraquat is now used on over 100 different forms of crops.

Is Paraquat Harmful?

According to the American Council on Science and Health, the relative toxicity of paraquat to glyphosate, another widely used herbicide that is considered to be toxic, ranges from 33 to 250. The average person’s lethal dose is about 2.5 grams, and it is much more harmful when inhaled.

Parkinson’s Disease and Paraquat

Paraquat exposure has been linked to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to studies.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a report – the Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) – in February 2011 to investigate concerns that exposure to the common herbicide paraquat could be related to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Following the publication of the report, Syngenta, a Swiss herbicide maker, said on its website that data from the study showed that farmers who use Paraquat are less likely than the general population to develop Parkinson’s disease.

A FAME study discovered that paraquat increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

FAME drew information from the Agricultural Health Study, a broader project that followed over 80,000 producers, agricultural workers, and their spouses. FAME researchers found 115 people who had Parkinson’s disease and studied 110 of them who were willing to provide information on the herbicide they often used.

Syngenta contested the results, claiming that since only 115 people developed Parkinson’s disease out of more than 80,000 North Carolinians and Iowans in the Agricultural Health Study, a causal connection between paraquat and an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s could not be confirmed.

Dr. Caroline M. Tanner, the lead author of the FAME report and the director of the Parkinson’s Disease Research, Education, and Clinical Centers at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, clarified that Syngenta’s statement was without merit. Tanner contended that FAME did not have a thorough evaluation of the incident Parkinson’s disease for all 80,000 people. Rather, the study selected a group of people who did have Parkinson’s disease and compared them to a control group.

In fact, FAME relied on self-reporting from Agricultural Health Study participants. “There were probably quite a few people with Parkinson’s disease who did not participate in our research,” Dr. Freya Kamel, a scientist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a branch of the National Institutes of Health, and co-author of the FAME study, said.

Syngenta said that it “went to great lengths to try to access the data” from the FAME report so that the company could “gain as full an understanding of the study as possible in the pursuit of scientific rigor.” Syngenta’s study was deemed inappropriate by Kamel.

The FAME study evidence linking paraquat to Parkinson’s was “about as convincing as these things can be,” according to Kamel.

Paraquat is now illegal all over the world.

Paraquat is prohibited in 32 countries worldwide. Notably, despite the fact that the herbicide is manufactured in Switzerland by Syngenta, its use has been prohibited in the country since 1989.

Despite the fact that paraquat has been on the banned substances list in England and in the European Union since 2013, one of Syngenta’s main paraquat manufacturing facilities is located in Northern England, with the majority of the yield going to the United States.

Paraquat is also produced in China. Despite its reputation as an industrial nation with weak environmental regulations, China declared in 2012 that it will begin to phase out paraquat in order to “protect people’s lives.”

In the United States, there has been an increase in the use of paraquat.

However, in recent years, Paraquat has become a common alternative to Monsanto’s Roundup in the United States. Roundup has long been the herbicide of choice for American farmers, but as weeds and pests become more resistant to it and lawsuits alleging risks and accidents emerge, farmers are turning to alternative herbicides and pesticides to handle their crops.

In light of the Roundup controversy, paraquat has emerged as the preferred herbicide alternative, especially for soybean fields, where the number of pounds used has increased fourfold in the last decade.

EPA Paraquat Regulatory Filing

In a regulatory filing in March 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that it will investigate further the potential health risks associated with paraquat. The filing is part of an EPA-sponsored program that re-evaluates all pesticides every 15 years.

The agency said in the announcement, “There is a wide body of epidemiology evidence on paraquat dichloride use and Parkinson’s disease.” The EPA intends to determine whether to list Paraquat as a prohibited substance or continue to allow the chemical to be sprayed on US cropland, but a final decision is not anticipated until at least next year.

FAME findings are supported by new research.

A report published in Nature Chemical Biology in December 2016 reassures researchers who believe paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease. A CRISPR screen, which looked for potential agents that increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease in people who had been exposed to paraquat, discovered a pathway needed for paraquat-induced cell death in humans. Using an innovative gene-editing technique, the researchers discovered that after being exposed to paraquat, genes that may contribute to Parkinson’s disease were detected. Furthermore, the study discovered that araquat destroys cells through a mechanism known as oxidative stress.

A lawsuit has been filed against paraquat.

A paraquat case has been filed in St. Clair County, Illinois. The case, filed on October 6, 2017, is on behalf of farmers and agricultural workers who were exposed to paraquat and developed Parkinson’s disease as a result. Syngenta and Growmark were the initial defendants in the araquat case.

Plaintiffs in the Paraquat case argue that Syngenta and Growmark have been manufacturing, distributing, and selling Paraquat as Gramoxone or under other names since 1964.

Plaintiffs listed Chevron Chemical as a defendant in an amended lawsuit, alleging that Chevron operated in concert with Syngenta and Growmark.

Are you able to take part in the Paraquat Lawsuit?

If you were previously exposed to Paraquat — or a related herbicide, Rotenone — and developed Parkinson’s disease or symptoms of continuing Parkinson’s disease, you might be eligible to join in the Paraquat litigation.

Contact Paraquat Claims Center for:

  • Free Consultations
  • 24/7 Paraquat Claim Helpline
  • (844) 718-0783

 

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