On Friday, Syngenta announced it had reached an agreement - subject to court approval - to settle a dispute with municipalities over atrazine in relationship to drinking water. The $105 million agreement would end almost eight years of litigation.
The National Corn Growers Association issued a statement concerning the settlement. The group notes that the agreement ensures that corn farmers who depend on the important product continue to farm efficiently and safely. In the statement, NCGA acknowledges that it is concerned about the longer-term impacts of unmerited class-action lawsuits against agricultural production, "it is important that this case was resolved with an acknowledgement of the safety of atrazine."
Comments Garry Niemeyer, NCGA president: "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. 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."
NCGA points out that 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. In addition, Syngenta reports that the cost of the settlement to the company is $105 million. NCGA adds that local news reports in the St. Louis area report that lawyers for the plaintiffs will receive $35 million of that settlement - leaving $70 million for the municipalities.