Paraquat sold under the most common brand name “Gramoxone” is an herbicide that has been linked to Parkinson’s Disease. The toxic herbicide paraquat can also be found in products like Kingxone, Sweep, Revolver, and Total. According to the CDC: Paraquat (produced for commercial purposes in 1961) is one of the most commonly used herbicides worldwide. It is a highly toxic chemical used for weed and grass control. In the United States, Paraquat is available as a liquid in varying degrees of strength. Paraquat is highly poisonous, and because of this, the form marketed in the United States has added blue dye, a sharp odor, and an added agent to cause vomiting if someone drinks it. Paraquat from outside the United States, however, may not have these extra safeguards. Licensed applicators of Paraquat are the people who have the highest risk for exposure, but are by no means the only people at risk. If you live near industrial farms or have come in contact with people who may have the chemical on their clothes, you may also be at risk of Paraquat exposure.
Lawsuits against Syngenta the manufacturer of Paraquat went from 300 to over 700. District Court Judge Nancy Rosenstengel announced that the first bellwether jury trial on Paraquat will begin in November of 2022. The court also scheduled the final pretrial conference for October of 2022.
As the lawsuits continue to pile up it is placing pressure on Syngenta to pull paraquat products from the market whereas at the time of this writing Paraquat is still being used on the ground and in aerial spraying. “Instead of banning a weedkiller linked to Parkinson’s disease in farmworkers, reproductive harm in small mammals and increased death rates for birds, this administration is bowing to the wishes of the chemical industry and allowing it to be sprayed on crops from the air,” said environmental health science director at the Center for Biological Diversity Nathan Donley in a statement.