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Deadly Paraquat: Safety Measures Were Falsified To Keep the Herbicide on the Market

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Syngenta, an agrochemical manufacturer that sells pesticides worldwide, is now in the center of a legal firestorm. This comes after leaked documents, and the testimony of a company insider, revealed deadly secrets the company has long struggled to keep hidden. 

Greenpeace released a devastating takedown of Syngenta in their report titled “The Paraquat Papers”, which was published on March 24th 2021. Paraquat, sold under the brand name Gramoxone, is a Syngenta pesticide that has long been banned in numerous countries after claiming tens of thousands of lives, but is still used widely in the United States as a pesticide. The Paraquat Papers alleges that Syngenta knowingly used manipulated data to prove to US regulators that paraquat is safe for use. 

 

What Is Paraquat and Why Is It So Deadly?

Paraquat has been sold in the United States since 1964, and is used to kill weeds and grasses before planting. Paraquat is so toxic that consuming only a single tablespoon is enough to be fatal. Unfortunately, it has been consumed accidentally, and intentionally, thousands of times since its introduction in the 1960s.

Paraquat is now banned in more than 50 countries around the globe due to its deadly nature. Yet this dangerous chemical remains available for sale in the United States to this day. This is in large part because Syngenta convinced regulators they had come up with a way to make paraquat safe.

Why Is Paraquat Still Sold in the United States?

Syngenta added an emetic to paraquat in the 1970s. This is a chemical that will induce vomiting if swallowed. By adding the emetic, Syngenta stated that individuals who accidentally or purposefully drank paraquat would immediately vomit up the toxin, saving lives. The emetic added to paraquat was codenamed PP796.

The only problem? Newly uncovered documents reveal that PP796 never worked. What’s worse, is that Syngenta knew this, and still continued to tout their products’ safety. In fact, Syngenta had its concentration of PP796 declared the global standard for all paraquat-based weed killers via the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – a standard that is still in place today. 

 

Fabricated Data

John Heylings worked for Syngenta for 22 years, and has been trying to warn consumers and the company about the ineffectiveness of PP796 for years now. Heyling states that paraquat contains far too little PP796 for it to properly work as an emetic before the victim is killed by the pesticide, even for those who swallow the minimum lethal dose. 

Heylings also alleges that the concentrations that Syngenta uses are based on a report that was fabricated back in 1976, using data that was manipulated. The fabricated data claimed humans were 10 times more sensitive to PP796 than animal test subjects, instead of using the actual doses given to the animal test subjects as a reliable indicator. 

Paraquat and Parkinson’s

Heyling brought this information to Syngenta in 1990, but the company ignored him. In 2018, he again urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to change its standards in regards to paraquat – yet nothing was done. This has given rise to several lawsuits in the United States, all involving paraquat.

Several farmers have claimed they developed Parkinson’s disease after using paraquat on their farms. Studies have shown that farmers who use paraquat may be up to 11 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s after routine exposure to the pesticide. The disease can cause a loss of motor functions, imbalance, and shaking. Syngenta has repeatedly withheld warnings about the link between its product and Parkinsons, which has resulted in multiple lawsuits being filed. 

 

Paraquat Lawsuits

For too long, Syngenta has been allowed to market a deadly product in the United States, putting farmers and their families at risk. With growing public awareness of the lengths that Syngenta has gone to to keep this product on the market, the team at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt is tracking this evolving story closely. As Philadelphia’s Top Toxic Chemical Exposure Lawyers, If you or someone you love was impacted by the use of paraquat, we want to hear from you. Call us today at 1-866-333-7715 for a free consultation, or fill out our form

 

Retailing Giants Ending Sales of Inclined Infant Sleepers as CPSC Study Links Product to Over 73 Deaths

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After the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning in late October 2019 that inclined infant sleepers led to over 73 infant deaths, major retailers are finally responding and pulling these products from their shelves.

Consumer Reports urged retailers in an open letter they sent to 14 different retailing giants, including Amazon, eBay, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Kohls, that they pull these products from their stores in order to keep consumers safe.

Too many retailers had been skirting the issue by continuing to stock products intended for “snoozing,” “napping,” or “resting,” and Consumer Reports stressed that “It is not enough for the products to specify that they are not to be used for ‘prolonged’ sleep … any kind of inclined sleeping position poses risks to infants.”

The CPSC commissioned the biomechanical research to be led by Erin M. Manned, Ph.D., whose study found that “none of the inclined sleep products that were tested and evaluated as part of the study are safe for infant sleep.”

Which Inclined Sleeper Products Were Causing Infant Deaths?

With over 1,108 incidents reported to the CPSC so far, these types of sleepers have been sold at big-box retailers since 2014, and multiple brands and products have been facing recalls.

These include:

The Fisher Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper pictured above

Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers: These were recalled in April 2019 after a CPSC study links the product to over 30 infant deaths over 10 years. About 4.7 million sleepers were eventually impacted by the recall.

Fisher Price Ultra Lite Day & Night Play Yards: Shortly after the first recall, Fisher Price recalled approximately 71,000 inclined sleeper accessories for their Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards.

Kids II Rocking Sleepers: These infant sleepers were also recalled shortly after Fisher Price, with their product being linked to five infant deaths since their 2012 launch. These recalled affected approximately 694,000 units.

Dorel Juvenile Group USA’s Bassinets: Dorel had manufactured multiple infant sleepers sold under the Disney and Eddie Bauer brand names. In July 2019 the Eddie Bauer Slumber and Soothe Rock Bassinet and Disney Baby Doze and Dream Bassinet we both recalled affecting about 24,000 units.

SwaddleMe By Your Bed: Only recalled in January 2020, By Your Bed recalled almost 46,300 bassinets that caused similar issues as other recalled beds.

What About These Inclined Sleepers Is Causing Infant Deaths?

The deaths caused by these inclined sleepers is linked to a number of factors but ultimately the research identified carbon dioxide rebreathing, asphyxiation, and suffocation as causes of death.

Parents.com was able to speak to Dr. Mannen who performed the CPSC study identified a couple scenarios that infants were facing:

Suffocation Due to CO2 Rebreathing: The low breathability of certain materials (even mesh) located to the sides of the infants face can lead to carbon dioxide rebreathing which is a large risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Babies Rolling on Their Stomachs: In more than 20 of the cases studies the infants had been found on their tummies, and once they are in a stomach down position, they lacked the strength to push themselves into a new position which could lead to suffocation.

Positional Asphyxia In Standard Sitting Positions: In addition to the dangers of a child rolling over, even without rolling, infants were at risk of potential asphyxiation as the heavy head of an infant has a tendency to fall forward due to the steep angle of these inclined sleepers.

Legal Assistance Is Available For The Families Of Inclined Infant Sleeper Victims

If you or a loved one’s child was harmed after being placed in a Fisher-Price inclined infant sleeper or another brand of infant sleeper don’t hesitate to call our lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt directly at 1-800-590-4116 to learn how we can help you.

If your child has been harmed while sleeping, resting or playing in one of these devices, please don’t blame yourself. You purchased a baby item in good faith, believing it was safe for your child to rest there.

Now it’s time to explore your legal options to determine whether you’d like to pursue legal action against the manufacturer that produced an unsafe product. Please speak with our Pennsylvania Fisher Price Rock n Play law firm today about your options.

Your Breast Implants May Cause Lymphoma

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Breast implant lawyers Philadelphia

Were you diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) after receiving breast implants? Are you experiencing swelling, fluid retention, lumps, hardening or pain in or around your implants?

Duodenoscope News: Olympus Pays $6.6 Million; Fujifilm Recalls ED-530XT

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medical malpractice attorneys Philadelphia

There have been two recent developments regarding the spread of CRE Superbugs via duodenoscopes used in ERCP procedures that the FDA warned about in February 2016.

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