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Center for Media and Democracy unveils documents detailing insidious PR campaign to ‘greenwash’ weed-killer polluting drinking water across the country

MADISON,  WI — “Today, the Center for Media and Democracy posted more than 200 emails, invoices and other documents unsealed as part of a major lawsuit against Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., the primary manufacturer of the weed-killer ‘atrazine.’

‘These documents reveal a multi-million dollar effort by Syngenta and its PR flaks to influence the public’s perception of atrazine in an effort to stave off regulatory and legal action against the weed-killer, which has been found in drinking water across the nation. As part of this greenwashing effort, Syngenta’s PR team investigated the press and paid scientists, economists and other ‘experts’ to spin the media and the public on the ‘benefits’ of atrazine,’ said Lisa Graves, Executive Director of the Center for Media and Democracy.

The Holiday Shores Sanitary District vs. Syngenta and Growmark Inc. lawsuit was filed in 2006 and is still in the pre-trial stage. Holiday Shores is a small, lakeside community located in Madison County, Illinois, surrounded by farm fields. When the community’s water was found to be contaminated with atrazine, officials were worried about new scientific evidence linking atrazine to endocrine disruptive effects. They sought to upgrade their drinking water filtration system to extract the weed-killer only to find the upgrade prohibitively expensive. In this groundbreaking lawsuit, the community seeks financial help from the multi-billion dollar Swiss manufacturer to upgrade their filtration system to protect the public’s health.”

Sara Jerving, Center for Media and Democracy

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