In 2016, Syngenta poisoned 19 workers at a research farm in Hawaii.
It sent them to a corn field that had been sprayed with Dow’s nerve gas pesticide chlorpyrifos — without any protective gear. After the workers were exposed, Syngenta failed to provide adequate decontamination supplies or emergency medical attention.
The EPA originally announced a fine of $4.8 million for Syngenta’s actions. But it recently stated that it would reduce the penalty to just $150,000. It cut the fine by more than 96%.
The EPA is responsible for regulating the pesticide industry. It should not let Syngenta off the hook.
Demand that the EPA hold Syngenta accountable for poisoning workers with toxic pesticides.
Chlorpyrifos is an extremely toxic pesticide. It’s part of a class of chemicals developed as a nerve gas by Nazi Germany. It has been linked to Parkinson’s disease and lung cancer.
In fact, chlorpyrifos is so hazardous that even the smallest amounts lower kids’ IQs, cause arm tremors in children, and structurally change the parts of the brain that control language and memory.
This chemical was banned for home use in 2001, due to its clear impact on children’s developing brains. Last year, the EPA moved to revoke all uses of chlorpyrifos. But then Trump’s EPA decided to reverse course.
EPA should be holding mega-corporation Syngenta accountable for exposing workers to this toxic pesticide. It shouldn’t be letting this polluter off the hook with a meager fine.
Demand the EPA make pesticide companies like Syngenta pay for pesticide misconduct.
After the EPA cut Syngenta’s penalty, another toxic chlorpyrifos-exposure incident was reported at the exact same Syngenta facility. A year later, 42 workers were instructed to enter a field recently sprayed with this toxic pesticide. One of the workers reported experiencing health problems from the toxic pesticide exposure.
The EPA must be held accountable for protecting our environment and public health, not pesticide company profits. It should be penalizing Syngenta — not giving it a petty fine for exposing workers to a toxic, brain-damaging pesticide.
Hold the EPA accountable: Don’t let it give Syngenta a free pass to poison people with pesticides.
Standing with you,
Senior food futures campaigner
Friends of the Earth