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  • Writer's picturePollinator Stewardship Council

Paraquat Exposure and Parkinson's Disease

Numerous epidemiological studies have found an association between paraquat exposure and the onset of Parkinson's disease. These studies have shown that individuals exposed to paraquat are more likely to develop Parkinson's later in life. In March 2023, an article was published in Movement Disorders, the official journal of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society, suggesting that agnotology ("the deliberate production of ignorance often for commercial gain... created by inaccurate or misleading scientific data, disinformation, document destruction, and secrecy and suppression")  may have played a role in the continued manufacture and sale of paraquat. The article suggested that Syngenta may not have acted in the interest of public health and "...Rather than remove this dangerous chemical from the market or develop a safer alternative, the company doubled down on its “blockbuster” product and sought to expand its use." Since the publication of the article, paraquat manufacturer Syngenta has leveled an array of legal complaints and requests towards co-author Dr. Ray Dorsey, including a recent subpoena for "all documents and communications related to the Movements Disorder article, all documents 'relating to and copies of any literature authored in whole or in part' by Dorsey relating to paraquat, and relating to 'any association' between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease."   Read about Syngenta's response to the published article here.    

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