A Letter To Our Hard-Working, American Farmers Who May Be Hearing About Paraquat's Link To Parkinson's Disease, Yet Are Skeptical About The Emerging Lawsuits...
And How Litigation May Be Our Country's Best Defense Against The Growing Attacks On Our Freedom From The Lobbyists, Government Agencies and Foreign Enterprises That Don't Always Act In Our Best Interests
From the desk of:
Andrew E. Bederman, Managing Attorney
Greenberg & Bederman, LLC
To Our American Farmers,
By now, chances are good you've seen at least one advertisement regarding lawsuits related to the herbicide paraquat and its link to Parkinson's disease.
If you have been skeptical about these lawsuits, I understand.
However, I am here to tell you that whatever is holding you back from contacting an attorney, or holding you back from telling your friend to contact an attorney, must be set aside.
Not because there is a potential for significant money for you... for them... for me....
...But because there are much bigger, more principled things at play here than meets the eye.
What I am about to share with you -- in regards to the paraquat and parkinson's disease lawsuits -- will shock you.
As you may already be aware, exposure to the herbicide paraquat (most commonly purchased as Gramoxone®, manufactured by Syngenta) has been linked to Parkinson's disease. The scientific literature demonstrating this is strong.
I'm not going to get into all the research and studies showing this link. My team literally has stacks of literature we are happy to share and discuss with anyone.
But, that's not what this letter is about.
This letter pulls back the curtain and shines a light on who the victims of Parkinson's are filing claims against.
The biggest being Syngenta, the maker of Gramoxone® (their brand name for paraquat).
Syngenta, is an extremely unique company. It's unique because it is in no way a part of our nation's fabric of independent, hard-working American farmers and growers.
It's the opposite of that.
Are you proud to be an American? Do you stand for freedom? Pursuit of happiness? The principles this nation was founded on?
Well, I'm here to tell you that we all should be sick to our stomachs with what I am going to share with you about Syngenta.
Please stay with me. I promise to make it worth your time.
Here we go...
Syngenta's Parent Is A Communist Chinese Military Company. The People's Republic of China Owns Syngenta.
In 2015, the China state-owned chemical company, ChemChina (aka. China National Chemical Corporation), purchased Syngenta for a whopping $43 BILLION dollars.
So before we go any further, I need to make this crystal clear...
ChemChina owns Syngenta.
China owns ChemChina.
And thus... China owns Syngenta.
Additionally, many in America wrongfully think that ChemChina is simply a chinese business owned by chinese business people.
Here's the truth, as explained on our own U.S. Department of Defense website...
"[ChemChina] is a Communist Chinese military company owned by the People's Republic of China as part of China's Military-Civil Fusion development strategy, which supports the goals of the People's Liberation Army."
-- from U.S. Department of Defense website
How crazy is this?
Our beloved american farmers are trusting their burndowns to a chemical manufactured by the Communist Chinese military???
And that's not just me calling them that, that's LITERALLY on the U.S. Department of Defense website. (see here)
Sometimes when you find stuff out like this, you have to wonder if as crazy as it may seem, perhaps Communist Chinese takeovers of companies that do business in America are common?
Could it be that this kind of thing actually happens a lot, and we, as normal everyday americans, just didn't realize it??
ChemChina (owned by China) acquiring Syngenta for $43 Billion was a WILDLY abnormal event.
In fact, in the relatively small number of times China made an acquisition of a civilian company, this one for Syngenta was bigger than the 4 other biggest deals China ever made to acquire companies... combined!
And the Chinese takeover of Syngenta remains the single largest takeover of a company by China to date.
China really wanted to own Syngenta. China wanted Syngenta to be a part of its military apparatus.
Senators Tom Cotton and Chuck Schumer Tell Department of Defense To Release The Names of Any Communist Chinese Military Companies
In today's highly partisan political climate, it's damn near impossible to get republicans and democrats to actually work together on anything in a bi-partisan effort to secure America.
But even amidst the partisan dumpster fire that is capitol hill, something so equally important to both sides brought together those from the far-left and far-right.
So what's the one thing that somehow brought democrats and republicans together?
Communist Chinese military companies.
On September 11th, 2019, Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) teamed up to demand that the U.S. Department of Defense release a list of "Communist Chinese military companies owned or controlled by the People's Liberation Army operating in America".
In a letter submitted to the Secretary of Defense, also signed by Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) and Ruben Gallego (D-Arizona), the congressmen stated the following....
"The Chinese Communist Party has adopted a strategy of 'Military-Civilian Fusion' to achieve its national objectives, enlisting Chinese corporations and universities to harness emerging civilian technologies for military purposes. If Beijing cannot develop technology on its own, it attempts to steal it from the United States using cyber espionage, intelligence assets operating in the United States, and state-directed companies that acquire American firms to transfer proprietary information. Military-Civilian Fusion is the Chinese Communist Party's blueprint for China's global 'return' to military preeminence."
So the U.S. Department of Defense began their efforts to develop a list of companies...
ChemChina Named By U.S. Department of Defense As "Communist Chinese Military Company"
On August 28th, 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense finally released an updated list of Communist Chinese military companies to warn our nation.
Guess who was on the list?
You got it.... ChemChina (owner of Syngenta and manufacturer of Gramoxone® paraquat).
And you know... the list they came out with wasn't long.
It's not like there were hundreds or thousands of these companies.
The DoD simply released a 1-page document that only had 11 companies listed.
That's why I said earlier, that the $43 billion buy of Syngenta by ChemChina was unprecedented.
Oh, and get this...
ChemChina's CEO is a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party...
In fact, there is LITERALLY a Chinese Communist Party office inside of ChemChina's headquarters.
So I guess after having a communist pep talk at the party office about advancing the People's Liberation Army, the ChemChina employees can transition to the next office over for meetings about how Syngenta can get more paraquat in the hands of American farmers?
So, now that congress knew that Syngenta's owner, ChemChina was a threat to our nation and our economy, what else did our government do?
Trump Signs Executive Order Banning Any American Company or Individual From Owning Shares in ChemChina
In November 2020, President Trump signed into law an executive order banning any American company or individual from owning shares in ChemChina -- and the other companies named as Communist Chinese military companies.
Again, how crazy is this?
We have far-right republicans and far-left democrats coming together in unity (which almost never happens) because of national security fears surrounding ChemChina (and Syngenta)....
...And the DoD names ChemChina as a threat...
...And the President of the United States enacts an executive order to ban American shareholding of ChemChina.
Yet, somehow ChemChina's Syngenta can still sell BILLIONS of dollars worth of agrochemicals to our farmers?? Is that even safe for them? Safe for our food? Safe for any of us???
And meanwhile, our hard-working farmers aren't being told by anyone that the highly toxic Gramoxone® (paraquat) they are purchasing and spraying all over their fields is actually linked to the People's Liberation Army of China!?!
Look... I've been a practicing attorney for over 43 years. When you've been around as long as me, you see A LOT of stuff...
But I have to say... this may take the cake. I've never seen anything quite like what my team and I have uncovered about the biggest manufacturer of paraquat herbicide.
And I hate to admit it, but what I've shared thus far is just the tip of the iceberg.
We haven't even discussed how paraquat is causing many Americans to develop a higher rate of Parkinson's disease.
But at least at this point in the story, we know who owns the chemical -- a Communist Chinese military company.
Political Lobbying, Government Corruption & Massive Consolidation in Ag Science Industry Paved The Path For Paraquat Use Explosion
As a farmer or farmworker, you know that paraquat is one of the few products you use that actually has a skull and crossbones on the label...
It's dangerous stuff.
Scientists say that only a single sip of paraquat is needed to kill a human being.
Not to mention, new requirements were put in place that moved paraquat to a "restricted use" chemical -- meaning that only those that have received training on "safe handling" of paraquat are given a license to use it.
But with all we know now about its toxicity and its strong association with increased risk of Parkinson's disease, why did our own U.S. government allow our farmers to use it?
Syngenta Spends Millions of Dollars On Lobbying Government Officials
According to the Center For Responsive Politics, an organization that collects data on contributions to political interests from businesses, Syngenta poured huge money into both individual politicians and PACs (political action committees).
Their top contribution in the 2016 political cycle to an individual candidate?
And in terms of congressional candidates, 96.94% of their contributions went to incumbents.
Syngenta also spent nearly $1 Million in expenses on lobbying efforts in 2016.
The Center For Responsive Politics reports that they paid for nine (9) lobbyists during this period.
Of those nine (9) lobbyists, six (6) are what you call "revolver" lobbyists -- meaning they were at one time, prior to becoming a lobbyist, a government regulator, member of Congress or congressional staff.
What American who has been in government would willingly take money from a company owned by a Chinese Communist military company -- and lobby on their behalf in Washington??
Paraquat Use Banned In China Due To "Health Risks", But They Have No Problem Selling It To U.S. Farmers...
So China buys the paraquat manufacturer Syngenta for $43 Billion and bans the sale and use of paraquat in its own country?
Why, you ask?
China banned paraquat, "in order to protect the health and safety of the people".
...But China did make an exception for the "exporting of paraquat" to other countries, like America.
Doesn't that make you feel good?
Now, I know weed control is getting harder and harder...
Farmers are dealing with weeds that are more and more resistant to glyphosate...
Midwest states like Ohio and Indiana suffer terribly with marestail...
Dicamba is one of the most heated debates down in Arkansas and Louisiana...
And no-till is exploding in popularity across the U.S. which is why we've seen a shift from glyphosate use to paraquat.
But, just the fact that paraquat is banned in 32 countries, including Europe, Brazil and China is troubling.
The European Union actually decided to ban its use in 2007 due to the emerging studies linking it to Parkinson's Disease.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Has Known About Paraquat Toxicity Concerns Amongst Farmers Since the 1980's
We've known about the toxicity issues with Paraquat use for decades now.
Even back in 1997, the EPA reported that exposure to paraquat during the "mixing, loading and application of the herbicide and during the post-application process" was the primary method of toxic human exposure to the chemical.
The EPA even noted that while paraquat was banned for use in residential applications, toxic exposure "is possible" for individuals who lived in close proximity to fields and farms where paraquat was used.
So we've understood that it's a highly toxic chemical for a long time.
And in regards to Parkinson's disease, it was back in the 1980's that large-scale studies were beginning to show a higher incidence rate of Parkinson's disease in rural communities.
But at the time, they didn't quite understand exactly why the rural communities were linked to higher rates of Parkinson's.
They just knew that the evidence from the 1980's studies showed a higher incidence of Parkinson's amongst farmers, those who worked with farm animals, those who lived on farms and also those that simply lived in rural communities.
2009 and Onward: Study After Study Link Paraquat Exposure to Parkinson's Disease
In April 2009, a groundbreaking 9-year study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology completely rocked the research community about the Parkinson's risk with paraquat herbicide.
This study analyzed 368 people with Parkinson's disease who lived in the Central Valley of California against a population control group of 341 people.
The authors of the study devised and confirmed a complex tool to assess chemical herbicide use in the Central Valley of California using geospatial mapping, California Pesticide Use Reports and land-use maps to estimate historical exposure to agricultural pesticides (such as paraquat) within residential communities.
What they found was shocking...
The study ultimately concluded that the use of paraquat within 500 meters (that's about 5 and a half football fields away) of your home increased your risk of developing Parkinson's disease by a staggering seventy-five percent (75%).
In February 2011, an equally groundbreaking study was conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH). The NIH studied 110 agricultural workers who had Parkinson's disease.
What the study discovered was that individuals were roughly 2.5x more likely to develop Parkinson's disease after being exposed to paraquat.
Dr. Freya Kamel of the National Institute of Environmental Health & Sciences, a co-author of an equally large study of agricultural health at NIH said these findings were, "about as persuasive as these things can get."
Another medical journal in June 2011 also released a report stating, "Parkinson's disease was strongly associated with paraquat."
In November 2011, a new study looking at the genetic modification that takes place after exposure to paraquat concluded that individuals who unluckily had a specific genetic variation (that made them more prone to developing Parkinson's) were 11x more likely to develop Parkinson's if ALSO exposed to paraquat.
Without going into significantly more detail, just know that more and more large-scale studies have emerged since -- all strongly correlating exposure to paraquat with development of Parkinson's disease.
These new studies continued to be published in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and on....
Syngenta Never Warned Our Farmers of Parkinson's Disease Risks and Failed to Make An Adequately Safe Product
One of the biggest lessons we all learn in life is that nobody will look out for you better than yourself...
The government can't look after you, the EPA can't look after you, and these chemical companies can't look after you.
Between the corrupt politicians, broken government agencies and power-brokering lobbyists, we can't always trust that the decisions that are made in Washington regarding hazardous chemicals and herbicides are in our best interest.
When the EPA bans a chemical, many folks get angry. But when the EPA approves a chemical, people assume that means the chemical is safe.
But what a lot of people don't understand is that more responsibility falls on the company in terms of product safety.
America has laws in place that require chemical manufacturers to monitor and disclose adverse health findings -- whether it is reports received or internal studies that show new dangers.
There are also laws that require chemical manufacturers to properly warn users of the known risks associated with a chemical.
And even more, there are laws that hold chemical companies accountable if they fail to create an adequately safe product -- especially if they know they can improve the product's safety, but chose not to for, typically, profit-related reasons.
Which leads me to mention yet another troublesome tidbit about Syngenta...
Former Lead Toxicologist at Syngenta Blows Whistle On Paraquat Safety... "I have evidence here of wrongdoing"
For 22 years, Jon Heylings was lead toxicologist at Syngenta -- with specialization in paraquat (ie. Gramoxone®) and studying its toxic effects.
He is now blowing the whistle on Syngenta, claiming that THEY KNEW that many adverse health events were occurring... AND were told by their own internal scientists how Gramoxone® could be improved to make it safer... BUT failed to improve the product's safety by implementing the recommendations.
The former Syngenta lead toxicologist said...
"I have evidence here of wrongdoing, and I'm determined to see this through."
When asked in an interview about the culture at Syngenta, Mr. Heylings response was, "Syngenta, time after time... they're still trying to deny any wrongdoing."
Have You, or a Friend, Developed Parkinson's Disease While Working Or Living On A Farm That Used Paraquat Herbicide?
Till now, I haven't really mentioned who I am or what I do too much, so here it is...
My name is Andy Bederman.
I'm an attorney and I own a law firm named Greenberg & Bederman.
Myself and my entire legal team are putting a tremendous amount of effort into investigating these cases.
Our goal is to help the farmers, agricultural workers and the folks who simply live on or near a farm that sprayed paraquat.
My team isn't for or against herbicide use. We aren't environmentalists that want to up-end conventional farming techniques or promote one thing over another.
What we do want is for our American people to have as good of chance at a quality of life as possible.
We love our country and realize that there are companies out there that don't always have our best interests at heart.
In this case, it's a Communist Chinese Military Company.
And they don't even allow the use of this chemical in their own country... which just floors me...
...Because that's exactly like an owner of a restaurant telling his own family not to eat the food that comes out of the kitchen because it's not safe -- but happily sells it to the unlucky patrons that come through the door -- who don't have the luxury of seeing the kitchen.
It's not right.
We can't rely on the government... we can't rely on China... and we can't rely on the EPA to act in anyone's best interest.
It's us, the American citizens, who need to stand up to these powers and really fight for not only our protection and safety, but for that of our children and grandchildren, too.
You don't deserve Parkinson's. Your kids and neighbors don't deserve Parkinson's. And America doesn't deserve to have our food sprayed by products manufactured by a company owned by the People's Republic of China.
So if you, or a friend, has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease -- and worked or lived on or near a farm -- take one small step to have a conversation with an attorney who can hopefully help you. And I mean, significantly help you.
Certainly I'd hope that'd be me and my team, and I'd be dedicated to doing just that. But, take action because like I've said so many times in this letter...
No one is going to look after you or your family's best interests more than you.
Especially not the Communist Chinese military owned Syngenta.
I wish you the very best and God Bless our great nation.
Owner & Managing Attorney
Law Offices of Greenberg & Bederman, LLC
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