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Campaign against Syngenta calls to end the production and ban "highly toxic" herbicide which allegedly has caused illnesses & deaths

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Article
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Author: Rachel Richterich, Le Temps (Suisse)

« Syngenta veut sauver la planète. Enfin, peut-être», 8 avril 2019 

...[Syngenta] va « accélérer ses efforts » pour répondre à ces enjeux, comme il l’affirme lundi dans un communiqué…

Syngenta va-t-il abandonner la fabrication de pesticides ? « Cesser la vente de certains produits extrêmement dangereux serait un premier pas essentiel », souligne Géraldine Viret de Public Eye. L’ONG a notamment dénoncé l’implication du Polo dans une vague d’intoxications survenue en 2017 en Inde, un insecticide de Syngenta interdit depuis dix ans en Suisse. Idem pour le Paraquat, classé produit toxique par la Confédération, qui demeure commercialisé dans certains pays.

Visiblement l’abandon de ces produits n’est pas pour tout de suite. Fidèle à sa rengaine, « Syngenta est résolument convaincu de la sécurité́ de ses produits, soumis à une règlementation rigoureuse »...

Se disant cependant «à l’écoute» – peut-être sous l’effet de l’amende de 81 millions qui a frappé son concurrent Monsantocondamné pour la dangerosité du RoundUp? –, la multinationale consent à « œuvrer à la réduction du niveau de résidus dans les cultures ». C’est donc ça la nouveauté.

Réduire de combien? En combien de temps? «Nous définirons des objectifs après discussion avec les différentes parties prenantes et les annoncerons plus tard cette année», répond au Temps une porte-parole de Syngenta...

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Article
21 December 2011

[DOC] Response by the Berne Declaration and the Center for Constitutional and Human Rights to Syngenta’s response to the negative human rights impacts of Paraquat

Author: Berne Declaration and the Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

All in all, Syngenta’s response shows once again that it jumps to conclusions about the safety of Paraquat, before even having analyzed the allegations referred to in the legal opinion. Syngenta should first assess the human rights impacts and then draw conclusions, not the other way around...Once again Syngenta mentions the number of farmers trained in their stewardship programs. However the legal opinion explains why it is not the number of farmers trained that is significant, but rather how effective the training is...We believe that this behavior is not in line with the Guiding Principles (GP 21). [The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Syngenta to respond to this rejoinder. Syngenta said it had no further comments]

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Company response
13 December 2011

Response from Syngenta to recent concerns of negative human rights impacts

Author: Syngenta

We have analyzed our Human Rights footprint in context of the UN "Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework for Business and Human Rights” and have aligned our code of conduct and labor standards accordingly...The allegations made in this report were unexpected given our engagement with business and human rights groups. Consequently, Syngenta is analyzing the report together with its external Human Rights partners. Syngenta believes that the International Day of Human Rights is an opportunity to support growers in continuing their essential contributions to food security. Unfortunately, the benefits of pesticides are repeatedly questioned – the avoidable risks associated with their use are disproportionate to their positive contribution to global food security.

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Article
9 December 2011

Stop Paraquat

Author: Berne Declaration

The campaign “Stop Paraquat”, conducted by non-governmental organisations, trade unions, and scientists around the world, calls to end the production and ban the use of the highly toxic and harmful herbicide...

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Article
1 December 2011

[PDF] The Distribution of Paraquat: Does Syngenta Respect Human Rights? – Legal Opinion

Author: Robert Grabosch LL.M. (Cape Town), Attorney at Law (Germany), for European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights & The Berne Declaration

The number of global cases of pesticide poisoning is estimated to be over one million each year. Tens of thousands of the cases result in death. A significant portion of these cases can be attributed to the use of Paraquat, which is the substance with the most victims in various countries. The product has been banned in Europe and Switzerland for years...The question, if, and in what manner, the sale of Paraquat stands in contradiction of fundamental human rights and more specifically, if, with the sale of Paraquat, market leader Syngenta exercises its obligation to respect human rights – or not has gained little attention so far...The verdict of this analyses is clear. With the sale of Paraquat – particularly in developing countries – Syngenta violates its responsibility to respect human rights. The Guiding Principles – also endorsed by corporations and business associations – are not being adhered to.

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