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Kansas farming communities targeted by trial attorneys for atrazine lawsuit

[ 0 ] April 13, 2009 |

From High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal:

News that two Kansas agricultural communities have signed on as participants in a class action lawsuit against the maker of the farm herbicide atrazine came as both a surprise and a disappointment to the Kansas Corn Growers Association and the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association. The cities of Hillsboro and Marion were selected by a group of Texas trial lawyers seeking drinking water systems to sign on to their case.

Jere White, executive director of KCGA and KGSPA has been involved with atrazine issues on a national level since 1995 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began a Special Review of the triazine herbicides including atrazine.

“What concerns me is that these city councils only heard one-sided information provided by the Texas law firm of Baron and Budd, which will reportedly collect a third of any winnings of the lawsuit,” White said. “Why not also get information from experts that don’t have a monetary interest, like Kansas Department of Health and Environment or EPA?”

In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency gave a favorable risk assessment to the triazine herbicides including atrazine concluding that they pose no harm that would result to the general U.S. population, infants, children or other consumers.

After the EPA’s positive science-based findings on atrazine, activists have turned to the legal system in hopes of finding another way to ban the herbicide, White said.

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