Brazil sues Syngenta for environmental damage

08 July 20242 min reading

Brazil's IBAMA has sued Syngenta, alleging the company used excessive levels of a carcinogenic chemical in its pesticides, causing significant environmental harm. The agency is seeking damages and the recall of affected products.

Brazil's environmental agency IBAMA has filed a lawsuit against Syngenta, claiming the chemicals company produced and sold pesticides containing concentrations of the carcinogen bronopol far above legal limits. According to court documents seen by Reuters, the suit alleges that the insecticide "Engeo Pleno" contained bronopol levels almost three times higher than allowed by law.

IBAMA also claimed that bronopol was illegally added to the insecticides "Karate Zeon 250 CS" and "Karate Zeon 50 CS," despite it not being part of their official formulations. The agency is seeking damages to address the environmental and health issues caused by these products and has requested the recall and proper disposal of unsold products.

Syngenta, which is headquartered in Switzerland and controlled by ChemChina since 2017, responded by presenting evidence to the court asserting there was no environmental risk or damage from the allegations. The company noted that health agency ANVISA, the agriculture ministry, and IBAMA recently approved a new version of "Engeo Pleno" based on the bronopol levels cited in the lawsuit. However, Syngenta did not comment on the other two products mentioned.

IBAMA estimates that Syngenta produced 4.7 million liters of the adulterated insecticides, marketing at least 4.4 million liters, generating over 400 million reais ($73 million) in sales. The agency's lawsuit demands that the company identify, collect, and safely dispose of any remaining products still on the market.

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