BASEL, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The following is a statement from Sygenta:
Syngenta is deeply concerned and saddened at the unfortunate death and hospitalization of farm workers in the Yavatmal region in the state of Maharashtra as a result of exposure to alleged pesticide products in late 2017. These incidents have been the subject of media reporting in Switzerland this week.
We strongly condemn the various salacious and incorrect reports alleging that our crop protection product Polo was responsible for the unfortunate incidents. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that Syngenta’s product Polo, was at all responsible for the incidents that have occurred.
Furthermore, the government appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) report specifically acknowledged the efforts of Syngenta during and immediately following the incident. Syngenta was the first company to respond to the incident and worked closely with the district administration in ensuring the availability of protective equipment, providing safe handling training and medical treatment to the affected people.
Syngenta’s Polo has been successfully and safely used by Indian Farmers across the country for last 14 years without any reported incidents of fatality or casualties. Syngenta’s Polo is neither banned nor suspended from sale in India or in the state of Maharashtra. The product is registered by Central Insecticide Board & Registration Committee (CIB & RC) in India, meeting all stipulated registration guidelines and after stringent scrutiny about its efficacy and safety aspects to humans, animals and environment. It is classified as BLUE Triangle meaning it is non-irritant to skin and the mucous membrane.
Across the world in the more than 90 countries in which we operate, Syngenta places the utmost importance on the safe use of our chemicals and products. We undertake extensive stewardship activities including doctors training, safe handling training and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We conduct safe handling of pesticide training program including the “Five Golden Rules” of handling pesticides before every farmer meeting. In the last four years Syngenta has trained more than 25 million farmers around the world in the safe use and handling of our products. In 2017 in South Asia alone, we trained some 5.56 million farmers in the safe use and handling of our products.
Since the unfortunate incident in Yavatmal, our teams have conducted stewardship programs in the district and adjoining regions, conducted doctor training programs and established mobile health clinics to support treatment of farmers who may have been affected. Our mobile health clinics have reached more than 25,000 farmer families since the program began in response to the incidents. We have also distributed more than 10,000 PPE kits for spray men in collaboration with the Panchayats. All of this has been done despite the clear evidence that none of the unfortunate incidents that occurred were the result of the use of Syngenta’s Polo insecticide. The actions we have undertaken have been because of our strong commitment to the communities in which we operate and because we care deeply about the health and safety of all farmers who use our products.
Recent media reports have also failed to recognize that there are more than 30 technical indigenous (generic) manufacturers and more than 200 “Me Too” formulation registrants of the same combination in India which are also sold in the market. These products have often been “marketed” as Polo but without the support and commitment to safe use and stewardship that Syngenta requires.
Various formulations of Diafenthiuron, the active ingredient in Polo, have been registered in more than 25 countries around the world. Polo is not banned in Switzerland – it is not registered nor sold in the country. Around the world, Syngenta’s Polo is only sold by Syngenta authorized distributors and retailers who are trained in the safe use of the product.
Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit www.syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com. Follow us on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/Syngenta.
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