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Chemical Companies Respond To Local Family's Lawsuit

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A local family is targeting major chemical companies, blaming pesticides for leading to a man's death, and several companies have issued statements in response to the lawsuit.

Thomas Walsh worked as a greenskeeper and golf course superintendent for 38 years, using more than two dozen different chemical pesticides over that time. Seven years ago, he died of leukemia at the age of 56. His son, KDKA sportscaster Rich Walsh, and his family believe that his leukemia was caused by the various pesticides. Now, the Walsh family is going after the chemical companies that made the pesticides in a lawsuit.

Some of the targeted companies in the lawsuit have issued statements in response.

Monsanto says, "Monsanto is one of many defendants named in this case. This lawsuit is without merit. Glyphosate is safe for human health when used as labeled. Glyphosate is not a carcinogen. Decades of experience within agriculture and regulatory reviews using one of the most extensive worldwide human health databases ever compiled on an agricultural product contradict the claims in the suit, which will be vigorously defended."

Bayer CropScience says, "Mr. Walsh unfortunately suffered from a disease that in most instances occurs without any identifiable cause. In any event, there is no credible scientific or other evidence that products manufactured by Bayer CropScience LP ('Bayer') can cause that disease or that they caused or contributed to the death of Mr. Walsh."

Syngenta says, "Syngenta stands by the safety of its products. Every crop protection product sold in the United States, including all those mentioned in this suit, must undergo a rigorous registration process with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This review requires more than 120 public studies and numerous intricate regulatory submissions to evaluate any potential impact on the environment and human health. To maintain a registration, this process is repeated at regular intervals. All of these products have met those high standards.

"Science and safety are at the heart of everything Syngenta does. Our commitment is visible in our public record of regulatory compliance and the integrity of our employees."

BASF says, "BASF considers the protection of health and safety of individuals and the environment as its most important responsibility, and it is committed to ensuring that its products meet all regulatory standards including rigorous safety testing. While we sympathize with Mr. Walsh's concerns, there is no evidence that the BASF product mentioned in this suit is capable of causing Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. Ten of the claims against BASF in this case have already been dismissed by the court. We are confident that the remaining claims will also be dismissed by the court based on the lack of scientific support presented by Mr. Walsh and his attorneys."

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