The distribution of Paraquat: Does Syngenta respect human rights?
Legal Opinion, December 2011
By Robert Grabosch
Together with the Berne Declaration, ECCHR has published a study on the responsibility of Syngenta for cases of intoxication caused by Paraquat, a pesticide produced by the corporation. The author of the study, Robert Grabosch, investigates the extent of Syngenta's responsibility according to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This is the first time the principles have been applied in this way.
The study marks the first time the principles have been tested to see if they can effectively protect the human rights of injured parties. Under the guidelines, Robert Grabosch concludes, Syngenta is unable in principle to distribute the highly-poisonous pesticides in certain regions of the world without violating the existing UN guidelines on human rights due diligence. It is highly regrettable that no legal obligations result from the human rights responsibilities existent under the guidelines.