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Syngenta stands behind the safety of atrazine

Greensboro, NC, USA, August 24, 2009 - Crop protection products play a crucial role in bringing abundant and affordable food to our dinner tables. Forty percent of the world's food supply would not exist without products like atrazine, a herbicide that helps farmers fight weeds in their corn, sorghum and sugar cane crops.

After 50 years of use, growers have come to rely on atrazine. It is a mainstay of American agriculture. And it is one of the best studied herbicides available today. Safety reviews around the world by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), World Health Organization, Canada, Australia and the UK have all come to the same science-based conclusion—atrazine, as labeled, can and has been used safely.

Atrazine is a critical tool for use in conservation tillage and no-till systems—farming methods that eliminate plowing and/or reduce tillage. Conservation tillage makes cropland much less vulnerable to soil erosion, which is reduced by as much as 90 percent when compared to intensive tillage. When soil erosion is prevented, so is the runoff into our waterways of sediment—identified by EPA as the top pollutant in US streams and rivers.

Farmers would not use a product that puts their own families and communities at risk, and after half a century, who would know better? Today, in part because of atrazine, farmers are able to grow more corn than ever, using environmentally sustainable methods. That means more food to feed a growing population.

Syngenta is a responsible company which takes the stewardship of all our products seriously—and atrazine is no exception. We've gone above and beyond the extensive studies required to register this product to ensure its safe and effective use. And as with all crop protection products, wide margins of safety exist with atrazine.

It's easy to believe fear-provoking claims about our nation's water when all the data and facts aren't presented. Let's be clear - water systems in the U.S. are safe where atrazine is concerned. Over the last three years, no water systems in the U.S. had atrazine levels in their drinking water that exceeded legal limits.

Syngenta is doing its part to ensure agriculture's sustainable use of our water supplies. Agriculture cannot exist without water, and Syngenta is at the forefront of research in drought-tolerant crops and inputs. Examples include drought-resistant maize and sunflower and a variety of sugar beet that can grow in tropical climates. We educate farmers and landowners across the globe on the use of best management practices to improve land management and protect water quality. To learn more about what Syngenta is doing in the critical area of water protection, please visit: http://www.syngenta.com/en/corporate_responsibility/water.html

With 7,000 employees and their families living in communities across the United States, all of us at Syngenta are interested in seeing that atrazine is properly regulated in the water we drink. We are convinced that it is. We stand firmly behind the safety of atrazine.

For more information, visit www.atrazine.com.

Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 24,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com.

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Media contacts:

Sherry Duvall Ford
Syngenta Crop Protection
336-632-6