What is Paraquat or Paraquat Dichloride?
Paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides in the US for the control of weeds in many agricultural and non-agricultural settings and is also used as a defoliant on crops, such as cotton, prior to harvest. Paraquat is a safe and effective herbicide when used as directed on the label. However, for a number of reasons, suicide with agrochemicals is a tragic and regrettable social problem particularly in some less developed countries. Agrochemicals are also occasionally involved in cases of accidental ingestion, most often as a consequence of individuals breaching recommended practice by decanting product into unlabeled beverage bottles. Paraquat is the active ingredient of Gramoxone, which is used to control weeds and grasses and as a harvest aid desiccant and/or defoliant. It is a restricted-use pesticide due to acute toxicity and is for retail sale to and only for use by certified applicators. The product is toxic to humans as well as wildlife, is mildly corrosive to aluminum, and produces hydrogen gas which may form a highly combustible gas mixture in the presence of aluminum. It is commonly used as a burn down product, to control grass cover crops or volunteer cereals, and may provide control of perennial and annual broad-leaf weeds.
I can’t go 15 minutes watching television without seeing one of those shyster ambulance chasing commercials asking if you are a “victim” of Roundup.
Anyhoo, I saw the same type of commercial for “Paraquat.”
I thought, “WOW, I haven’t heard about Paraquat since the 1970’s when the USA was spaying it in drug fields in Mexico.”
In 1975, as part of “Operation Clearview,” the Nixon Administration started supplying Mexico with about $15 million annually in aid that included helicopters designed to spray marijuana and poppy fields with herbicides.
Officials had recommended spraying marijuana fields with herbicides—their stated intent was to kill the drug at its source by spraying the fields. But in deeply impoverished Mexico, where in the 1970s harvesting marijuana could make the difference between a yearly income of $200 and one of $5,000, many growers simply harvested the poisoned marijuana and shipped it north anyway.
Not sure if you can be part of the lawsuit if you claim to have smoked tainted weed.