There's been a lot of legal talk, and legal action, against pesticide companies in recent years. The latest hits close to home. Greenfield, Iowa farmer Doug Holliday is the most recent producer to file a class-action lawsuit. Holliday is arguing that both Syngenta and Chevron USA failed to notify users of the possible dangers of using Gramoxone. One of the potential risks is acquiring Parkinson's disease.

What is paraquat?

Gramoxone is a weed-killing pesticide that contains paraquat as its active ingredient. Paraquat is one of only two remaining pesticides that can still be used in the U.S. but are banned or being phased out in Europe, China, and Brazil. Other brand names containing paraquat include Firestorm and Parazone. Paraquat is available primarily as a liquid in different varying strengths.

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Holliday is far from alone in suing to file a class-action suit

While Holliday is the first Iowa farmer to file a class-action lawsuit, he's far from alone. According to Progressive Farmer, there are at least 14 similar cases that have been filed in six different federal courts. Holliday's suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

Business Wire's story states the complaint alleges paraquat is typically formulated to include surfactants, a substance that tends to reduce the surface tension of a liquid in which it is dissolved. As a result, it can penetrate the skin and other tissues. Holliday, however, has not been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

The small town of Greenfield, Iowa is located southwest of Des Moines.

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