Corn can't grow in the courtroom

By The Madison County Record | Sep 6, 2009

If agricultural chemical companies can come up with products that get rid of weeds, why can't they invent one to get rid of parasitical lawyers?

Farmers in Illinois and elsewhere have used atrazine safely and effectively for 50 years to control weeds and increase their crop yields. The Environmental Protection Agency repeatedly has affirmed that atrazine levels in community water supplies are well below a cautious threshold.

According to one study, Illinois corn farmers and the state's economy could suffer more than $500 million in annual losses if the use of atrazine were banned or otherwise removed from the market.

Why would anyone want to eliminate a product that makes American farmland more fruitful?

Plaintiff's attorney Stephen Tillery thinks he has an answer. He hopes to reap a bountiful harvest from his six Madison County class action lawsuits against makers of atrazine-based weedkillers. He's representing the Holiday Shores Sanitation District, alleging that atrazine runoff poses an unsubstantiated hazard to its drinking water. He's also looking to increase his yield by encouraging the state's other sanitation districts to join the action.

With neither logic nor proven science on his side, Tillery is fertilizing his complaint with scattershot speculation and raw emotion.

The payday attorney has a personal stake in the outcome of these cases. So do Illinois farmers and consumers in-state and out who enjoy our reasonably priced corn and corn-based products.

Weeds are not a threat to Illinois farmers as long as they have atrazine. The biggest threat are those who seek to profit by demonizing an effective and proven-safe herbicide.

Maybe Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, in whose courtroom the case will be heard, can apply some long-overdue logic to this weed patch of legal mumbo jumbo. In these difficult economic times, her decisiveness could be of immense value to American farmers and consumers.

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