Who Will EPA Believe About Atrazine?
As the country awaits the results of the Environmental Protection Agency’s second review of atrazine since 2003, its manufacturer- Syngenta- is taking advantage of this feet-dragging process, funding research that exonerates the popular herbicide and submitting it to the EPA.
According to Mother Jones Food and Ag blogger, Tom Philpott, the case against atrazine has gotten so strong, the EPA is considering joining the European Union in banning it altogether. According to the article, a letter submitted to the EPA by Physicians for Social Responsibility stated this:
Several scientific studies have found a link between long-term exposure to atrazine and breast cancer. A study of women from all 120 counties of Kentucky showed a statistically significant increase in breast cancer risk with medium and high levels of atrazine exposure. A study from UK found a significant association between breast cancer rates and the application of atrazine in rural Leicestershire. Other studies using lab rats as subjects found exposure to atrazine increased risks of breast and prostrate cancers.
Atrazine has also recently been linked to birth defects, and to malformations in frogs, who are often the canaries in the coal mines when it comes to measuring environmental health.
Will objective science trump corporate power this time? That remains to be seen.