Daily News Archive
From July 2, 2002

Two New Studies Reveal Dangers of Atrazine

Atrazine, the nation's most popular weed-killer, has been shown to be unsafe, reports the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC). According to two new studies, atrazine, most heavily sprayed on corn and other crops, causes sexual deformities in frogs and elevated levels of prostate cancer in workers who manufacture the herbicide.

Equally as shocking, the Swiss-owned firm and largest manufacture of atrazine, Syngenta, may have illegally suppressed these findings. In June 2000, the EPA ruled atrazine to be classifies as "not likely" to be a human carcinogen based on lack of information to classify the herbicide. Had the EPA known of these two studies, it may have ruled differently on atrazine's dangers.

Workers at Syngenta's atrazine production facility in St. Gabriel, LA were getting prostate cancer at 31/2 times the regions average rate. Also, Dr. Tyrone Hayes, a professor at the University of California Berkley discovered frogs suffered from severe sexual deformities when exposed to low levels of atrazine.

The NDRC has alerted the EPA of these two studies, urging them to reconsider the health threats atrazine may pose and ban the herbicide from the market. The EPA is expected to rule on the status of atrazine in August 2002.