Issue Date: October 12, 2009
EPA To Review Saftey Of Atrazine
EPA announced on Oct. 7 that it will reevaluate the human health effects of the herbicide atrazine. The decision was prompted by recent studies that suggest a potential link between atrazine in drinking water and birth defects, premature births, and low birth weight in humans. Atrazine has been widely used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds in corn, grain sorghum, sugarcane, and other agricultural crops for nearly 50 years. EPA plans to review both potential noncancer and cancer effects of atrazine in humans and seek advice from a group of independent science advisers in the next year. The agency is expected to complete its evaluation by September 2010. “Our examination of atrazine will be based on transparency and sound science, including independent scientific peer review, and will help determine whether a change in EPA’s regulatory position on this pesticide is appropriate,” Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides & Toxic Substances, said in a statement. Syngenta, the largest manufacturer of atrazine, claims that the herbicide is safe and is confident that EPA will come to the same conclusion.
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