The American Farm Bureau Federation has told an EPA panel there’s no basis for the agency to keep reviewing the safety of the 50-year old herbicide atrazine.
Farm Bureau Regulatory Specialist Tyler Wegmeyer testified at an EPA Scientific Advisory Panel hearing that the campaign against atrazine appears to be based on claims that have been examined and re-examined. He argued that in each case - EPA found in favor of continued use of atrazine.
Wegmeyer has charged that the EPA is following the lead of environmentalists opposed to one of the oldest herbicides on the market…
“Well, we’re concerned that EPA is looking to restrict the use of Atrizine and there is a great threat from the environmental community to all-out cancel it, and remove it all together.”
Banning atrazine or using other, less effective herbicides would mean sacrificing today’s record corn yields - especially for a growing number of acres using conservation tillage that depend increasingly on atrazine.
Wegmeyer says atrazine’s loss would be a major blow to corn and livestock producers …
“Atrizine is used widely in over 60 countries, is used widely here in the Untied States, has been for the past 50 years. Any threat of the removal of this chemical, this essential crop protection tool is of concern to our farmers and ranchers across this country.”
Wegmeyer warned the EPA panel there’s just not enough time in its compressed meeting schedule to evaluate a flood of new data as it turns away from six-thousand earlier studies EPA used to re-approve atrazine in 2006.
The Natural Resources Defense Council is leading the opposition - citing spiked levels of atrazine in municipal water systems after rains or planting time use. Atrazine-maker Syngenta argues the herbicide has been found at safe levels in drinking water.
The Bush EPA studied the chemical and made no changes in its registration. An Obama EPA decision could occur late next year.
To weigh in on the subject via the AFB, click here...