The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is re-evaluating the regulation of atrazine, a powerful weed killer that is banned in Europe, but widely used by U.S. corn growers. Based on his 2007 study on the subject, Triple Crisis blogger Frank Ackerman’s recent op-ed article in the Des Moines Register questions the economic benefit of atrazine use.
“My research on the economics of atrazine shows that its benefits are greatly exaggerated. Corn yields and farm incomes would barely be affected by switching from atrazine to the next-best alternatives.
“Why is atrazine controversial? Everyone agrees that it kills weeds. But there are two rival stories about its health risks. Industry-sponsored research and agribusiness lobbies say that atrazine is completely safe and has been used for decades without harm to humans. Independent university researchers and peer-reviewed scientific literature say that it is a powerful endocrine disrupter that makes male frogs into hermaphrodites at very low concentrations and causes neural damages and cancer in laboratory animals.”
Read the full Des Moines Register column.
See Ackerman’s original study on atrazine.