Activists and trial attorneys ramped up their attacks on atrazine over the summer. In late August, we saw a coordinated media push that coincided with a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and new filings from Korein Tillery, the trial attorneys who have filed a class action against atrazine in Madison County, Illinois.
But, the most concerning activity is the Environmental Protection Agency’s lightning quick response to the actions of the media and activists groups. We learned today that EPA will have what the agency termed as a “kickoff meeting” on November 3 to discuss the re-evaluation of Atrazine by the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel. This sudden change to the timeline is alarming. In a conference call this morning, EPA confirmed that both old and new studies, on virtually all issues, will be reevaluated by the SAP. In addition, there will at least one more SAP convened to look at amphibians and ecosystems. Apparently, 15 years is simply not enough time...
According to the EPA notice:
Based on these extensive evaluations, most recently in 2003, EPA had determined that atrazine can be used with a reasonable certainty of no harm to human health if the product is used according to the label. Nonetheless, concerns have been raised recently about the health impacts of atrazine. Since 2003, there have been many studies of its ability to cause health effects. In order to evaluate this new science, EPA is launching a year long, comprehensive scientific re-evaluation of the potential human health impacts of atrazine by using information about atrazine’s mode of action and by carefully considering the potential for cancer and noncancer effects based on the available data
from laboratory animal and human epidemiology studies.
In the kick-off meeting to be held on November 3, 2009, the Panel members and public will be informed about EPA’s plans for three subsequent SAP meetings to be held in
February, April and September, 2010.