Tim Pastoor: Atrazine is proven safe, despite critics' assertions

Thursday, February 4, 2010
By Tim Pastoor | Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Winona (MN) Daily News

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture said last month that "atrazine regulations protect human health and the environment in Minnesota."

This finding, publicized in a department news release Jan. 15, reaffirms what we've known all along - the herbicide atrazine can be used safely by farmers in the U.S.

But here we go again. This month, two environmental activist groups escalated their attacks on Syngenta and atrazine in Minnesota, suggesting the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Min-nesota need to rethink atrazine.

These claims are baseless and wrong. The EPA just completed a 12-year evaluation of the corn herbicide atrazine in 2006 and concluded that it can be re-registered for use. The EPA's painstakingly detailed review of more than 6,000 scientific studies led it to state very clearly that atrazine poses "no harm that would result to the general U.S. population, infants, children or other ... consumers."

One would think such a thorough review with this much data and with so many qualified scientists examining each aspect of atrazine's safety would be enough. But not for the agenda-driven activist organizations that just don't like EPA's conclusions. Political pressure by these groups has pushed the EPA to announce yet another "comprehensive" re-evaluation of atrazine.

Been there, done that.

But we'll do it again. Even though atrazine has been through one of the most comprehensive reviews in EPA's history, Syngenta, as a science-based company, looks forward to bringing the same high-quality science into an open and transparent safety review of atrazine by the EPA in 2010.

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