Aussies Rap Frog Rapper--Hayes’ Amphibian Studies Dismissed by Australian Government

Friday, June 4, 2010 0 comments
In an informational piece posted on its website on May 31, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) said “atrazine is unlikely to have an adverse impact on frogs at existing levels of exposure” and pointed out their conclusions were consistent with findings by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. APVMA said that past and current research papers by Hayes “ do not provide enough evidence to justify reconsideration of current regulations.” Here is an excerpt from the APVMA report:

There is a body of research (first published after 2002), most closely associated with the work of Professor Tyrone Hayes, that suggests that atrazine disrupts sex differentiation and organogenesis in amphibians. This work was assessed by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) at the request of the APVMA prior to finalisation of the atrazine review. The conclusion of the APVMA at that time, based on advice from DEWHA, was that atrazine is unlikely to have an adverse impact on frogs at existing levels of exposure. This advice was consistent with findings by the US EPA in 2007 (see below) that atrazine does not adversely effect amphibian gonadal development.


Most recently, in March 2010, Professor Hayes was the lead author on a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (external site) that argued that atrazine demasculinised frogs exposed to a single laboratory controlled, low dose of atrazine throughout all life stages (egg, tadpole and adult). The APVMA submitted this and a number of similar papers to DEWHA for assessment. DEWHA found that these papers do not provide sufficient evidence to justify a reconsideration of current regulations which are based on a very extensive dataset.

Australia has it right when it comes to atrazine, according to Jere White, Executive Director of the Kansas grain sorghum and corn growers associations, and chairman of the Triazine Network

“The APVMA rightly asserts that the frog studies submitted by Professor Hayes simply don’t make the grade as sound science,” White said. “The regulatory agency also correctly points out that, despite the claims of atrazine opponents, including Hayes, atrazine is not banned in the EU.”

Atrazine is not banned in European Union

Although media reports and activists have stated repeatedly that atrazine is banned in the European Union, APVMA correctly asserted that it is not. The APVMA report states:

It is frequently asserted that atrazine has been banned in the EU. This is an incorrect interpretation of the EC decision. Atrazine has not been assessed and de-registered because of a human health or environmental concern. It is not on any EU ‘banned list” and could theoretically be reregistered in the EU should the product registrant provide all the required data. Terbuthylazine, a herbicide very closely related to atrazine is registered in the EU.

“This is one of the best independent explanations of atrazine status in the EU that I have seen” White said. “The notion that the EU banned atrazine is erroneous, but it’s difficult to get people to accept it because so many claim that it is. It’s like the old adage, if you repeat a lie enough, people will begin to believe it.”

For the full report, visit:

http://www.apvma.gov.au/news_media/chemicals/atrazine.php#amphibians

For more information on atrazine, visit the new AGsense website

IA Senate Leadership Stresses EPA to Use Only Sound Science in Re-evaluation of Atrazine

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 0 comments
A letter dated May 11, 2010 was sent by Iowa Senate leadership to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson regarding the agency’s decision to once again review atrazine. The letter reads-


“Dear Administrator Jackson:

The undersigned are:

Senator Michael Gronstal (D), Majority Leader
Senator John Kibbie (D), President of the Iowa Senate
Senator Thomas G. Courtney (D), Majority Whip
Senator Gene Fraise (D), Chair, Agriculture Committee
Senator Dennis H. Black (D), Chair, Environment Committee

All of the undersigned are writing to you because of our sincere and significant concern with the respect to the decision of the Unitied States Environmental Proection Agency (EPA) to re-evaluate Atrazine.

EPA re-registered Atrazine in 2006 after a 12-year study. EPA’s science used fresh, current and definitive data, based on nearly 6,00 studies that supported Atrazine’s availability and safe use. Therefore, we believe EPA’s September 2009 decision to announce an unscheduled Atrazine review is repetitive and unnecessary.

In 2003, the EPA estimated that corn growers benefit by approximately $28 per acre by having Atrazine available to protect their crops. For the approximately 10 million Iowa acres treated with Atrazine in 2007, that totals more than $200 million. The EPA stated: “The total or national economic impact resulting from the loss of Atrazine. . .would be in excess of $2 billion per year if Atrazine were unavailable to growers.” Iowa farmers and growers in 60 countries around the world to use Atrazine to produce safe, abundant and affordable crops.

Iowa Corn Growers Association and Iowa Farm Bureau joined more than 50 major agricultural groups in stating grower support for Atrazine to EPA. These groups and their members maintain in that the majority of U.S. farmers support Atrazine and stress that EPA use science, not politics, in its deliberations. We wholly concur and stress that EPA utilize only sound scientific principles and procedures in the new review of this vitally important compound.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

John Kibbie, Iowa Senate President
Michael Gronstal, Iowa Senate Majority Leader
Tom Courtney, Iowa Senate Majority Whip
Eugene Fraise, Chair, Iowa Senate Agriculture Committee
Dennis Black, Chair, Iowa Senate Environment Committee

View the letter- Iowa Senate Leadership Letter to EPA

EPA responds to Illinois Rep concerning Hayes’ atrazine based frog gonad assertions

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Illinois State Representative, Dave Winters, who heard Dr. Hayes’ testimony last February regarding frog gonads sent a letter to USEPA asking if it were true that they had reviewed all Dr. Hayes’ data as Dr. Hayes testified. USEPA replied to Representative Winters this week.


The response states:

“. . . I regret that the EPA science staff in the office of Pesticide Program’s EFED (Environmental Fate and Effects Division) could not properly account for the sample sizes and study design reportedly used by the Berkeley researchers. As a result, we were unable to complete any independent analysis to support the study’s conclusions.”

“. . .no reliable determination of cause-effect or concentration-response relationship could be established between atrazine and reported effects in amphibians.”

“EPA presented its review to a FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide Rodenticide Act) SAP (Scientific Advisory Panel) and concluded that it was reasonable to reject the hypothesis formulated in 2003 that atrazine exposure can affect gonadal development. The Agency also determined that there was no compelling reason to pursue additional testing with regard to the potential effects of atrazine on amphibian gonadal development.”

View the complete letter- USEPA Response to Rep Winters May 2010.