From Dr. Mercola:
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, has been making headlines recently not only because it’s the most used agricultural chemical in history, but also because the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined it is a probable carcinogen.
Lurking somewhat below the radar, however, is atrazine, the second most commonly used herbicide in the U.S. Though it hasn’t yet achieved the notoriety of glyphosate, it is equally disserving.
Atrazine’s primary use is to control weeds in corn crops that cover much of the Midwest. This might sound strange, since that’s what glyphosate is used for too. Most of the corn crops are genetically engineered (GE) to survive Roundup for that very purpose.
But because so much Roundup has been used, weeds are growing resistant. Bring in atrazine, a known hormone-disrupting chemical manufactured by Syngenta AG. It’s already been banned in Europe, but in the U.S. about 70 million pounds are used every year.1
In fact (and quite ironically), Monsanto recommends farmers mix atrazine with Roundup to control glyphosate-resistant weeds.2
They may soon have to come up with a new recommendation, however, as a risk assessment released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may lead to tighter regulatory limits and possibly an eventual ban.
EPA: Atrazine Dangerous to Animals and Fish
The EPA’s risk assessment for atrazine found the chemical could cause reproductive harm to mammals, fish and birds, with the level of concern already surpassed by nearly 200-fold using real-world scenarios for mammals.
For fish and birds, atrazine exceeded the level of concern by 62- and 22-fold, respectively.3
An EPA “level of concern” describes the threshold above which a chemical may be expected to cause harm. The chemical, which has previously been linked to birth defects and cancer, was banned in the European Union for its potential to contaminate water and ecosystems.
The EPA specifically cited research by Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D., an integrative biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, which found atrazine may be chemically castrating male frogs, essentially turning them into female frogs.
Former Syngenta Researcher Found Atrazine Causes Hermaphroditism in Frogs
Hayes used to conduct research for Novartis, which eventually became Syngenta, but he resigned his contractor position after the company refused to allow him to publish the results of studies they had funded.
After resigning, he obtained independent funding to repeat the research, which was subsequently published and found that atrazine causes hermaphroditism in frogs. Since then, he’s built an educational website dedicated to informing the public about atrazine.4
Syngenta attempted to discredit Hayes after the damaging research was released, but now he’s received well-deserved vindication. Mother Jones further reported:5
“As for amphibians like frogs, the report found ‘potential for chronic risk’ from atrazine at real-world exposure levels — not rapid death, like what a roach might experience after a blast of Raid, but long-term, subtle damage, like an impeded ability to reproduce.
‘The science has been settled for a long time,’ Hayes