Organic Consumers Association

TAKE ACTION BY OCTOBER 5: Tell the EPA to #BanAtrazine, Syngenta’s Birth-Defect-Linked Pesticide

The bad news: The Environmental Protection Agency has long ignored evidence that Syngenta’s atrazine endangers human health as a likely contributor to infertility, birth defects and breast cancer.

The good news: The EPA is taking seriously the threat that atrazine poses to wildlife. Through October 5, 2016, the EPA is accepting public comments on a draft ecological risk assessment that finds atrazine poses unacceptable risks to fish, amphibians, and aquatic invertebrates, as well as birds, reptiles and mammals. (Thanks to the Center for Biological Diversity for suing the EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force them to analyze the impacts of atrazine on more than 1,500 endangered plants and animals.)

TAKE ACTION BY OCTOBER 5: Tell the EPA to #BanAtrazine!

After Monsanto’s Roundup (glyphosate), Syngenta’s atrazine is the nation’s number-two pesticide, with 80 to 90 million pounds applied to crops, golf courses and lawns each year.

A recent investigation into pesticide use in Vermont’s dairy industry found atrazine to be one of the most commonly used pesticides.

Atrazine is linked to a rare but rising birth defect, gastroschisis, in which an infant’s intestines, and sometimes other organs, slide out of the body. In July, California listed atrazine as a “reproductive toxicant.” As the Center for Biological Diversity explains, California’s decision was based on evidence that atrazine is linked to birth defects, reduced male fertility and reproductive toxicities in women. Products containing atrazine will now require a warning label before they can be sold in California.

Atrazine was banned in the European Union in 2004, when the E.U. found groundwater levels exceeding the limits set by regulators, and Syngenta could neither show that this could be prevented nor that these levels were safe.

By comparison, the U.S. has been lax in its regulation of atrazine, but Syngenta hasn’t even obeyed the EPA’s modest regulations. In September 2016, the EPA fined Syngenta $1.2 million for “the repackaging, sale and distribution of unregistered and misbranded pesticides.” The EPA said Syngenta’s actions were “illegal and puts people and the environment at risk.”

Atrazine is ubiquitous in surface water, groundwater and drinking water. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council’s report “Poisoning the Well,” of surface drinking water systems in Midwestern States show atrazine contamination. In 2012, Syngenta agreed to pay $105 million to reimburse more than one thousand water systems for “the cost of filtering atrazine from drinking water.”

According to Beyond Pesticides, even at levels established as “safe” or acceptable by the EPA drinking water standards, atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor, meaning it can alter the body’s hormones.

As the Environmental Working Group explains, an endocrine disruptor can:

•    Increase the production of hormones.
•    Decrease the production of hormones.
•    Imitate hormones.
•    Turn one hormone into another.
•    Interfere with hormone signaling.
•    Tell cells to die prematurely.
•    Compete with essential nutrients.
•    Bind to essential hormones.
•    Accumulate in organs that produce hormones.

According to studies by Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D., atrazine is an endocrine disruptor so potent that it can turn a male frog into a female frog that can mate and lay viable eggs.

Banning atrazine wouldn’t only help amphibians, it could also put money in farmers’ pockets. An economic analysis of a potential atrazine ban that used Syngenta’s own data concluded, “withdrawal of atrazine would boost farm revenues, while only changing consumer prices by pennies.”

Syngenta is no friend to farmers. In 2013, the nation’s 440,000 corn farmers lost between $5-7 billion when Syngenta contaminated their corn crop with an unapproved genetically modified trait and China stopped importing U.S. corn. Ironically, as the lawsuit representing these hundreds of thousands of farmers moves forward, ChemChina is proceeding on a $43 billion takeover of Swiss-based Syngenta.

We have nothing to lose and everything to gain with a U.S. ban on atrazine.

Please sign our petition to the EPA and include your own comments. In addition, if you want to help reduce atrazine use, go organic and stop eating factory farmed meat, milk and eggs. Over 90 percent of atrazine is applied to corn, most of which is grown to feed animals in factory farms.

TAKE ACTION BY OCTOBER 5: Tell the EPA to #BanAtrazine!

1-25 of 6881 signatures
Number Date Name Comments
6881 5 months ago Jennifer R
6880 9 months ago Richard Clemens
6879 9 months ago Ann Cockrell For goodness sakes, if Europe bans there is good proof it is dangerous.
6878 10 months ago Anonymous
6877 10 months ago Anonymous
6876 10 months ago Stephen Halpern
6875 11 months ago Jane Slater
6874 11 months ago Carol Montgomery
6873 11 months ago Melissa VerDuin
6872 12 months ago Darla Gray
6871 1 year ago Mary Campagna Ban this terrible chemical! This will cause huge numbers of birth defects and cancer deaths.
6870 1 year ago Renita Arbelo-Buller
6869 1 year ago Hope Caballero
6868 1 year ago Hanna Madler
6867 1 year ago Hanna Madler
6866 1 year ago Anonymous You are in charge of our children's health, & the health of everyone even those you love, & will leave behind. Do something now to stop making those we love sick & die. Stand up for what is healthy ...
6865 1 year ago kaitlin fitch
6864 1 year ago Lucia Lazar
6863 1 year ago Robert Kaplan
6862 1 year ago Robert Kaplan
6861 1 year ago Ruben Lozada
6860 1 year ago Ruben Lozada
6859 1 year ago Anonymous
6858 1 year ago Jastin Escobar
6857 1 year ago Wendy Li
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