Herbicide Industry Funding Studies Used by Government Regulators

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

While allowing the weed-killer Atrazine to be sprayed in enormous quantities throughout the United States, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has relied on scientific studies that have been mostly funded by the industry.

A review of EPA documents by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund found companies had paid for thousands of studies that federal regulators have used to assess the herbicide’s potential risk to human health. The investigation also determined that 80% of the studies had never been published, exempting them from peer review by independent scientists.
More than 75 million pounds of Atrazine are sprayed on fields in the U.S. each year, resulting in the herbicide seeping into rivers, streams and drinking water supplies. Some scientific evidence indicates the chemical may cause cancer, birth defects, and hormonal and reproductive problems.
Sixteen local governments are presently suing Syngenta AG, manufacturer of Atrazine, over the contamination of water supplies by the weed-killer.
The EPA is reportedly working on a new study about the effects of Atrazine.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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