As Bad as Glyphosate?

The world is focused on glyphosate, but another commonly used farm herbicide could be just as poisonous. Action Alert!
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to review pesticides and herbicides approved for use in the US every fifteen years. The agency just completed its updated environmental impact assessment of atrazine, the second most widely used herbicide.
Atrazine is a chlorine-based chemical just like DDT—the once-popular insecticide—and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl). It can persist in soil for twenty-two years. Lots of evidence shows the extent to which atrazine is contaminating our food supply, which is little surprise given that as much as 70 million pounds of the stuff is used by farmers each year, mostly on corn.
In its 500-page draft report, the EPA found that atrazine, which is produced by biotech giant Syngenta, can be dangerous to animals and fish—and leaves behind a troubling amount of residue. According to the report, atrazine exceeds the agency’s “levels of concern” for chronic risks to animals and fish by 198 times and 62 times, respectively. Despite the length of the report, the EPA found it convenient to omit all discussion of atrazine’s risk to humans, promising to return to that subject in the future.
What the EPA did report, however, vindicates the research of Tyrone Hayes, PhD, who found that atrazine exposure was chemically castrating male frogs. At the time, he was working for Novartis, which is now owned by Syngenta—which of course refused to publish his research. Hayes quit, obtained independent funding, and published the research, but was then the victim of what seemed clearly to be a smear campaign by Syngenta.
Atrazine does not typically kill animals outright, but has been shown to adversely affect their developmental, hormonal, and reproductive systems. In its draft report, the EPA also acknowledges that adverse effects on animals can occur at exposure levels much lower than previously thought.
Heavy atrazine use can cause dire consequences for plant life. The EPA found that atrazine runoff and spray drift reduces land-based plant biodiversity, among other problems.
The EPA is expected to release its assessment of atrazine’s impact on human health later this year. But the risk to farm children is already known to be particularly severe. One analysis of towns in the “corn belt” found that tap water in some communities contained fourteen times the legally allowed amount of atrazine. In some towns, infants reached their maximum lifetime safe dosage of atrazine in less than four months. This analysis was done in the late 1990s—and levels are almost certainly worse, since more and more of the stuff is being dumped on crops each year.
Beyond farm families, there is already plenty of evidence of the dangers of atrazine:

  • An independent panel of scientists convened by the EPA in 2011 concluded that there is “suggestive evidence of [atrazine’s] carcinogenic potential” for ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, hairy-cell leukemia, and thyroid cancers, though it found “inadequate evidence” at this time to determine whether the chemical can cause prostate cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, esophageal cancer, or childhood cancers.
  • Another study found that “higher concentrations of atrazine in drinking water” are associated with birth defects.
  • Evidence also shows that atrazine could be making us fat. A rat study found that long-term treatment with low concentrations of atrazine induced insulin resistance and weight gain. Obesity was induced in the rats without changing food intake or physical activity, suggesting that atrazine lowered energy metabolism.
  • Atrazine is also an endocrine disruptor, interfering with the hormones in the brain that trigger ovulation.

We shouldn’t wait for the EPA to produce another weighty and hard-to-understand report on whether atrazine poses human health problems. It clearly does, and decisive steps need to be taken to remove this product from the market.
Action Alert! Write to the EPA and tell the agency to revoke its approval of atrazine. Please send your message immediately.
Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:
US Department of Monsanto (a.k.a. USDA)
MRIs: What Your Doctor May Not Warn You About


  1. Alternate methods must be found or you’ll castrate all of us. Maybe that’s the plan!

  2. Congratulations all biotech companies! Terrorists need not travel far to conduct their chemical/biological warfare on U.S. soil. Nothing to “smuggle” from overseas. All their “ammunition” can be obtained right here in the “good ole’ US of A”. Remember the “terrorist” shopping for his “ammo” in a beauty supply store? We make it too easy. It really is like taking candy from a baby. Only we’re the “baby” also supplying the “candy”.

    1. We’re sending billions to the middle east to make them like us…. and they’re using the money to supply terrorists with army grade weaponry.
      This is bizarro world and the devil is pulling the strings!

  3. It’s good to read the whole article, but probably the Take Action (on this cause) button should be nearer the top, prominent on the screen before one starts scrolling down – so folks don’t miss one of the main reasons for visiting! OK to repeat the button at the bottom of the story. Now there IS a Take Action button at the top, somewhat blended into the landscape, but that’s the more general “Take Action” on various issues button. I’d recommend changing that to “More Actions” or “Issues and Actions”, to distinguish it more clearly from the immediate action.

  4. No. Atrazine is 100 times worse than glyphosate. Atrazine is a KNOWN hormone disrupting chemical causing hormonal cancers, gender-bending in children and affecting the population fertility rates. This KNOWN by the EPA who has it listed on their dangerous chemicals list.
    The fact that it is still available points a finger at how greed influences your deaths: how the greed of corporate USA can kill you and legally get away with murder. In the 21st century I would have thought that as a species we would have come-together to work for the benefit of the future. Instead we are Rome Again.
    Let me be very clear: it is murder; they murder you. They steal the normal lives of your children. They create ADD/ADHD and autism… and virtually every immune-disease is caused by the chemicals they bribe our federal employees to approve.
    And you, the average citizens of the USA, do nothing to stop it. Nothing. In fact you support it every day to the tune of millions of dollars of products they make: have a lawn? Use “weed-n-feed” fertilizers? You are guilty. Food cans lined with bpA? Houses made of particle board/chipboard? (now called “strand in order to mislead) Guilty guilty guilty…
    So in the end the answer isn’t the corporations: its the people of the USA who create their own demise.
    Fine. Evolution is a bitcth isn’t it?

  5. Back in the 90s, when Clinton’s administration approved GMOs and GMO chemicals for human consumption (yes liberals: it was your very own precious Clinton who pulled the trigger you have been dying from), I was at the meeting with animal production managers, (dairy, beef, pork) and the GMO manufacturers.
    The farm managers were up-in-arms about the birth defects, homosexual breeding stock and deaths from the GMO crops and chemicals. Asgrow was there, Monsanto and Pioneer.
    The corporate reps were telling us: “Look; these chemicals make farming cheaper and easier. Don’t worry about what you are seeing today: the animals more susceptible to the chemicals wouldn’t reproduce and will be eliminated from the breeding stock and herds.”
    Well people: how do you like be “eliminated from the breeding stock” and future of humanity?

Comments are closed.