The story never changes. Monsanto and other companies that manufacture poisonous, but profitable chemicals always seem to never have any problems getting away with it. Glyphosate, now atrazine, and a whole collection of these pesticides are used on food crops. And that’s not counting all of the other thousands of chemicals that we’re being exposed to. I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate many of the conveniences of modern society. But there has to be a better way to get things done other than fast-tracking convenient poisons into our foods and personal care products.
I see this as a metaphor and example of how and why the people that run the cancer industry would not hesitate to protect their profits even if it means suppressing or destroying cheap, effective treatments for cancer. If these leaders of society have no problem putting poisons into our foods, which is the very thing that sustains our lives, then what is the difference if they give you poisons masquerading as medicines? There is no practical difference. Poisons in your food is basically the same as poisons for medicine. You think they’re good for you, but they really aren’t.
And even worse, when an honest scientist tries to expose the truth about anything detrimental to profits, they get suppressed, fired, ridiculed, ostracized, or some other punishment. Just like in this article. When Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D., an integrative biologist at the University of California, Berkeley found in his research that atrazine was basically turning male frogs into female frogs or hermaphrodites, he was persona non grata, and Novartis (later Syngenta) tried to discredit his research but it backfired on them when his studies were confirmed by subsequent research. Although his career was not destroyed (as other researchers have experienced), it would appear that atrazine is still being used to the tune of over 70 million pounds per year.
Some environmental organizations have been working for years to try to ban the use of atrazine, but they have apparently been no match for entrenched financial interests. In fact, Monsanto is recommending that farmers use atrazine along with Roundup because of the mass proliferation of Roundup resistant weeds. They didn’t foresee that weeds would become resistant to Roundup when they came up with the idea to pair up their own GMO crops that are resistant to their pesticide. But it doesn’t matter because they have enough money and power to make sure that you now get a double dose of toxic chemicals in your foods. Whether or not this is a conspiracy doesn’t really seem to be the major issue because the bottom line is that they’re getting away with this right now while you’re pondering this information…
By 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.
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.
In fact (and quite ironically), Monsanto recommends farmers mix atrazine with Roundup to control glyphosate-resistant weeds.
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.
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.
Syngenta attempted to discredit Hayes after the damaging research was released, but now he’s received well-deserved vindication. Mother Jones further reported:
“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 [said] … ‘Now it’s politics and economics.'”
Environmental Groups Urged the EPA to Take Action Against Atrazine Years Ago
The pesticide and agriculture industries are already up in arms over the findings, with the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) noting that if the report is finalized, it would “effectively ban the product from most uses.”
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) put out a report in 2009 that showed widespread atrazine contamination in drinking water, posing a “dangerous problem” that was not communicated to the people most at risk. They continued:
“Some scientists are concerned about exposure for children and pregnant women, as small doses could impact development of the brain and reproductive organs.
Research has also raised concerns about atrazine’s ‘synergistic’ affects, showing potential for the chemical having a multiplier affect to increase toxic effects of other chemical co-contaminants in the environment.
… Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), EPA has determined that an annual average of no more than 3 parts per billion (ppb) of atrazine may be present in drinking water.
One of the chief findings of the report was that this reliance on a ‘running annual average’ allows levels of atrazine in drinking water to peak at extremely high concentrations.
Given the pesticide’s limited economic value and the fact that safer agricultural methods can be substituted to achieve similar results, NRDC recommends phasing out the use of atrazine, more effective atrazine monitoring, and the adoption of farming techniques that can help minimize the use of atrazine to prevent it from running into waterways.”
What Are Atrazine’s Health Effects in Humans?
If atrazine is toxic to mammals, birds and fish, what health risks does it pose to humans? The EPA plans to release a human health assessment for atrazine sometime in 2016. However, independent scientists have previously cited evidence that the chemical may be carcinogenic, noting:
“In summary, the Panel concluded that the cancers for which there is suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential include: ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, hairy-cell leukemia and thyroid cancer.”
In addition, research published in Current Environmental Health Reports found higher concentrations of atrazine in drinking water have been associated with birth defects, including abdominal defects, gastroschisis (in which the baby’s intestines stick outside of the baby’s body), and others.
Past research has also linked atrazine-contaminated drinking water with hormonal irregularities. Women who drank water with even low levels of the chemical were more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles and low estrogen levels.
The results are especially concerning given atrazine’s prevalence. Atrazine has been found in a majority of water samples taken from Illinois, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found atrazine in 94 percent of drinking-water samples tested.