“To allow the continued use and production of Atrazine, the EPA sets a dangerous precedent by condoning environmental destruction and implying that it is environmentally sound and ethical to dump poison on American soil — and on Americans.”
— SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger in his September 4th, 2013 letter to the EPA.
The following are paraphrased answers that the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs gave Dr. Kerry Kriger at their meeting in Arlington, VA in November 2013.
(1) “Why hasn’t Atrazine been banned?”
The EPA has yet to conclude it causes sufficient adverse effects on the environment. Atrazine is currently being reviewed by the EPA with a final decision expected in early 2016.
(2) Is Administrator McCarthy aware of the Atrazine issue?
She has not been briefed on the issue by the Office of Pesticide Programs.
(3) Does the EPA incorporate Dr. Tyrone Hayes’ data into decision making?
(4) What type of data would result in an EPA decision to ban Atrazine?
The EPA claims they will base their decision on the best available science combined with an economic analysis.
(5) Precisely what role do economics hold in the EPA’s decision to ban Atrazine?
Economics are considered when analyzing potential negative effects that could result from a ban.
(6) How can the EPA assure us our food is safe if the tests cannot detect atrazine on corn below 15ppm?
They apparently cannot assure us of this.
(7) Have any EPA members been informed they will lose their jobs if they ban Atrazine?
(8) Does EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy have the power to ban Atrazine with a signature?
(9) Will a representative of EPA take part in a public online Q&A?
No. The EPA claims their website holds all the information necessary for the public. However, the EPA did invite me to return in 2014 with several of our young supporters.
(10) Why does the EPA care to protect the products of a foreign company (e.g. Syngenta)?
It is not the EPA’s duty to bias decisions based on a pesticide’s country of origin.
(11) Does the EPA deny the European Union’s findings regarding Atrazine?
The EPA does not deny the EU’s findings. Unfortunately the EPA bans pesticides based not only on presence of pesticides at high quantities (which is sufficient in and of itself for an EU ban) but also on a finding of adverse effects; the EPA is currently assessing the adverse effects caused by Atrazine.
(12) Approximately how many meetings has the EPA had with pesticide or corn lobbyists regarding Atrazine since May 2011?
They did not give me a precise number but it sounded like ten or less.
(13) When is the next official call for public comments related to Atrazine?
In early 2015 the EPA is expected to release their draft recommendations for the future of Atrazine, at which time they will seek public comment.