Daily News Archive
From June 3, 2002

Deformed Frogs and Workers with Prostate Cancer May Force EPA to Seek Extension for Court Ordered Atrazine Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing a quagmire of controversy over its upcoming atrazine rules. EPA admits that is may not be able to meet the August deadline for new rules due to newly released findings linking atrazine to cancer in humans and sexual deformities in frogs. Environmentalists cite a lawsuit that claims factory workers in Syngenta AG of Switzerland, atrazine's major manufacturer, have increased rates of prostate cancer and the recent peer reviewed study linking deformed frogs to atrazine contamination. The Natural Resources Defense Council plans to petition EPA for a complete ban of the herbicide in the U.S. Syngenta AG calls the EPA's projected delay to consider new evidence too cautious, and describe the proposed ban on Atrazine as "silly."

Critics of EPA's atrazine rules include the State of New York. Peter Lehner, chief of the NY environmental bureau of the Attorney Generals Office, cites that traces of the herbicide have been found in 40 percent of the state's water supplies, 50 percent of those in Suffolk County and 75 percent of those in farming areas of the Hudson River valley. EPA admits that are many towns whose water supplies are contaminated at or above the safety levels for infant exposure. Critics of the agency's response to the atrazine reevaluation hope that all of this information will force stricter rules and possibly a full ban on atrazine use in the U.S.

More information can be found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/02/politics/02POLL.html?ex=1024025180&ei=1&en=e2c944f871ec717e