Groups Oppose EPA Review of Atrazine's Possible Health, Safety Risks

"Farm groups joined the manufacturer of the popular herbicide atrazine Tuesday in accusing the Obama administration of bowing to environmentalist pressure in initiating a review of the chemical's safety.

The Environmental Protection Agency under the Bush administration certified the weedkiller for continued use, but the agency said last month that it would take another look at possible health risks.

Agency officials told a six-member panel of scientific advisers Tuesday that they wanted to review new data from studies of the chemical's cancer-causing potential, including the results of research into the health of agricultural workers and pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina. Atrazine is used on about 60 percent of Iowa's corn acreage to control weeds other chemicals may miss.

The agency plans to use the data to decide whether to revise its safety assessment of the pesticide, said Tina Levine, director of the agency's health effects division."

Philip Brasher reports for the Des Moines Register November 4, 2009.

Source: Des Moines Register, 11/05/2009