"Weed Killer Linked To Gender-Bending in Animals"

"Exposure to atrazine, a commonly used weed killer, increases the risk of reproductive problems in a wide range of animals, says a new review study that analyzed research from around the world."

"In earlier studies, various scientists have concluded that the herbicide has gender-bending properties. For instance, some studies showed that male frogs could be turned into females by exposing them to small amounts of atrazine at critical points in their development. But the findings were disputed – especially by the chemical industry.

n response, Tyrone Hayes, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California at Berkeley, urged others studying atrazine to pool their work into a single comprehensive study.

In total, 22 scientists from North and South America, Europe and Japan contributed to the new study that was published this week in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Dr. Hayes, the lead author of the study, says the research reveals a common association between exposure to the chemical and the “feminization” of male gonads in many animals – including amphibians, reptiles, fish and mammals."

Paul Taylor reports for the Toronto Globe and Mail December 1, 2011.

Source: Toronto Globe & Mail, 12/02/2011