More than 1500 endangered plants and animals in the US are under attack by two of the most widely used pesticides known – Atrazine and Glyphosate. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be forced to research why this is happening as part of a settlement reached with the Center for Biological Diversity.
In addition to these two pesticides, the EPA will also analyze the impacts of propazine and simazine, two Big Ag pesticides that are very similar to Syngenta’s widely used Atrazine. The EPA is required to finish the assessments of all these chemicals by June 2020.
This is a considerable settlement, though it seems like a drop in the bucket considering that over 80 million pounds of Atrazine are used in the US annually, alone. The pesticide is second only to the use of Monsanto’s glyphosate, which was sprayed to the tune of 280 million pounds on crops in 2012, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.
Endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity, Brett Hartl states:
“‘This settlement is the first step to reining in the widespread use of dangerous pesticides that are harming both wildlife and people. . .Atrazine, for instance, chemically castrates frogs even in tiny doses, is an endocrine disruptor, and likely causes birth defects in people. The EPA should have banned this years ago.
This settlement will finally force the EPA to consider the impacts of glyphosate — widely known as Roundup — which is the most commonly used pesticide in the United States, on endangered species nationwide. With more than 300 million pounds of this stuff being dumped on our landscape each year, it’s hard to even fathom the damage it’s doing.’”
The harmful effects of glyphosate are becoming common knowledge, especially since the WHO’s declaration of the chemical as probably carcinogenic. Ever since that declaration, communities and even entire nations have at least put restrictions on glyphosate use, putting Monsanto in a financial hole. What’s more, Monsanto is being hit with lawsuit after lawsuit for the general act of polluting the world – and knowing about this toxic pollution for years.
As for Syngenta, well, that biotech company has gone to great lengths to cover up just how dangerous Atrazine can be. But nothing can stay secret forever.