NCGA asks members to write in support of atrazine

NCGA asks members to write in support of atrazine

Comment period continues through Oct. 5.

The National Corn Growers Association is asking its members to send the EPA a message as it studies atrazine.

“Tell the EPA to base their decision on sound science today,” reads an action alert from the NCGA.

The corn growers association says, “the EPA has chosen to base the ecological risk assesment for atrazine on studies their own Science Advisory Panel deemed flawed just four years ago, (which) undermines public confidence in the review process and goes against the mission of using the best available science.”

NCGA asks members to comment in support of atrazine, a herbicide used primarily in corn and cotton. (Photo: fotokostic/Thinkstock)

The comment period for the Draft Ecological Risk Assessment for Atrazine, Simazine and Propazine continues through Oct. 5, but as of midday Aug. 19, more than 55,870 comments had been received.

A sampling of comments from regulations.gov:

“Atrazine related poisons must be banned.”

“As a farmer and rancher, I am writing today to ask the Environmental Protection Agency to use sound science instead of political activism when considering the re-registration of atrazine.”

“Atrazine is known to be a deadly, carcinogenic chemical and as such should be banned on a worldwide basis--not only can it contaminate with direct contact, but can also runoff into local water supply.”

“I rely on atrazine for weed control and to maintain high crop yields.”

EPA released the draft ecological risk assessments for atrazine, propazine and simazine, which evaluate risks to animals and plants including amphibians, birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, aquatic invertebrates, aquatic plant communities and terrestrial plants on June 2.

In July, the comment period on the draft ecological risk assessment was extended from Aug. 5 to Oct. 4, 2016, at the request of stakeholders who cited the difficulty of commenting during the growing season and the length, quantity and complexity of the risk assessments.

Related: EPA’s atrazine draft assessment causes concern

The National Corn Growers Association cites a 2012 study by the University of Chicago that says farming without atrazine could cost corn farmers up to $59 per acre as a reason for supporting atrazine.

A University of California-Berkeley scientist says atrazine affects animals, wildlife and perhaps humans. Atrazine has been banned in the European Union since 2004.

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