EPA Underestimates Atrazine’s Cancer Risk: Independent Panel

Filed in Gather Health Essential by on March 1, 2012 0 Comments
 
Independent Panel: EPA Underestimates Atrazine’s Cancer Risk


TOM PHILPOTT – Mother Jones

Atrazine is the second most widely used pesticide on US farms. According to its maker, the Swiss agrichemical giant Syngenta, US sales of it are booming. Does it cause cancer?

The EPA, which regulates pesticide use, has been operating under the assumption that the chemical is “not likely to be a human carcinogen.” But in 2009, the agency launched what it called a “comprehensive new evaluation of the pesticide atrazine to determine its effects on humans.” As part of the process, it charged a panel made up of independent scientists and public health experts to “evaluate the pesticide’s potential cancer and non-cancer effects.”

Last week, the EPA released the minutes of the panel’s final meeting, which took place July 26-28. Its conclusions were stark. The panel criticized the EPA for lumping all forms of cancer together in its atrazine assessment, noting that “it would be useful and appropriate …

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