Big Ag furious as EPA says popular herbicides are driving species to extinction


By Brett Wilkins

As Big Ag ranted Monday over a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruling that herbicides, including atrazine, an endocrine disruptor and carcinogenic glyphosate, are likely to harm more than 1,600 Protected plant and animal species, environmentalists have pointed to the agency’s findings as evidence of the need for stricter limits on the use of dangerous poisons.

After decades of refusing to comply with its obligations under the Endangered Species Act, the EPA on Friday released its final biological assessments for atrazine, glyphosate and simazine in order to comply with a 2016 legal agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide advocacy groups. Action network. EPA assessments concluded that the chemicals have the potential to negatively affect 1,676 animals and plants on federal lists of threatened or endangered species.

“It is no surprise that these chemical poisons cause serious damage to endangered wildlife as US use exceeds 70 million pounds of atrazine and 300 million pounds of glyphosate each year,” said Nathan Donley, director of environmental health sciences at the Center for Biological Diversity, in a statement. A declaration.

Atrazine and glyphosate have both been re-approved for use in the past two years. Earlier this year, the EPA was denounced by environmental and consumer groups after the agency argued that Bayer’s glyphosate-based Roundup – the world’s most widely used herbicide – should remain in the market despite a flawed review of the chemical during Trump’s time. and a reassessment required.

Bayer announced in July that it would end U.S. sales of Residential Roundup by 2023.

In 2019, the administration of former President Donald Trump decided to increase allowable levels of atrazine, which has been linked to hermaphroditic amphibians, birth defects, cancer and other diseases in humans.

While green groups hailed the delay in assessments, commercial agricultural interests expressed anger at the EPA’s findings. Several Big Ag lobby groups, including the American Farm Bureau Association and the American Soybean Association, said the agency did not use “the best science and data available” when formulating its decision.

The EPA’s findings will now be reviewed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, which will determine what steps to take to protect affected species and ensure herbicides do not further harm endangered animals and plants. ‘extinction.

“It is high time that atrazine was banned and the EPA must crack down on the reckless abuse of glyphosate,” Donley added. “Without real conservation action, these pesticides will continue to push our most endangered wildlife to extinction.”

Republished with permission from Common Dreams.

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