IFB advocates for continued use of atrazine

Organization urges EPA to follow a science-based regulatory process when reviewing all crop-protection tools.

By Deana Stroisch

Illinois Farm Bureau recently urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rely on sound, accurate, peer-reviewed science when reviewing crop-protection tools such as atrazine.

“Not following a robust, science-based regulatory process in every risk assessment severely damages EPA's credibility with Illinois farmers and the public, and violates and expands the agency’s authority beyond Congressional intent,” wrote Lauren Lurkins, IFB’s director of natural and environmental resources.

Lurkins authored comments on behalf of IFB in response to EPA’s draft human health risk assessment for atrazine.

“IFB is encouraged that EPA is now clearly on record confirming that atrazine is not likely to cause cancer or any other disease when used according to the label directions; that the agency has confirmed its safety for farmers using atrazine with typical, agronomically recommended application methods; and that it has correctly reduced the uncertainty and safety factors used in previous risk assessments,” Lurkins wrote.

Lurkins expressed concern about EPA “greatly overstating the potential concentrations in drinking water.” She urged the agency to review studies and data and correct the concentration levels “to be more representative of real-world experiences.”

“Although this human health risk assessment is more accurate and science-based, the agency must also correct its previous mistakes,” she wrote. “EPA must correct the previous ecological risk assessment record to demonstrate it understands how important it is to rely on sound, accurate, peer-reviewed science in the regulation of all crop protection compounds.”

IFB supports the continued safe use of atrazine and other triazines. Atrazine is the most widely used herbicide on corn, Lurkins said, and remains a key tool in the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.