Follow the science, Syngenta
It's spring. Longer days, budding trees and sprouting plants. And far too many radio and TV ads pushing pesticides. For children conceived in this season, it also means a higher chance of being born with one or more birth defects.
Sign on to our letter today urging Syngenta's CEO Michael Mack to take the science linking atrazine and birth defects seriously.
Member, Corporate Responsibility Committee
Syngenta International AG
P.O. Box, CH-4002 Basel
Dear Mr. Mack,
We are writing to express our concern about the herbicide atrazine, and to encourage your company to carefully consider recent studies that link the chemical to harmful human health effects.
We refer specifically to the 2009 study in which researchers documented higher birth defect rates among children conceived during spray season, when atrazine levels in U.S. surface water were high.
USDA has documented atrazine throughout the U.S. drinking water supply. While the levels of exposure are often quite low, the chemical is ubiquitous; evidence that exposure can harm children's health should thus be taken quite seriously.
As you know, farmers throughout Europe have been producing corn and other crops without atrazine since 2003, with little or no economic hardship. Indeed, some studies show that corn productivity rates have increased since the European ban of atrazine.
We hope you will consider these and other findings of human health impacts seriously, and support a transparent, thorough process in the Environmental Protection Agency's current review of atrazine's health effects. The next session of the review, now scheduled for late July, will be reviewing the latest studies on atrazine's links to cancer and other conditions. We are following this process closely and look forward to the Scientific Advisory Panel's findings and recommendations.