Banned in Europe but widely used in the U.S.
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The European Union just banned two agricultural weed killers linked to infertility, reproductive problems and fetal development, which is the first-ever EU ban on endocrine-disrupting pesticides, according to Eco Watch.
In the USA the law still permits many endocrine-disrupting weed killers remain to be widely used on crops. One of the most widely used and most troublesome endocrine-disrupting pesticides in the U.S. is atrazine. Manufactured by agro-chemical giant Syngenta, atrazine is sprayed mostly on Midwest corn fields and is consistently one of the most detected crop chemicals in drinking water. In 2009, the New York Times reported that an estimated 33 million Americans have been exposed to atrazine through their taps.
Atrazine is banned in Europe. But it is the second most-used herbicide in U.S. agriculture, with more than 60 million pounds sprayed on crops each year, behind only Monsanto’s glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. Some farmers are reducing the need for herbicides like atrazine by switching to organic production methods or adopting new weed management strategies. But the federal government doesn’t invest enough in supporting such innovative strategies.
The U.S. EPA is currently reviewing the regulations on atrazine and should release its assessment in the next year. To protect public health and ensure clean drinking water, the agency should recognize the harm caused by atrazine and restrict its use.
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