http://www.democracynow.org – We speak with a University of California scientist Tyrone Hayes, who discovered a widely used herbicide may have harmful effects on the endocrine system. But when he tried to publish the results, the chemical’s manufacturer launched a campaign to discredit his work. Hayes was first hired in 1997 by a company, which later became agribusiness giant Syngenta, to study their product, Atrazine, a pesticide that is applied to more than half the corn crops in the United States, and widely used on golf courses and Christmas tree farms. When Hayes found results Syngenta did not expect — that Atrazine causes sexual abnormalities in frogs, and could cause the same problems for humans — it refused to allow him to publish his findings. A new article in The New Yorker magazine uses court documents from a class-action lawsuit against Syngenta to show how it sought to smear Hayes’ reputation and prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from banning the profitable chemical, which is already banned by the European Union.
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Syngenta Terrorized Scientist for 15 Years to Quell Concerns About Atrazine
By Dr. Mercola
With the advent of the “green revolution” starting in the 1930s, chemicals were widely embraced as the way to eradicate hunger and ensure abundant harvests. Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers were hailed as scientific marvels that afforded the Western world the highest standard of living the world had ever known.
In this chemistry-based model, every problem has a chemical solution: pesticides to kill pests, herbicides to address weeds, insecticides to get rid of specific insects, fungicides against mushrooms and fungi and synthetic fertilizers to promote growth.
All seemed well and good, but as the decades wore on, problems and drawbacks became apparent. Today, the hazards associated with pesticides have become quite obvious to anyone willing to look.
However, that doesn’t mean appropriate action is being taken to protect human and environmental health. On the contrary, the chemical industry has fought long and hard, often employing questionable methods, to hide the truth about many of these harmful chemicals; putting profit ahead of safety.
Atrazine — The Forgotten Toxin
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is the most used agricultural chemical in history. It finally got some serious media attention after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) determined it is a probable human carcinogen.