Today, environmental economist Frank Ackerman, PhD, published a report “Atrazine: Consider the Alternatives” analyzing the economics of atrazine, the second most widely-used pesticide in the United States. Although atrazine is a known endocrine-disruptor and suspected carcinogen, its manufacturer, Syngenta, rationalizes its continued use by arguing that it is critical to the agricultural economy.
In response to the release of Ackerman's report, PAN Midwest Organizer Lex Horan released the following statement:
For immediate release: October 9, 2013 Contact: Paul Towers, 916-216-1082, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Frank Ackerman's study is an important economic analysis that debunks Syngenta's myths about atrazine. Today's report is a close look at the data from industry-funded studies, revealing that these studies significantly overestimate the benefits of atrazine and fail to consider non-chemical or low-chemical weed management techniques. Ackerman's analysis confirms that eliminating atrazine would not devastate the agricultural economy as Syngenta would have us believe.
The benefits of atrazine are elusive, but the costs are high. Atrazine contaminates 94% of the drinking water in the U.S., and can cause birth defects and reproductive harm at very low levels. More and more farmers are finding innovative, safe techniques to manage weeds without relying on atrazine. Policymakers should support this trend with green payments to help farmers transition to sustainable alternatives, instead of buying into flawed industry arguments that atrazine is irreplaceable."