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Tyrone Hayes

Atrazine is an herbicide (weed-killer) primarily used on corn. Atrazine is the most common chemical contaminant of ground and surface water in the United States. It is a potent endocrine disruptor with ill effects in wildlife, laboratory animals and humans. Atrazine chemically castrates and feminizes wildlife and reduces immune function in both wildlife and
Figure 1. Three-dimensional model of atrazine. From: http://www.biocheminfo.org/klotho/html/atrazine.html

And why do we love it?
What is Atrazine?
laboratory rodents. Atrazine induces breast and prostate cancer, retards mammary development, and induces abortion in laboratory rodents. Studies in human populations and cell and tissue studies suggest that atrazine poses similar threats to humans. The peer-reviewed scientific studies to support these statements are summarized and can be viewed as you navigate this website.

Atrazine has been denied regulatory approval by the European Union and is, thus, banned, in Europe, even in Switzerland, the home of the manufacturer. Despite the environmental and public health risks, atrazine continues to be used in the US, for economic reasons. Atrazine may only increase corn yield by as little as 1.2 % (and not at all according to some studies. The agri-giant Syngenta, however, has a very powerful lobby and spent $250,000 lobbying in Minnesota alone in 2005 to keep atrazine on the market there.

With as little as 1.2 % increase in corn, a crop that we consume less than 2% of, in a world where 20% of the population will die of starvation, it is incumbent upon us to become involved in the regulatory process regarding atrazine. We (the public) must play an active role in this regulatory decision.


1. What is Atrazine ?

2. Environmental Contamination

3. Ecological Impacts

4. Endocrine disruption

5. Neural Damage

6. Pregnancy loss

7. Reproductive Cancers

8. Endangered Species

9. Risks and Benefits