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Re: [APD] Atrazine
To continuing the almost-off-topic-but-not-quite discussion about atrazine
and pesticides in general:
Thanks for the links on the health effects of atrazine. Unfortunately, none
of them pointed to the kind of epidemiological studies for which I was
Many of the studies that I read were about killing rats and other animals
with massive overdoses of suspected carcinogens, which, if they caused
cancer before they killed the animal in other ways, were labeled
"carcinogens." Others analyzed the effect of the active ingredients of
atrazine (and other chemicals) on cell activity. But I could not find any
study that said that the ingestion of atrazine causes long term health
problems in a significant, geographically-varied population.
The EPA has found that atrazine does not produce any significant human
A lot of the controversy has been caused by the so-called Delaney amendment
(or reservation) to a FDA authorization act in 1958. This required that no
food additive, including pesticides, would be considered safe if it was
shown to cause cancer in people or animals, regardless of the dose required.
This "zero risk" policy has been whittled away over time, but it still has
cost American consumers billions of dollars as well as delaying the benefits
of scientific advances..
For example, the to-do over Saccharin, proven to cause bladder cancer in
male rats, cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars and finally
required an act of Congress to be legalized. I didn't find any studies that
showed a relation between it and bladder cancer in humans in the 40 years
it has been commonly used.
Here are some links to sites that are readable by lay people.
First, an article by the Maryland Farm Bureau that describes a lawsuit that
they filed to stop the EPA from outlawing atrazine. This is significant
because their members have the greatest exposure to that chemical.
Here's an informative summary of Delaney reservation:
This link enumerates the various carcinogens that are consumed in a
And finally, here's a link that might not have merit. It might be a
critical thinking sharpener, though.
Tom, I'm still relatively uninformed but still learning. Humble, too. <g>
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