EPA faces criticism over interim atrazine ruling

Environmental groups are criticizing the EPA’s interim decision calling three herbicides safe, including atrazine.

The Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity say that the chemical puts humans and the environment at risk. According to AgriPulse, both groups say the product should be banned.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says that farmers are one of the strongest allies in the mission to protect public health and the environment.

“We want to make sure that that vital tool remains useful for U.S. agriculture. The benefits of atrazine are between $475-775 million dollars annually,” Wheeler said. “That would be the loss if atrazine was taken off the markets, just to the corn farmers alone. So, we want to make sure that can be used safely by farmers, but we want to make sure that it remains in the toolbox for farmers to use.”

Between the interim decision now and another biological evaluation later this fall, Wheeler notes that there should be no concerns about registration for atrazine in 2021.