Several years ago I was involved with a farming systems comparison project in Central Illinois. The project looked at tile drainage from three different farming systems — conventional, sustainable (reduced tillage and chemical rates) and organic. The water samples drawn from the tiles draining the organic field showed something interesting — trace amounts of Atrazine. Why was that interesting? The field had been organic, and therefor had not received any applications of Atrizine, for 10 years! So after all that time there was still Atrazine in the system, working its way through the soil profile and seeping into water being drained from the field.
Now we find there’s evidence that Atrazine, a product whose safety has been touted for years, may have adverse effects on fish and amphibians. See the article HERE.
With the new administration in place EPA is being released to look at Atrazine more closely. They will be looking at potential impacts on human health.
I don’t want to try to predict what the EPA might find, but haven’t we seen this pattern before:
1. Company releases new product with self-conducted/funded research proving safety;
2. Federal agencies confirm safety;
3. Third parties start reporting side effects/concerns;
4. Concerns deferred and sidelined by stalling and legal manuvuering;
5. Evidence builds and political winds shift;
6. New research reveals product to actually be dangerous in some way;
7. Regulation or removal from market ensues.
Here we go again.