Responding to Claims that Frogs Are Cool, EPA Seeks Comments on Petition to Ban Atrazine

In early May, ten U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staffers sat down with Kerry Kriger the founder of Save the Frogs.  He showed them a petition to ban atrazine and an 82-slide presentation, made up mostly of excellent photographs of frogs. The presentation has a slide on the use of corn and made claims about the bad effects of corn on human health, economy, and the environment. Another slide explained that “Frogs Are Cool”.

 Acting on this new information on the coolness of frogs, EPA sprang into action, and on September 14 announced it was seeking public comment on the petition from Save the Frogs to ban atrazine.

 Most of those who will comment fall into two categories:

1.       Those who like frogs and want atrazine banned.

2.       Those who like frogs know there is no valid scientific evidence that shows that atrazine harms frogs, and would like atrazine to remain available to farmers so they can safely control weeds in their fields, and produce feed and food for our growing, hungry population.

To be inclusive, we’d like to point out that depending on their age, supporters and detractors of atrazine may claim that frogs are sweet (suh-weeeet!) da bomb, phat, totally awesome, most excellent, far out, or the cat’s pajamas. While others may mention the deliciousness of frog legs at their favorite restaurant, that is a separate issue also opposed by Save the Frogs.

 As recently as April 2010, EPA stated:
Status Update – April 2010

EPA concluded in 2007 that atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development based on a review of laboratory and field studies, including studies submitted by the registrant and studies published in the scientific literature. At this time, EPA believes that no additional testing is warranted to address this issue.

 In September 2009, in response to an onerous study by an environmental activist group and a successful coordinated media campaign, EPA announced that it would open an unprecedented re-review of atrazine through a series of Science Advisory Panels (SAPs).

 Save the Frogs has a lot of neat merchandise on their website—t-shirts, wristbands, posters and more. The Triazine Network doesn’t have any neat merchandise. Made up of farmers and agricultural groups, the Triazine Network is a coalition that seeks a science based decision on atrazine and other triazine herbicides.

 “We won’t send you a t-shirt or bracelet if you take action in support of atrazine and a science based outcome on EPA’s decisions,” Triazine Network Chairman Jere White said. “But we think it is important to continually remind EPA that there is a right way to do things. I encourage our growers and others who support agriculture to submit a comment in support of sound science in EPA’s re-review of atrazine.”

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