Self-proclaimed anti-atrazine activist researcher damages his already shaky cred with e-mails

Tyrone Hayes is an icon, at least according to Hayes. He is a University of California at Berkeley researcher whose research to ban atrazine is certainly prolific. In addition to several amphibian studies that he says prove atrazine turns male frogs into not-so-male frogs, Hayes also hosts an anti-atrazine website and has a busy speaking schedule. But Hayes has spent a lot of time on something else—writing bizarre and harassing emails to those on the other side of the atrazine argument.

Employees of Syngenta and others, including EPA staffers, have been receiving strange e-mails from Hayes for several years. Syngenta is the primary manufacturer of atrazine. The company recently filed an ethics complaint with UC Berkeley about Hayes’ communications. Syngenta says that Hayes has sent their employees emails that are “aggressive, unprofessional and insulting, but also salacious and lewd.” The emails are taunting, harassing and sexually explicit in nature,” according to the complaint.

Hayes certainly has sent a lot of emails to Syngenta employees. The company posted a collection of Hayes e-mails, and it is 102 pages in length. In fact, in one e-mail, Hayes says he hopes his emails and poems will be published.

After a toxicology meeting in early 2008, Hayes sent a Syngenta employee a rambling six-page “manifesto”.  Hayes says he doesn’t care about professionalism, but says he sure puts on a good show. Here is an excerpt. A couple of notes: The ellipses in the text were placed by Hayes. IDGAF means, “I don’t’ give a f***.”

“IDGAF! Come on?????…do you think I care about propriety and professionalism? I do what I do, because it’s what I do…IDGAF!!! Look, my first SETAC, I rolled up 15 and 15!… autograph- signing, room-packing, rhyme-busting, *ss-whoopin… and toldem’ “please don’t ever invite me back” …I have used the “F-word” in my talks, have quoted DMX, Busta Rhymes, Tyra Banks, Marvin Gaye…I have jumped off stage, brandished emails…entitled my talks everything from “Opening up shop” (from DMX’s “Stop, drop, shuttem’ down, open up shop”) and “America’s Next Top Model” ….I pack the room, havem’ call out security, was the stimulus for the “Hayes clause” at registration, and have been invited back every year. That’s my house, Trick! Do I care what you, (deleted) and your *ss kissin’ H*’s think?
I’ve already been invited to the next one…guess people like being entertained.”

Alex Avery, center for Global Food Issues, posted a good column on this, which we have posted on our website, http://agsense.org or visit the CGFI website at http://www.cgfi.org

 If you want to read Syngenta’s complaint to Berkeley, follow this link:
http://www.atrazine.com/Amphibians/Univ_of_CA-7-19-10.pdf

If you want to read all of Dr. Hayes’s emails, go to http://www.atrazine.com/Amphibians/Combined_Large_pdf-r-opt.pdf

For full coverage of the atrazine issue, visit http://agsense.org

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