EPA Won’t Restrict Use of Potentially Harmful Weed Killer

Talk about scary stuff: On Oct. 31, as people across the U.S. were getting ready to don costumes and pass out Halloween candy, the Bush administration announced that it would not impose new restrictions on the commonly used herbicide atrazine, which has been associated with low sperm counts and prostate cancer in men and sex-organ deformities in frogs. The European Union recently decided to ban atrazine, but the U.S. EPA said on Friday that it saw no grounds for restricting the chemical’s use. The agency did announce a new plan for testing a handful of waterways for atrazine, but that testing will be done by the primary manufacturer of the chemical, Syngenta, a large agribusiness company. “Instead of requiring a polluter to stop polluting, EPA is cutting a deal with the corporation to let them off the hook,” said Erik Olson of the Natural Resources Defense Council.