Nebraska farmers are expressing concern over the EPA’s proposed limits on the pesticide atrazine.
Larry Mussack, Nebraska Corn Growers Association president, says the recommendations are not based on sound science.
“It has been proven safe by over 7,000 scientific studies, including EPA’s own scientific advisory panel,” Mussack told reporters at the Husker Harvest Days news conference. “We cannot allow EPA to move forward. The science does not support their proposal, and as an industry, we cannot allow a bad precedent to be set.”
The European Union has banned atrazine over concerns that it is a groundwater contaminant and may cause cancer.
Mussack says if the EPA’s proposed limits take effect, it would make atrazine useless on farms and significantly increase costs for farmers.
“Atrazine, it’s tank mixed with about every product that we use right now,” Curtis Rohrich, a farmer from Wood River, Neb. said, “and with the broad leaf control – especially with some of these weeds that are getting harder to control – without atrazine, I don’t know if we can use (the products) or not.”
California added atrazine to its official list of toxic chemicals this summer, citing concerns it causes reproductive harm to animals.
The EPA is accepting comments on atrazine use through October 4th.
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this story.