Atrazine is the most widely used herbicide in conservation tillage systems, which are designed to prevent soil erosion. For over 50 years farmers have been using atrazine because it is one of the most effective, affordable and trusted agriculture products in the world today. It is used to stop pre- and post-emergence broadleaf and grassy weeds in major crops including corn, sorghum and sugar cane. During the last 20 years, atrazine improved corn yields between 5-11% each year compared to those without it.
The U.S. EPA estimates that farming without atrazine could cost corn growers $28 per acre due to yield loss and the use of more expensive herbicides. Over 6,000 studies have been done on atrazine by the EPA alone.
In 2006 the U.S. EPA considered re-registration of atrazine final when it issued a cumulative risk assessment on the triazine herbicides, and concluded that they posed “no harm that would result to the general U.S. population, infants, children or other…consumers.”
World-renowned institutions including the World Health Organization, the National Cancer Institute and EPA all have studied atrazine and found no cancer concerns when used as directed.
The FDA, state and local food regulators routinely test for residues of atrazine in food monitoring programs. Fifty years of scientific study and on-farm use give farmers’ peace of mind that atrazine can be used safely and effectively. That’s great news in these days of increasing demand for food and renewable fuels.