In an article released Tuesday by the National Resource Defense Council, the group continued to support the admitted anti-atrazine activist Cal-Berkley Professor, Tyrone Hayes. Hayes, who has been discredited by the scientific community for his inabilities to duplicate his own studies, is well-known for his research claiming that certain levels can cause male frogs to lose their reproductive organs.
Hayes’ most recent appearance in the media was this summer for some highly inappropriate emails which he had sent to researchers at Syngenta Company. I would describe the professor’s choice of words in the emails as an explicit and tasteless rap song. But of course, the NRDC says, “Ugly emails do not make the pesticide any safer.” That’s obviously true, but it does let consumers know the kind of person who stands behind this already questionable research.
The NRDC is obviously desperate as they have invested large amounts of time, money and other resources which are based solely on Hayes’ studies. How seriously can you take research done by someone who is respected by so few? People need to simply follow the facts. Atrazine has been studied over 6,000 times by the Environmental Protection Agency and every time it has been declared safe when used as directed.
Atrazine has been used by farmers safely for over 50 years and has had no effect on amphibians, fish, birds or any other form of wildlife. Atrazine is very important in modern agricultural practices including conservation tillage systems, which prevents soil erosion and saves farmers around $28/acre on average. During the last 20 years, atrazine has improved corn yields 5-11%.
Just as Professor Hayes has lost his credibility, so has the NRDC.