The following statement about the U.S. EPA’s ecological risk assessment on the pesticide atrazine can be attributed to Chad Kemp, Ohio farmer and President of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.

“Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Ecological Risk Assessment about atrazine — an assessment not based on sound science and that ignores decades of reliable research proving the safety of atrazine.

“With more than 7,000 scientific studies over the past 50 years, atrazine has been proven to be a safe and effective crop management tool. It is one of the most reliable herbicides available.

“We are dismayed and astounded that the EPA chose to fly in the face of guidance from its own Science Advisory Panel and base this assessment on studies the panel found flawed just four years ago. The trust level in this assessment plunges knowing that faulty studies were used as the basis of this evaluation.

“And who pays the price for this not-so-scientific assessment? Consumers will face higher food costs as yields decrease and farm operating costs rise. Farming without atrazine could cost farmers up to $59 per acre. And based on what? The unsubstantiated ‘claim’ that atrazine is not safe? The very same ‘claim’ that is based on flawed studies that ignore many years of reliable research proving the safety of atrazine?

“We are deeply disappointed that the EPA has once again chosen to ignore science and, by doing so, has demonstrated its lack of support for and understanding of the farming industry and the negative economic impact its decisions place on consumers. We are urging all farmers and others who care about a plentiful, affordable food supply to contact the EPA and tell them to base their decision on sound science.”