Washington, D.C.—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) reiterated that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) review of the herbicide atrazine should rely on the broad scientific evidence testifying the chemical’s safety. NCFC’s action came as the Triazine Network unveiled new research today that showed thousands of job across rural America could be lost if farmers are no longer able to use atrazine.
“Atrazine is the most thoroughly tested herbicide used in agriculture today, and EPA itself re-registered the product just four years ago, after more than a decade of intensive scientific study,” said NCFC President and CEO Chuck Conner. “Farmers across the country depend on atrazine and products containing it to increase their yield to meet the needs of a growing global population while at the same time practicing sound soil and water conservation. It is our hope that EPA will follow the science—not the ideologically-driven agendas of activists—in conducting their review.”
NCFC outlined its concerns over the review in a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson earlier this year. NCFC emphasized that the use of atrazine allows farmers to produce their crops in an environmentally and economically sound way. At the same time, ample scientific research testifies to the basic safety of atrazine, a fact that EPA itself stated in its 2006 re-registration. Government panels in Australia, Canada and Great Britain, along with the World Health Organizations, have also reached similar conclusions.
Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America’s farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 3,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.
America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.