07/26/2011 10:13 am ET | Updated Sep 25, 2011

Atrazine Use Rises While EPA Twiddles Its Thumbs

 Row crop (corn) near a well that was sampled for the reconnaissance of herbicide concentrations in Midwest ground water (USGS)

It’s been a good year for Syngenta, the maker of the endocrine-disrupting chemical atrazine.  Last week, the company reported double-digest growth in sales and net income for the first half of 2011. Atrazine was a standout performer, as sales “grew strongly in the Americas with lower imports of generic product.”

Given the reams of scientific data that atrazine hurts human health, wildlife, and aquatic ecosystems, shows up in alarmingly high levels in drinking water across the Midwest, and has few economic benefits, we were heartened in 2009, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would conduct a review of the chemical’s safety and effectiveness.

That was almost three years ago.  Instead of quick action, EPA has moved at a glacial pace. Despite mounting evidence calling both atrazine’s safety and effectiveness into question, the agency has still failed to act (or even decided not to act).  The results?  Atrazine use in the United States is increasing and its Swiss-based manufacturer is reaping huge profits, even while atrazine’s use is effectively banned across Europe. 

If you want to send EPA a message, you can take action here.

Photo by USGS.

This post originally appeared on NRDC's Switchboard blog.