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The Science and Safety of Atrazine: Consider the Source

[ 0 ] March 6, 2014 |

Tyrone Hayes

Dr. Tyrone Hayes is a University of California, Berkeley, researcher who alleges that atrazine has negative effects on frog populations and may cause problems in humans. Dr. Hayes’ claims have been discredited by multiple third party sources and the EPA has found “significant methodological flaws” in his studies.

Credible scientists validate each other’s work by sharing data for reproducible experiments. Dr. Hayes, refuses to share his data, and when the EPA took it upon itself to mandate and audit similar studies, they were unable to replicate Dr. Hayes’ results.

In fact, Yale University ecology professor Dr. David Skelly found frog abnormalities prevalent in city and suburban ponds, but not in rural, agricultural areas. After participating in two EPA panels that reviewed the results of atrazine studies, Dr. Skelly stated publicly that he is not aware of anyone who has been able to replicate Dr. Hayes’ results.

In 2005, Anne E. Lindsay, then deputy director of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, testified before the Minnesota House of Representatives:

“Dr. Hayes claims not only that his laboratory has repeated the findings many times in experiments with thousands of frogs, but that other scientists have also replicated his results. EPA, however, has never seen either the results from any independent investigator published in peer-reviewed scientific journals or the raw data from Dr. Hayes’ additional experiments …”

In 2010, Donald Brady, director of the Environmental Fate and Effects Division, reinforced this sentiment in a letter to an Illinois legislator, saying the EPA “could not properly account for the sample sizes and study design reportedly used by the Berkeley researchers.”

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Ethics Concerns Surrounding Opponents to Atrazine

In addition to the questions about Dr. Hayes’ methodology and findings related to atrazine that have been raised by scientists and regulators, his professional behavior has also been called into question.

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Category: Tyrone Hayes