European Union bans atrazine, while the United States negotiates continued use

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2006 Jul-Sep;12(3):260-7. doi: 10.1179/oeh.2006.12.3.260.


Atrazine is a common agricultural herbicide with endocrine disruptor activity. There is evidence that it interferes with reproduction and development, and may cause cancer. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved its continued use in October 2003, that same month the European Union (EU) announced a ban of atrazine because of ubiquitous and unpreventable water contamination. The authors reviewed regulatory procedures and government documents, and report efforts by the manufacturer of atrazine, Syngenta, to influence the U.S. atrazine assessment, by submitting flawed scientific data as evidence of no harm, and by meeting repeatedly and privately with EPA to negotiate the government's regulatory approach. Many of the details of these negotiations continue to be withheld from the public, despite EPA regulations and federal open-government laws that require such decisions to be made in the open.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atrazine / adverse effects*
  • Atrazine / standards
  • Carcinogens / pharmacology
  • Carcinogens / standards
  • Chemical Industry / standards*
  • Endocrine Disruptors / pharmacology
  • Endocrine Disruptors / standards
  • Environmental Exposure / prevention & control*
  • Environmental Exposure / standards
  • European Union
  • Herbicides / adverse effects*
  • Herbicides / standards
  • Humans
  • Negotiating / methods
  • Policy Making
  • Public Policy*
  • United States
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency / standards*
  • Water Pollution, Chemical / adverse effects*
  • Water Pollution, Chemical / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Water Pollution, Chemical / prevention & control
  • Water Supply / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Water Supply / standards


  • Carcinogens
  • Endocrine Disruptors
  • Herbicides
  • Atrazine