Studying for 20 years
Tyron Hayes, an associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley has been studying atrazine, a widely used herbicide for Syngenta for more than 20 years. He finds that atrazine has harmful effects on the endocrine and sexual systems.
Hayes was hired for the first time in 1997 by a company that later became agribusiness giant Syngenta to study their atrazine product, which is applied to more than half of the US corn crops. Hayes finds that atrazine causes sexual anomalies in frogs and can cause the same problems in humans. With atrazine, frogs the male hormone testosterone is not produced at appropriate levels. Some male frogs begin to develop ovaries and ova as well as homosexual behavior.
In an attempt to conceal the research, Syngenta offered Hayes a new contract and bought the data from his research and when they failed, they began to pay to scientists to refute them. It is common practice for similar corporations to fund various health organizations, institutes, etc. to interpret data in their favor.
Hays also published a study of 22 independent scientists from around the world from 12 different countries who show that atrazine causes sexual problems in mammals, birds, amphibians, and fish. Other studies have shown that the genitals of male babies exposed to the atrazine womb do not develop properly, and that the number of sperm decreases when exposed to the chemical. Atrazine is also associated with breast cancer and has been banned in the EU for more than a decade as it is carcinogenic, but is widely used in the US and other countries and can be found everywhere – in soil, food, drinking water and etc. How many chemicals affect the endocrine system negatively and it is difficult to understand, because of the powerful influence of corporations, which is growing increasingly in the world, and the EU is no exception.