During testimony before an Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Advisory Panel evaluating the effects of atrazine on human health, NCGA Director of Public Policy Sarah Gallo explained the importance of the product to combat weeds effectively and affordably.

She also discussed how farmers have been safely applying atrazine for more than a half century.

Click here for her testimony.

“The United States is the world’s largest producer and exporter of corn and one of the key inputs that makes this possible is atrazine,” Gallo said during her testimony.

“Atrazine is applied on well over half of all corn acres in this country and, according to the EPA, saves corn farmers as much as $28 an acre in reduced herbicide costs and increased yields.”

Gallo said atrazine safety has been verified by more than 6,000 studies and nine reviews by the EPA.

She also pointed to a study released in May that concluded there is no association between atrazine worker exposure and any form of cancer. This latest report studied more than 57,000 licensed pesticide applicators from 1994 to 2007.

“At a time when so much of the U.S. economy is struggling, we cannot forget that agriculture is one of the few areas that is competing better than ever — creating good American jobs right here at home in the heartland of America,” Gallo said.

“Rather than do anything to hurt our farmers’ ability to compete, we should do all we can to ensure that America’s farm exports remain strong in world markets. Atrazine helps us do that.”