For Immediate Release
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Washington, DC - 28-April-2011. Environmentalists from around the country will be gathering outside the headquarters of the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC Friday April 29th to call for a federal ban on Atrazine, one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. The chemical, produced by Swiss agrochemical company Syngenta, has been banned in the European Union since 2004, but 80 million pounds of it are applied in the USA each year. Atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in American groundwater. It is used primarily on corn, sugarcane, rice, sorghum and on golf courses and lawns.
Atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor that has been shown to cause immunosuppression, hermaphroditism and even complete sex reversal in male frogs at concentrations as low as 2.5 parts per billion. The chemical has been linked to reproductive defects in fish and prostate and breast cancer in laboratory rodents, and epidemiological studies suggest it is carcinogenic to humans. Atrazine is extremely persistent in the environment: it is still detectable in France 15 years after its last usage there. Over half a million pounds of Atrazine return to the Earth each year in rain and snow after it is caught in the airstream following spraying.
The rally is the central focus of Save The Frogs Day, the largest day of amphibian education in the planet's history, with at least 115 events planned in 19 countries and 24 states. The Save The Frogs Day Rally is being coordinated by SAVE THE FROGS!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to amphibian conservation. Amphibian populations worldwide have been declining at unprecedented rates, and nearly one-third of the world's amphibian species are threatened with extinction.
"Atrazine is the 21st century's DDT" says Dr. Kerry Kriger, Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS!. Dr. Kriger will be leading the Save The Frogs Day Rally and will provide the keynote presentation. Dr. Kriger hopes the rally will bring attention to the problems associated with Atrazine, and lead to a federal ban on its use and production. "Once Americans know about Atrazine, there will be overwhelming support for a ban. The problem is that only a few percent of Americans have ever heard of Atrazine", says Dr. Kriger. A world-renowned researcher from the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Tyrone Hayes, will speak about his Atrazine research at the rally.
Atrazine is produced by Syngenta, the world's largest pesticide company, who reported over $11 billion in revenues in 2010. The EPA is currently reviewing the hazards associated with Atrazine, though they are not required to make a decision regarding its legality until 2012.
What: Save The Frogs Day Rally
Where: EPA Headquarters (Near corner of 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, downtown Washington DC). Afterwards, rally attendees will march to Lafayette Plaza, across from the White House and gather there.
When: Friday April 29th, 2011 (11am – 1pm at the EPA; 1:30-2:30pm at Lafayette Plaza).
Dr. Hayes will speak at 12pm and 1:45pm and Dr. Kriger will speak at 12:30pm and 2pm.
Who: All ages are welcome.
Cost: Free & open to the public.
Info on the DC Rally: www.savethefrogs.com/dc
Info on Atrazine: www.savethefrogs.com/atrazine
Info on Save The Frogs Day: www.savethefrogs.com/day
Kerry Kriger, Ph.D.
SAVE THE FROGS! Founder, Executive Director and Ecologist
Phone: (831) 621-6215
Any photo from savethefrogs.com can be used; credit should be given to savethefrogs.com. High resolution images available upon request.
SAVE THE FROGS! (http://savethefrogs.com) is America’s first and only public charity dedicated to amphibian conservation. The mission of SAVE THE FROGS! is to protect amphibian populations and to promote a society that respects and appreciates nature and wildlife.