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Int J Occup Environ Health. 2007 Oct-Dec;13(4):437-45.

The economics of atrazine.

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Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA.


It is often claimed that atrazine is of great economic benefit to corn growers, but support for this claim is limited. Some cost-benefit studies have assumed that atrazine boosts corn yields by 6%; an extensive review found a 3%-4% average yield increase; other research suggests only a 1% yield effect. Syngenta, the producer of atrazine, also makes mesotrione, an alternative herbicide that does about the same amount for corn yields as atrazine. Italy and Germany both banned atrazine in 1991, with no decrease in corn yields or harvested area. Even if atrazine leads to 6% more corn production, it is not certain that this would justify its continued use; a 1%, or perhaps zero, change does not warrant large-scale exposure of humans and the environment to this potentially hazardous chemical.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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