Archive for February 2014

Scientist Professor Tyrone Hayes Targeted By Herbicide Firm Syngenta

This video from Democracy Now shows how the world of scientific research, including in universities, is being both funded and hounded by the large drug manufacturers. Money, power and intimidation largely drives the world of science today. It has changed dramatically in the last 30 years, though these forces have been at work for far longer.

University of California – Berkeley scientist and professor Tyrone Hayes, who discovered a widely used herbicide may have harmful effects on the endocrine system. But when he tried to publish the results, the chemical’s manufacturer launched a campaign to discredit his work. Hayes was first hired in 1997 by a company, which later became agribusiness giant Syngenta, to study their product, Atrazine, a pesticide that is applied to more than half the corn crops in the United States, and widely used on golf courses and Christmas tree farms. When Hayes found results Syngenta did not expect — that Atrazine causes sexual abnormalities in frogs, and could cause the same problems for humans — it refused to allow him to publish his findings. A new article in The New Yorker magazine uses court documents from a class-action lawsuit against Syngenta to show how it sought to smear Hayes’ reputation and prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from banning the profitable chemical, which is already banned by the European Union.

To add a further layer to this, there is this Democracy Now story – EPA Fails to Inform Public About Weed Killer in Drinking Water, Huffington Post Investigation Reveals.

Does anyone still think these various agencies operate in the public interest?

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