NCGA said today that the EPA did not use the best available science and data in the recently released endangered species biological evaluations for glyphosate, atrazine, and simazine, and, as a result, EPA’s final assessment for these chemistries vastly inflate the number of species and habitats found likely to be adversely affected.
“The assumptions EPA made in drafting this biological evaluation are not based on the real-world use of these products,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “It vastly overestimated the volume of herbicide farmers use and instead relied on inflated levels that resulted in this evaluation.”
In its evaluation, which was released on Friday and conducted as part of the Endangered Species Act, EPA looked at the effects of glyphosate, atrazine and simazine on endangered species when used at the highest legal limits rather than at levels typically used by farmers. EPA’s determination is also based on the assumption that the chemistries are used more frequently than estimates would suggest.
“EPA previously promised grower groups, including the National Corn Growers Association, that the agency would only use the best available science in its studies,” Edgington said. “In this case, EPA has not kept its promise.”
EPA’s unrealistic work product will now be used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to determine whether the herbicides harm endangered species and could result in product restrictions.