271735 Role of agribusiness in protecting sales of blockbuster pesticides: My experience with Syngenta

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 1:04 PM - 1:21 PM

Tyrone Hayes, PhD , Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Public health research suggests the industrialized U.S. food system is “at odds with the health of children”. Industrialization refers to the fact that it is a food system reliant on chemical and fossil-fuel intensive inputs, including synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. In terms of the latter, public health concerns include contamination of foodstuffs with pesticide residues, direct exposure of farmers and farmworkers to pesticides and the impact of pesticides on biologic organisms in the farm ecosystem that are not direct targets of those pesticides. The speaker is an ecotoxicologist and biologist at UC-Berkeley who specializes in frog development and reproduction. Over the last several years, his research and advocacy has highlighted the role that pesticide companies like Syngenta may play in terms of science and public health policy in protecting sales of their blockbuster products. Syngenta makes atrazine, an endocrine disrupting herbicide that until recent years was the most widely used in the world, as its primary use is on corn and corn is the most widely planted crop in the U.S.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss how agribusiness influences science and policy; 2. Describe how government agencies weight economic interests and political interests in their policy decisions; and 3. Examine how consideration or reconsideration of policy decisions does not keep pace with modern science.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been studying the "block buster pesticide" atrazine for 15 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.