The Economics of Atrazine

Frank Ackerman
2007 International journal of occupational and environmental health  
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,
more » ... trazine 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 largescale exposure of humans and the environment to this potentially hazardous chemical.
doi:10.1179/oeh.2007.13.4.437 pmid:18085057 fatcat:usmixz3vxbgxpbmkcz5djshdu4