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An announcement that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will analyze the effects of the pesticides glyphosate and atrazine on endangered species may one day result in the removal of these products from store shelves. At least that is the hope of the Center for Biological Diversity, which released the announcement on Feb. 19.
According to the Center, the Fish and Wildlife Service will research how the chemicals impact 1,500 endangered plant and animal species. Brett Hartl, the Center’s endangered species policy director, was quoted as saying that the group hopes sale of the chemicals will be banned in the U.S. once the public learns “just how toxic and deadly these pesticides are to endangered species.”
The analysis is expected to be completed by December 2022.
Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Roundup, Monsanto’s extremely popular weed killer. It inhibits a plant’s ability to process a certain enzyme, and as a result makes it unable to access proteins that are key to growth. Without the enzyme, most plants will die within days or weeks.
According to the Center, more than 300 million pounds of Roundup are used each year. The product has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other forms of cancer, and also to the decline of several species of wildlife, such as the monarch butterfly.