Congress questions EPA on glyphosate, atrazine

EPA is under fire from the House of Representatives, this time for agency decisions on two common herbicides.

In a May 11 letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the House Agriculture Committee questioned why EPA posted and then quickly removed a “final report” on glyphosate’s cancer risk. The committee had similar questions for EPA regarding a preliminary report on the environmental effects of atrazine, another popular weed-killer.

“We are troubled that EPA mistakenly posted and later removed documents related to assessments of two different chemicals within one week,” the letter said. “These mistakes indicate systemic problems with EPA’s management of its chemical review and publication processes.”

Members are also frustrated by the pace of EPA’s process. “We are concerned that EPA has continually delayed its review of glyphosate,” the letter said.

The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology also wants answers from EPA about the glyphosate report slip-up.

“EPA’s removal of this report and subsequent backtracking on its finality raises questions about the agency’s motivation in providing a fair assessment of glyphosate,” the committee said in a May 4 letter to EPA’s McCarthy.

Both agencies have requested EPA to respond to their questions by May 18.

By Alison Rice, Markets and News Editor, May 16, 2016 | 7:53 am EDT