They might not have the conservation charisma of the polar bear or the dolphin, but frog populations are suffering all over the world, and once again, human obsession with appearances is the main culprit.
Atrazine is one of the world’s most common pesticides: over 80 million pounds of it were used on American crops last year, and it has been in use for 50 years.
Atrazine’s harmful effects include:
- turning male frogs into females at concentrations as low as 2.5 parts per billion
- causing cancer in laboratory mammals and developmental problems in fish
- being the most commonly detected in pesticide in U.S. rainwater, groundwater and tapwater
Frogs and humans share half their DNA, so Atrazine is likely having similar effects on humans- we just can’t see it- yet.
Although the European Union banned the harmful pesticide in 2004, the company that produces it, Syngenta (based in Switzerland!) has $11 billion in revenues, and a huge lobby to keep Atrazine on the market in the USA.
But since when are we afraid of lobbyists or giant corporations?
What is happening to frogs should raise serious alarm bells, because frogs are indicators of environmental stress. They tell us how healthy earth’s ecosystems truly are. And as long as atrazine is being sprayed on lawns and crops, and flowing freely into our rivers, streams, and oceans, Earth’s health is going to continue to decline.
Things You Can Do:
Also, take part in today’s Daily Action, and join with Care2 and Save The Frogs. Sign the petition to ban Atrazine in honor of Save the Frogs Day!
Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - noelzialee