Hawaii News — ‘A Tale Of Toads And Men’

?By Robert Duerr

Dr. Tyrone Hayes, Professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, gave his talk “Silent Spring to Silent Night…A Tale of Toads and Men” at UHH which detailed the adverse affects of Atrazine a herbicide commonly found in water wells in Hawaii.
?His speaking engagement was sponsored by the Hawaii Center for Food Safety and Hawaii Seeds. Hayes brought the full capacity audience through the history of his peer reviewed, published and internationally recognized amphibian studies on the popular herbicide Atrazine.
?Hayes calls Atrazine an endrocrine disrupter that demasculinizes and feminizes male frogs. Atrazine’s master chef is Syngenta, a Swiss global chemical and GMO behemoth. Hayes’ published studies in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” and “Nature” have been actively disparaged by Syngenta.
?Hayes’ studies claim that the chemical Atrazine in extreme parts per billion low doses deforms cells in amphibians. Hayes furthers his anti-Atrazine testimonial by stating that peer-reviewed and published works of other scientists around the world have proposed that the chemical is also damaging reptiles, birds, rats and human cells.
?Hayes began his work with Atrazine in 1997 working for consultant EcoRisk Inc. At the time Atrazine was owned by Novartis another pharma-chem leviathan, since swallowed by Syngenta. Hayes was one of a panel of scientists testing the herbicide for Novartis.
?When Hayes’s work hinted at toxic effects, Novartis dropped his funding from further research. Hayes went rogue and replicated studies in 2002 with African clawed frogs and leopard frogs that showed the same negative results as the EcoRisk Inc. study.
?African clawed frogs ae important Hayes says because at the time they were used for human pregnancy testing. In 2007 as a co-author his lab work showed that Atrazine is implicated “in complete feminization and chemical castration. ” It is now that he sees a ecoepidemiological link between frogs and humans and postulates that Atrazine at low doses causes damage in humans.
?This link Hayes calls a “tale of toads and men.” Hayes believes that Atrazine alters aromatose and estrogen production which is implicated in frog and human disease. Hayes further claims that Syngenta is now a “one stop shop” with unit Novartis selling Letrozole a prominent cancer drug which offsets Atrazine’s aberrant estrogen production.
?“I’m a boy that just loves frogs,” Hayes says repeatedly but this frog love has Syngenta writhing. A class-action lawsuit in 2014 uncovered an orchestrated professional and personal smear campaign by the chemical company against Hayes. Hayes’s work and others were used in a $105 million dollar settlement for water companies to pay for filtering of Atrazine. Syngenta settled denying wrongdoing
?Atrazine is the second most popular herbicide in the United States with 76 million pounds used each year. According to a 2013-14 joint study between the Hawaii Department of Health and Department of Agriculture Atrazine “was the most commonly found pesticide in the study. Of the sites tested 80 percent had atrazine detections.”
?Fenix Grange Hawaii Department of Health environmental cleanup supervisor told the Hawaii Tribune Herald that the highest amount detected in the island was .075 parts per billion. Safe drinking limits set are 3 ppb while Hayes conducted many of his experiments at 1 ppb.
?Hayes told GMO advocates in the audience that his main objection to GMO crops is their dedicated pesticide uses. He fears that the regulatory process has been corrupted by government, business and university collaborations that bias against safety and collaborates for profits and funding.

Robert Duerr is an outdoor writer and member of Outdoor Writers of America. He writes monthly about Hawaii land and sea public policy in Hawaii Fishing News. He is the first Hawaii writer to call for a breakup of DLNR forcing a separation of the state’s land leasing syndicate from natural resource management.

11 replies
  1. dd
    dd says:

    The Garden Isle gets doused weekly eh? Money over health. I guess rainwater may be safer? Me thinks the enemy sleeps among us. Fda, USDA all corrupt and in bed with these non-humans who will poison the earth for money. Profits over health. The american way!!!!!

  2. dd
    dd says:

    Kauai uses atrazine weekly on the west side. The mayor on Kauai is being challenged by the anti gmo directly by having one of their own run for mayor.

  3. dond
    dond says:

    The west side of the Garden Isle is sprayed almost every day. These companies use Hawaii to test these chemicals. We are the guinea pigs eh?

  4. Hawaiino
    Hawaiino says:

    Jeez Louise!!! Do a little research on this guy before you accept his story. But thanks for trying to scare the pants off of us…again.

    “The EPA has gone on record calling his work “methodologically flawed” and has twice publicly stated that Hayes has never made his full data accessible to them (in direct contradiction of Hayes’s own claims). Hayes’ sensationalized claims of frogs that are “chemically castrated” and turned “gay” by atrazine have simply not been replicated by other scientists and his assertions are contradicted by a vast number of studies in the scientific literature. Moreover, although atrazine has been used for over 50 years, field studies have failed to find any correlation with feminized male frogs that Hayes claims occurred in his research.

    Perhaps this is because, in contrast to Hayes’s secret science, the massive, state-of-the-art studies conducted by Germany’s Werner Kloas – actually two identical studies conducted in separate labs, so they were replicated in real time, failed to establish the effects claimed by Hayes. These studies, which EPA considers definitive, show no harmful effects on frogs at an even wider range of doses than Hayes claims he tested. EPA participated in the studies’ design, had full access to the labs, and audited and vetted every single data point in them.

    Shed no tears for poor beleaguered Tyrone Hayes. Now that he’s a full fledged victim and “celebrity” speaker, anti-pesticide groups are funding his dubious research. Forget peer review and the Environmental Protection Agency. Advocacy groups have a more effective strategy: circumvent the scientific method and directly scare the public, empirical evidence be damned.”

  5. Hawaiino
    Hawaiino says:

    Here’s a link to the study that refutes Hayes conclusions:


    This Abstract is the summation, scroll to the bottom for links to the complete study.

    With his controversial personal behaviour and constant public tours Hayes has seemingly made a career out of his theory. The problem is that his foundation study’s peer review was non-standardized, the methodology was incomplete and his results havent been repeatable….He’s a US version of Seralini.

    A question to the author of this piece;
    As you enjoyed his theatre, amidst all the other excited believers, did you at some point wonder if you weren’t in the thrall of a charlatan?

  6. robert duerr
    robert duerr says:

    This came in and stands credited:
    Bob, your statement in your Big Island Chronicle article about Tyrone Hayes, about Novartis allegedly being swallowed by Syngenta, is not accurate. Novartis pharmaceutical company is still very alive.
    Novartis did divest itself of Novartis Agribusiness. Novartis Ag then merged (was not swallowed) with Zeneca Agrochemicals to form Syngenta.
    Again, the divestiture left Novartis pharma fully functional.

  7. Obie
    Obie says:

    “In 2007 as a co-author his lab work showed that Atrazine is implicated “in complete feminization and chemical castration.”

    If this is true why do we still have millions of coquis ???

  8. Hawaiino
    Hawaiino says:

    On the subjects of pesticides and transgenic breeding I’ve yet to see a true “mea culpa”.

    I’ll rely on Emerson here to explain;
    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds “

  9. Hawaiino
    Hawaiino says:

    I missed this on the first pass…(yes, I sometimes reread articles even if they lack critical perspective)

    “Fenix Grange Hawaii Department of Health environmental cleanup supervisor told the Hawaii Tribune Herald that the highest amount detected in the island was .075 parts per billion. Safe drinking limits set are 3 ppb while Hayes conducted many of his experiments at 1 ppb”

    OK, so the HIGHEST concentration of residual atrazine detected on the BI was at 1/4 the maximum level deemed safe? Were you hoping readers were unable to distinguish percentages/fractions and would remain in agreement with your/Hayes premise that our genders were somehow in jeopardy ? Or were you reassuring readers of our safe drinking water?

    Just curious.. Stay thirsty my friends.

  10. I AM
    I AM says:

    We need Strictly Enforced Laws protecting the ‘Aina from Chemical Toxins.

    Their usage of “restricted use pesticides” in Kaua’i tops the nation, unleashing alachlor, atrazine, chlorpyrifos, methomyl, metolachlor, permethrin and paraquat onto the land.

    After comparing 2009 pesticide usage data from a US Geological Survey database with amounts registered with the Hawai’i Department of Agriculture, it was found out that Kaua’i was being inundated with higher concentrations of pesticides than any other region in the US.

    In fact, the amount of pesticides being blasted on the island is greater than amounts used in California and over 10 times greater than the national average!

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/045662_biotech_companies_toxic_chemicals_Kauai.html#ixzz35JgWBzzi

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *