Reported by Marvin Dupree
Tyrone B. Hayes is a successful African-American biologist who is a professor at Berkeley University, and in 1998, he was asked by Syngenta, which happens to be one of the largest businesses in agriculture in the world, to conduct experiments on the herbicide, Atrazine. This herbicide is used on more than half the corn produced in the United States, not to mention that it is one of the most commonly-detected pesticides found in U.S. water, according to the the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The chemical is banned in the European Union and has remained banned for over a decade.
The research Hayes conducted led to some shocking findings. Hayes discovered that Atrazine is an endocrine disruptor, and in his research on frogs, he discovered that Atrazine has an emasculating effect on the animals. Not only does the herbicide disrupt the production of testosterone in frogs, it increases estrogen production in male frogs. In some cases, the test subjects would even reproduce as females, despite having been born as males. Hayes pondered whether Atrazine would have the same affect on humans as it had been proven to have on frogs.
In his video interview with “Democracy Now,” Hayes disclosed how for many years, Syngenta had tried to discredit him academically, but also indirectly threatened to s*xually assault his daughter and wife. Other threats included threatening him with rape and lynching.
For a long time, Hayes felt isolated, but then a class action suit was brought against the company by 23 cities in the Midwest claiming that the company actively tried to conceal the adverse and dangerous effects of its product in drinking water. In an interview with the New Yorker, Stephen Tillery, a lawyer who argued the cases, claimed that Hayes’ research was the scientific basis for the lawsuit.