Save the Frogs campaign: Follow the money to an anti-pesticide ruse

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Two recent articles in The American Spectator and the Huffington Post, as well as a posting on JunkScience.com, have pulled back the veil of deception of the current Save the Frogs campaign; we d like to praise Robert James Bidinotto, Jon Entine, and Steve Milloy, respectively, for these editorial contributions.

Perhaps some of you have already heard about this particular environmental movement, which has declared today Save the Frogs Day and is working to prevent the looming "amphibian extinction crisis" they claim is the result of evil pesticides most notably, atrazine. In fact, today these groups will be taking their anti-chemical, anti-pesticide message directly to the steps of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is ironic, given the fact that the EPA specifically supported the safety of atrazine on numerous occasions; further, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international scientific bodies have all supported the safety of atrazine. In fact, the WHO recently increased the tolerable limit of atrazine in water from 2 parts per billion to 100 ppb.

But none of these scientific facts has stopped the conspiracy of anti-pesticide activists and big-business organic marketers from spreading their anti-chemical fiction.

The Save the Frogs campaign has taken its cause one step further by advising people to choose organic foods and has even linked to a website demonstrating the benefits of eating organic produce. However, if you dig a little deeper, it won t be long before you find that the Organic Valley Cooperative, one of the largest organic farmer cooperative businesses in the U.S., is responsible for creating the site. Environmentalism or economics, we wonder?

It s interesting to note that according to real biologists, the loss of frog species is actually caused by the global spread of a virulent and highly transmissible fungus, which results in the lethal amphibian disease chytridiomycosis. A major 2007 scientific study on the issue concluded: In the absence of supportive evidence for alternative theories despite decades of research, it is important for the scientific community and conservation agencies to recognize and manage the threat of chytridiomycosis to remaining species of frogs.

Instead of focusing on the real problem leading to frog population decline, these environmental groups are promoting their anti-pesticide agendas. Atrazine is one of the most important crop protection chemicals around and is an extremely valuable herbicide used to increase crop yields dramatically, especially corn. To this day, there have been no reported cases of adverse health effects in humans, animals or the environment as a result of atrazine use, emphasizes ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross.