Last night, I was fortunate enough to watch Nature on PBS. The episode was entitled Frogs: The Thin Green Line.
One of the featured segments dealt with the effects of agriculture on frogs. In particular, it focused on the work that Tyrone Hayes (UC Berkeley) has done regarding the hormonal effects of the pesticide atrazine on amphibians. It turns frogs with male DNA into females, capable of laying eggs. That is scary.
I had heard of the work of Dr. Hayes before, but had not ever seen it so well laid out for the general public.
You might ask why this is so important. Atrazine is the most widely used pesticide on some major crops in the US (e.g. corn) and it's effects on humans have also been described, such as the low sperm count identified here.
In the comments to the section on the agricultural effects on amphibians, Dr. Hayes commented:
tyrone hayes says:
April 7, 2009 at 8:36 am
You can support the ban on atrazine by writing to Congress:
Keith Ellison MN05EllisonKeith@mail.house.gov
A form letter is available at http://atrazinelovers.com/a2.html
Every email counts and moves us in a forward direction to protect wildlife and human health.
I am asking you to do just that. Mark Twain's Jumping Frog of Calaveras County deserves to live.