Regulatory Watchdogs

Center for Regulatory Effectiveness

Greenpeace International
Public Citizen
Sierra Club

Center for Auto Safety
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Clean Air Trust
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Environmental Defense
ETC Group
FM Watch
Friends of the Earth
PR Watch
State Public Interest Research Groups
U.S. Public Interest Research Groups


The Gross and Unacceptable Behavior of Dr. Tyrone Hayes
What do you do about a professor who sends employees of a company he dislikes a lengthy series of bizarre, rambling emails including one containing a graphic threat of sexual violence? If you're NRDC, you support his nomination to EPA's FIFRA Science Advisory Panel by saying that he "is pleasant to work with" and "tireless in his efforts to reach the highest scientific standards possible."

While Dr. Hayes is tireless, it is in his efforts to harass and intimidate those who do not agree with views. Dr. Hayes is a Professor of Biology at the University of California/Berkeley and vocal proponent of a notion, rejected by EPA, that the herbicide atrazine causes reproductive abnormalities in amphibians.

In a 2009 email the subject line, "are yall ready for it?" Dr. Hayes wrote to two people working for Syngenta, the manufacturer of atrazine, (ellipses in original):

    “aww shucks...I’m bouta’ handle
         my biz right now
    see you bucked...wondering
          ... ‘what it is right now?’
    ya outa’ luck...bouta show
          you how it is right now
    see you’re ****ed...(I didn’t
          pull out) and ya fulla
          my j*z right now!”
An inexplicable 2008 Hayes email to Syngenta personnel stated, in part, "each of you, 6 defiled souls in 3 groups with 54 wishes to be answered...surrounded by 7 thunderbolts, 7 infernos, 7 tsunamis, 7 serpents, with your nakedness facing the tundra...."

Another 2008 Hayes email stated, "It does not matter what side of the line I walk, but rather how far over it I have crossed. As I once told [deleted]-with-a-Y-like-the-wine, I accept the fact that I am crazy...proud of it even. But consider that crazy people think they are normal and that everyone else is crazy. Again, to maintain my sanity, it is best to acknowledge my insanity...but what kind of insane man is sane enough to recognize his own insanity?"

An April 2010 email, using a quote from a well known rap artist, said "Pull your strap on me, ***, you better kill me." Other violent quotes in the Hayes email included one from Machiavelli, "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared."

Syngenta recently filed a formal ethics complaint with the University of California regarding Dr. Hayes' "personal, explicit and obscene" communications. The complaint followed a letter two years earlier regarding Dr. Hayes' strange, harassing emails. At the time, the University assured the company that Dr. Hayes had agreed to cease sending "offensive or unprofessional" emails. Along with the complaint, Syngenta released over a hundred pages of emails sent by Dr. Hayes.

Dr. Hayes' incessant stream of vulgar communications to Syngenta employees demonstrates that he cannot be considered as an objective scientific voice on matters related to atrazine. Dr. Hayes' emails containing implicit threats of rape and other violence demonstrate that, at least at the present time, he cannot be considered as a respected member of the scientific community.

See ethics complaint against Dr. Hayes

See extensive supporting documentation

CRE Homepage