Thursday, January 26, 2006

EPA: F*ck the Kids

In August of last year, a moratorium was put into place that prohibited EPA use of humans in pesticide testing until the time that standards could be established and put in place.  Strong bipartisan support saw an easy passage.

Now, a copy of a draft rule has been leaked that contains provisions that would permit pesticide testing on humans, including pregant/nursing women and children, in direct contravention of Congress' earlier actions.

WASHINGTON, DC, January 25, 2006 (ENS) - Three U.S. legislators are asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw a planned rule to permit pesticide experimentation on humans, including pregnant and nursing mothers and children.

The aforesaid three legislators are Senator Barbara Boxer, Representative Henry Waxman and Representative Hilda Solis.

Apparently the EPA sees no problem as long as the test results are not intended for submission, at least at the outset, to the agency.

But the leaked final draft rule would allow manufacturers to conduct testing of pesticides upon pregnant women and children so long as there is no "intent" at the outset of the study to submit the results to the EPA.

Why this would matter is not clear.  Expose whoever you like, babies, the poor or the infirm.  Just don't submit the results to the EPA.

And if your're a damned foreigner, well, you are beneath contempt.

The EPA final draft rule introduces new loopholes that will allow for ethical abuse, the legislators warn. While the plan would require researchers to document their ethical compliance in the United States when the plan applies to them, it waives overseas researchers from having to prove a study was ethically conducted - even when the researcher intends to submit the study to EPA.

I'm surprised that the plan doesn't make special provision for white versus non-white testing subjects.  Why mince words when there are worthwhile corporate interests to protect?

One very large omission in the proposed EPA rule is any prohibition or check against paying poor people amounts that would induce them to sign informed consent papers or falsely certify that they

were already exposing themselves to the chemical under study
, Ruch said.   (Attorney Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)

And the potential adverse effects of testing?  Well here's a start.

People with high levels of pesticides in their blood are far more likely to develop genetic mutations linked with cancers, birth defects, and neurological disorders peer-reviewed scientific studies across the world have documented.

Officially sanctioned testing on humans.  It does remind one of a certain Teutonic administration of the past.

At least the kids can entertain themselves here.

EPA Kids Link  



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