Wednesday, January 25, 2006

What's wrong with this picture?

The EPA has set up regulations to allow testing of pesticides on humans -- so why are three California Democrats, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Reps. Henry Waxman and Hilda Solis, denouncing the rule? The three had led an effort in Congress to require that the EPA outlaw the use of pregnant women and children as subjects and that the agency incorporate ethical guidelines from the National Academy of Sciences and the post-World War II Nuremberg Code. Congress stepped in last year to impose a moratorium after Boxer and Sen. Bill Nelson demanded that the EPA cancel an industry-backed pesticide study in which the families of 60 children in Duval County, Fla., would receive children's clothes, a camcorder and $970 for participating.

"The fact that EPA allows pesticide testing of any kind on the most vulnerable, including abused and neglected children, is simply astonishing," Boxer said.

Susan Hazen, the EPA's principal deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, said Monday the new rule for accepting tests won't allow "intentional pesticide dosing studies of children and pregnant women," but one of the questions that remains is what does that mean? Senator Boxer explains that according to the language of the proposed rule manufacturers could still conduct testing on pregnant women and children as long as they could convince the EPA that the researchers didn't intend to submit the results to the agency at the outset of the study.

To be continued....

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