EPA cancels pesticide tests on Floridian babies

This is just such a shocking story from the New York Times that I am letting it speak for itself. This is what our tax money goes to fund and how our government acts in what we foolishly believe is “the best interest of the people”. Did I wake up in Oz or something??

EPA Halts Florida Test on Pesticides


WASHINGTON, April 8 – Stephen L. Johnson, the acting administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency, said on Friday that he was canceling a
study of the effects of pesticides on infants and babies, a day after two
Democratic senators said they would block his confirmation if the research

Rich Hood, a spokesman for the agency, acknowledged that Mr. Johnson had
canceled the test because of the objections to his confirmation. “They are
pretty juxtaposed in time, aren’t they?” Mr. Hood said. “There is clearly a

But Mr. Hood said the opposition was not the only reason for the

“Mr. Johnson said in a meeting this morning that, his confirmation aside, he
had come to pose serious questions as to whether or not this study was the
appropriate thing to do,” he said.

A recruiting flier for the program, called the Children’s Environmental
Exposure Research Study, or Cheers, offered $970, a free camcorder, a bib
and a T-shirt to parents whose infants or babies were exposed to pesticides
if the parents completed the two-year study. The requirements for
participation were living in Duval County, Fla., having a baby under 3
months old or 9 to 12 months old, and “spraying pesticides inside your home

The study was being paid for in part by the American Chemistry Council, a
trade group that includes pesticide makers.

In an interview on Friday, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, one of two
Democrats who said they would block the confirmation, said the study
amounted to “using infants in my state as guinea pigs.”

Mr. Nelson said the study sought to recruit subjects in a poor neighborhood
by offering parents compensation for practices potentially dangerous to
their children.

“If you knew smoking caused cancer,” he said, “would you want to have a
study that said, ‘Don’t do anything, just keep smoking like you are smoking
and we are going to pay you and give you a camcorder so that you can record
all this’? ”

Financing from the American Chemistry Council added a dangerous potential
conflict of interest, Mr. Nelson said.

In a statement explaining the cancellation, Mr. Johnson said he first halted
the study last fall “in light of questions about the study design” to
conduct an independent review.

But he attributed the cancellation mainly to mischaracterizations of the
study. Some Democratic critics have portrayed it as deliberately spraying
infants with pesticides.

“E.P.A. senior scientists have briefed me on the impact these
misrepresentations have had on the ability to proceed with the study,” Mr.
Johnson said. “E.P.A. must conduct quality, credible research in an
atmosphere absent of gross misrepresentation and controversy.”

… the article continues

This study is just shocking to me. Maybe I’m just being naive to be surprised, but bribing impoverished parents with some tchotchkas, parents who are likely dooming their beloved children to a life of health problems, is outrageous. But that’s just me talking. What’s your opinion of this story?

6 comments on “EPA cancels pesticide tests on Floridian babies

  1. It would seem that there’s some confusion here.
    “Maybe I’m just being naive to be surprised, but bribing impoverished parents with some tchotchkas, parents who are likely dooming their beloved children to a life of health problems, is outrageous.”??
    Their children are already being exposed to the pesticides in question; that’s the point of the research.
    Pesticides are released in many ways; not only are they used around the home, but they are, for example, sprayed out of airplanes on crops. They are not confined to small areas, but sprayed in aerosol form into the air, and they spread everywhere, including around babies.
    To think that this study was either placing pesticides on or in babies, or encouraging parents to continue dangerous pratices is absurd.
    The study was done in poor neighborhoods, where babies historically get ther poorest medical care; this study was providing such care to the babies who needed it most.
    It is a real shame that it is Senators who are spreading the falshoods about this, since one would think that someone who actually got elected to the Senate would be able to think a little better, and possibly use part of his staff to research this a lot better.
    Oh, heck, let’s see this for what it really is: an attempt by Democrats to further disrupt the current adninistration’s plans by playing on the fears of people who aren’t going to put in the time and effort to find the facts.

  2. “. . . this study was providing such care to the babies who needed it most.”
    No, this article doesn’t indicate that the study itself (or the researchers involved) is providing any care to the babies in the study.
    I do, however, see a potential hazard to this kind of study. It is being done in low-income areas, where there are actually parents who would contemplate spraying pesticides around their babies (if not actually do it), just to get the “gifts.” I don’t believe that the numbers of people who would do this are great, but the threat is real.
    In reality, there have already been dozens of studies on pesticides, and I don’t believe that another one, specifically on babies, is necessary.
    “Financing from the American Chemistry Council added a dangerous potential conflict of interest, Mr. Nelson said.”
    Yes, this is definitely a conflict of interest. Another good reason to cancel any study.
    Since this article is an op-ed piece, we don’t get the opportunity to actually see the details of the study. So, trying to decide if it should be cancelled or not is really a silly proposition. Based, however, on the conflict of interest point, I believe that it should not be conducted.

  3. Sounds like a great marketing plan “Get the poor people who we really dont need any way to do this testing, we can offer them free stuff they cant afford and it should suck them right in” @@ Sick!

  4. I think that trying to use low income people for this kind of study is horrible. Why target low income families? Is it easier to convince them, because they get FREE STUFF and because they might not have the resources to really know what they are exposing their infants to? And what happens after? The consequences of these babies health? As parents we’re supposed to live for our children, keep them safe and love them. It is God’s gift for us, and I believe FREE STUFF is not worth risking my child’s health for some “study”. Besides $970 is nothing compared to the cost of a lifetime of complications (in child’s health) that might come from this study.

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