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??
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
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
“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.”
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?