It’s not quite a published guideline yet, but the Environmental Protection Agency is apparently poised to issue some new guidelines about testing pesticides that are predictably more pro-business and pro-chemical company than they are protecting our citizens.
The Washington Post, for example, is reporting on this in its article entitled EPA Devises Rules on the Use of Data From Pesticide Tests on Humans, wherein they note:
“Much of the controversy centers on whether it is acceptable to expose children and pregnant women to pesticides under any circumstances. One EPA official, who asked not to be identified because the agency has not published its proposal, said the EPA wanted to let manufacturers keep the option of testing on children such products as mosquito and tick repellents to ascertain their efficacy”
Maybe it’s just me, but this gives me the heebie-jeebies. I mean, isn’t the role of the EPA to be protecting the environment and, by extension, the people who are part of that environment?
More choice passages from this article:
“For years, federal officials allowed manufacturers to conduct human studies on the grounds that they provided a clearer picture of how pesticides could affect the environment and public health. President Bill Clinton imposed a moratorium in 1998 out of concern that such tests harmed volunteers; although President Bush initially backed the moratorium, his administration abandoned it in 2003 to satisfy a court ruling in favor of pesticide makers, which argued that the federal government had not engaged the public fully enough before banning the information. EPA officials now consider data from human experiments on a case-by-case basis when judging whether to approve pesticides.”
“Leo Trasande, assistant director of the Mount Sinai Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, said after reviewing the proposal that the agency is on “a dangerous slippery slope” that could allow pesticide makers to conduct questionable studies as long as they said they were not aimed at gauging their products’ toxicity. “The EPA is again failing in its duty to protect children from pesticides and other toxic exposures,” he said.”
What do you think? Ready to have companies spray us with chemicals, or offer our kids $20 to drink a mysterious potion, just to see what happens and collect some data?