Ending human pesticide experiments: January 24, 2011.

Author:Belli, Brita
Position:THIS WEEK

Until now, pesticide experiments on humans have been allowed, including experiments that sound not unlike legalized torture. On January 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed major restrictions on what it would allow in safety data from chemical companies that relied on human experiments. The existing rule, established in 2006, allows "parents or other authority figures to allow pesticide testing on their children in some circumstances." And it allowed chemical companies to douse willing participants with pesticides--swallowed in pill form, inhaled in chambers or sprayed into eyes. The new rules would forbid such experiments on children and make it nearly impossible for companies to submit such studies--deemed unethical, and possibly in violation of the Nuremberg Code--as safety evidence.

Now in public comment phase, the changes have come as a result of a 2010 court settlement between the EPA and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other public health and farmworker advocacy groups.

As terrible as pesticide-dousing sounds, there was some purported purpose to...

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