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Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005 03:46 am

Pesticide testing on kids

Bush’s EPA has crafted an unbelievable, inhuman rule

I’m whopper-jawed. I’m stunned. I’m sick. I’m disgusted. I’m fuming. If you thought that you could no longer be shocked by anything the Bush administration does, you’ve obviously not heard of the latest inhuman, totally depraved, appalling bit of evil coming out of Bush’s EPA. These so-called environmental and health protectors have proposed a new rule regarding the testing of toxic pesticides on human beings — a deplorable practice that the chemical makers have long favored. Because the EPA had been caught supporting tests in which children were intentionally dosed with pesticides, Congress mandated in August that the agency issue a rule permanently banning such pesticide tests, without exception. In September, the EPA issued its proposed rule, hailing it as “a landmark regulation on human studies” and flatly declaring that “certain kinds of human research can never be acceptable.” Beyond its flowery declaration of ethical principles, however, EPA’s proposal is 30 pages of fine print that viciously guts those very principles by giving the pesticide corporations clear-cut exceptions to the supposed ban on human testing. Get ready to puke, for these are some of the exceptions: • Neglected or abused infants may be subjected to pesticide tests, without the consent of parents or guardians. • Mentally handicapped and orphaned infants may be used for tests for the sake of research. • EPA will accept industry pesticide tests done on children outside the United States, including countries with minimal or no ethical standards. Not only do these repulsive exceptions violate even the lowest level of human decency and morality, but they also are in direct violation of Congress’s mandate to allow no exceptions to the ban on such tests — zero. The agency has cynically chosen industry profits over children’s welfare.
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