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EPA Allowing Toxic Chemical Testing on Children and Low Income Americans


WEB NOTE: THIS ACTION ALERT IS NOW CLOSED, AS CONGRESS HAS VOTED TO STOP EPA FROM ALLOWING TESTING OF TOXIC PESTICIDES ON HUMANS. CONGRATULATIONS TO EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS ALERT!


 

Sign Petition to Congress
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The EPA is now allowing chemical companies to conduct toxic chemical studies on low-income Americans. An analysis of 24 such studies found that 22 involved ethically questionable practices. A new related congressional report states that "nearly one-third of the studies reviewed were specifically designed to cause harm to the human test subjects or to put them at risk of harm." The report said scientists conducting the experiments "failed to obtain informed consent (and) dismissed adverse outcomes," adding that the tests "lacked scientific validity."

One study involved paying college students $15 an hour to sit in enclosed chambers while having insecticide vapors sprayed at them. The Bush Administration recently announced the EPA's new policy, which allows these types of human studies for the first time in decades. Chemical companies have welcomed this announcement with the goal of generating studies that would allow their products to be considered "safer" than originally thought. Congress is currently discussing whether or not this process should be alowed to continue.

According to a Flash Report released on 6/28/2005 by Senator Barbara Boxer, Rep. Hilda Solis, and Rep. Henry Waxman:

The Environmental Protection Agency has drafted a rule, slated for proposal next month, which will allow the systematic testing of pesticides on humans. The rule does not comply with the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences and EPA’s own advisory committee, and it contains multiple loopholes that invite abuse.

Human pesticide experiments are controversial. Unlike pharmaceutical products, pesticides are designed to be toxic. And unlike pharmaceutical studies, experiments that expose human subjects to doses of pesticides offer no promise of therapeutic benefit to the subjects. For these reasons, former EPA Administrator Carol Browner implemented a moratorium in 1998 on considering or relying upon human pesticide experiments.

The Bush Administration reversed this moratorium at the urging of pesticide manufacturers. As described in a recently released report, EPA is evaluating dozens of human pesticide experiments that contain serious ethical and scientific flaws. In fact, new documents reveal that EPA used one experiment despite a written finding by agency officials that the experiment showed “little concern for the safety or welfare of the research subjects.” The proposed rule being developed by EPA would further legitimize experiments that intentionally dose humans with pesticides.

The rule fails to establish a national review panel to prevent abusive experiments, fails to provide full protections for children and other vulnerable populations, and includes multiple loopholes that undermine its effectiveness.

SIGN PETITION TO CONGRESS OPPOSING CHANGES TO EPA'S POLICIES THAT ALLOW TOXIC CHEMICAL TESTING ON HUMAN SUBJECTS
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Questions regarding this issue: Craig@organicconsumers.org

Note: If you have problems submitting the data on this petition form, it is due to high traffic levels on this website. You can also submit your petition information directly via email to
Craig@organicconsumers.org


 


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