Pesticide testing on children and pregnant women who would not otherwise be exposed to pesticides should be banned.
Pesticide testing on children and pregnant women who would not otherwise be exposed to pesticides should be banned, the US environmental protection agency (EPA) has recommended.
The ruling ’contains some of the strongest protections for human subjects ever proposed by the federal government,’ said Jim Jones, EPA director of the office of pesticide programs. All research looking for EPA approval that involves third party intentional dosing on children and pregnant women would be banned under the proposed rule.
The EPA proposal ’not only prohibits the conduct of new intentional dosing studies on pesticides with pregnant women and children, but it bans EPA’s reliance on the results from such studies,’ said Jones.
Stacey Vaeth Gonzalez, coordinator of a project called Child proofing our communities at the US environmentalist group Center for health, environment and justice says the guidelines do not go far enough.
Pesticides must not be tested in this way, she said. ’It is neither moral nor ethical to put corporate profit before human health, especially in situations where there is a direct risk of harm,’ said Gonzalez. ’The [EPA] guidelines do allow humans to be used as guinea pigs for experiments conducted by pesticide companies, both domestically, and with less restrictions on ethical boundaries, abroad.’
The EPA’s Jones said the new regulations would for the fist time extend to pesticide manufacturers. ’We want to send the message clearly that certain kinds of human research can never be acceptable,’ he said. ’The only exception would be if EPA concludes that a study would be crucial to protect public health,’ he added. Katharine Sanderson