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E-M:/ Pro-Pesticide Propaganda in Michigan in support of the Testing ofPesticides on Humans

Pro-Pesticide Propaganda in Michigan in support of the Testing of Pesticides on Humans in the Monday, June 19, 2000  Detroit News.

Dear All,

Pesticide apologists, misrepresenting label information and making false safety claims in Michigan are common.  Human testing was banned at Nuremberg after the trials there.  The US signed that agreement and in my opinion it should stay in place.
Please let the EPA know that you do not support human testing.  Let your elected officials know what you think.

Samuel DeFazio
2723 116th Ave
Allegan, MI  49010

                     " EPA: Poisoning the Truth?
                        T he Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has banned the most popular household
                         pesticide and curtailed its agricultural use . But the agency grossly misconstrued
                      scientific data to justify its action, and this regulatory abuse warrants a congressional
                          The pesticide, chlorpyrifos, has been on the market some 30 years as an active
                      ingredient in more than 800 products approved in 88 countries. Retailers will be allowed
                      to sell shelf stock through 2001, but production for household applications in the United
                      States will be halted by year’s end.
                          EPA Administrator Carol Browner claims that hundreds of children have been
                      poisoned by chlorpyrifos, which also is known by its trade name Dursban. And the agency
                      only acted, she insists, after “the most extensive scientific review of the potential hazards
                      from a pesticide ever conducted.”
                          But Dr. Alan Hoberman, the principal researcher whose data Ms. Browner cites, told
                      us he disputes the agency’s interpretation of his findings. Meanwhile, the EPA disregarded
                      human studies proving Dursban’s safety
in favor of more dubious animal testing. And
                      poison-control authorities are simply baffled by Ms. Browner’s assertion that pesticide
                      poisoning is widespread.
                          Dr. William Robertson, who has headed the Washington Poison Center for 30 years,
                      says the EPA’s action will actually expose children to greater health hazards. Insect-bite
                      allergies as well as asthma induced by cockroach allergens outnumber pesticide poisonings
                      by 100-1.
                          Hardest hit will be lower-income families in cities like Detroit, who can ill afford a
                      weekly house call from the Orkin man. Yet that is precisely what the EPA is
                      recommending as a substitute for a couple squirts from a can of bug spray.
                          Dursban was reassessed by the EPA under the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act,
                      which requires the agency to evaluate the effects of pesticides on children specifically.
                          Based on a study of rats fed doses of Dursban 500 times greater than a typical human
                      exposure (the equivalent of spraying every three minutes ‘round the clock indefinitely), the
                      agency concluded that the application currently allowed does not provide an adequate
                      margin of safety for children. But the dose the agency deemed safe — 1,000 times less
                      than the level where no health effect is observed — renders Dursban ineffective, thereby
                      constituting a ban.
                          Extrapolating from animal testing always is suspect. But in this case, many experts say
                      the agency has blatantly misinterpreted the data. A myriad of factors could be responsible
                      for the single change observed in the rats’ brain tissue, and many researchers are
                      convinced that Dursban was not the culprit. Indeed, the 5-percent thinning of cortex tissue
                      easily falls within the margin of measurement error. And despite the thinner tissue, the
                      affected rats displayed no functional disability.
                          Researchers by the dozens are thus deeply troubled. Says Michigan State University
                      toxicologist J.I. Goodman: “EPA has gone to great lengths to present a highly
                      conservative, worst case, hypothetical risk based in large part on dubious extrapolations
                      ... and exaggerated risk estimates.”

                          Given the widespread questioning of the EPA’s methods in instituting this ban,
                      Congress ought to hold hearings to make the agency accountable for its decision. Insect
                      infestation carries its own health hazards, and with this ruling the EPA may well be
                      needlessly exposing children — particularly poor children — to increased risk.
                      The Issue
                      Should the EPA ban a popular insecticide on the basis of questionable scientific evidence?
                 Copyright 2000, The Detroit News "
                 We welcome your comments. E-mail us at letters@detnews.com  "