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E-M:/ Pro-Pesticide Propaganda in Michigan in support of the Testing ofPesticides on Humans
- Subject: E-M:/ Pro-Pesticide Propaganda in Michigan in support of the Testing ofPesticides on Humans
- From: Praxis <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 26 Jul 2003 10:45:09 -0400
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- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
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Pro-Pesticide Propaganda in Michigan in support of the Testing of Pesticides
on Humans in the Monday, June 19, 2000 Detroit News.
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.
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
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.
Should the EPA ban a popular insecticide on the basis
of questionable scientific evidence?
Copyright 2000, The Detroit News "
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