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E-M:/ Pesticide testing on humans denounced, It was prompted by an apparentpolicy reversal by the Bush administration.]
- Subject: E-M:/ Pesticide testing on humans denounced, It was prompted by an apparentpolicy reversal by the Bush administration.]
- From: Praxis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003 18:22:05 -0400
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- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
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Enviro-Mich message from Praxis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Pesticide testing on humans denounced, It was prompted by an
apparent policy reversal by the Bush administration. I would encourage
Michigan residents to coment on this non-ethical corperate stsratgey to
encourage pesticide sales both the EPA and MDA. All coments must be
posted to the Federal Register by August 6, 2003.
Samuel M. DeFazio
2723 116th Ave.
Allegan, MI 49010
Pesticide testing on humans denounced because it would weaken the safety
margin that is now applied to pesticides.
By MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT
A group of physicians and environmentalists is warning the federal
government against using human test results to set pesticide exposure
standards, calling it a morally repugnant practice with dubious
In a letter to Health Minister Allan Rock, the group is asking for a
ban on using information from human toxicity testing. It was prompted
by an apparent policy reversal by the Bush administration to consider
these trials in determining allowable pesticide exposure levels in
the United States.
The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Globe and Mail, is
being released publicly today. It also suggests that using humans in
testing could weaken the safety margin that is now applied to
"These tests are not only immoral, but also provide a false sense of
security," the letter says. "This practice has been appropriately
greeted with grave concern."
Under the North American free-trade agreement, Canada, Mexico and the
United States have committed to joint reviews of pesticide safety,
creating the possibility that the new U.S. approach will be applied
in Canada. The U.S. action may also encourage further experimentation
on humans, a controversial practice that raises ethical, scientific
and medical concerns. (Testing in England was done on students,
and the poor)
"The concern is that once the door is open for this, that these kinds
of tests can happen anywhere in the world," said Kathleen Cooper, a
spokeswoman for the Canadian Environmental Law Association, one of
the organizations writing to Mr. Rock.
Besides the environmental law group, the letter was signed by the
Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Canadian
Institute of Child Health and the Learning Disabilities Association
Although no experiments on humans are known to have been done
recently in Canada, a number were done in the 1990s in Britain and
Scotland. Results from at least three such trials have been submitted
by pesticide companies to U.S. regulators, according to a recent
article in The Los Angeles Times.
In animal experiments, researchers try to find the pesticide dose at
which no adverse impact is noted. The limit for humans is then made
10 times more stringent, because of uncertainty over whether the
animals studied can be applied to people.
Using data from human tests would allow regulators to apply less
stringent safety factors under the theory that having data on what
actually happens when people are exposed to pesticides is far more
accurate than using rodents and other animals as substitutes for
The U.S. policy change could be a boon to pesticide manufacturers by
allowing far higher application rates for bug and weed killers. It
may also allow more frequent use by permitting spraying much closer
to harvest dates.
Industry officials in the United States have supported human
experimentation, contending the use of test animals has led to
needlessly conservative safety standards.
Canada doesn't allow companies to submit human pesticide toxicity
tests when applying for pesticide registrations, according to Joan
Butcher, a spokeswoman for Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory
Agency. "Our current process is that we don't accept human health
studies. We don't ask for them. We don't accept them if they're sent
in," she said.
Ms. Butcher said the agency actively discourages companies from
submitting human test results, but she declined to comment on the
U.S. policy reversal and its implication for Canada, pending formal
notification by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of its
According to U.S. news reports, the Bush administration has quietly
ended a ban put in place three years ago by then-president Bill
Clinton, who acted after an outcry by doctors and environmentalists
over the practice.
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