Under a newly-proposed rule (that will most likely be formally adopted), the EPA
would allow pesticide manufacturers to test their products on human "volunteers."
The volunteers would include pregnant women and prisoners, as well as newborns
and children. Further, the EPA would not establish an independent ethics review
board to scrutinize human studies on the grounds that this would "unnecessarily
confine EPA's discretion."
So prisoners, who "might be 'vulnerable to coercion or undue influence,'"
and children who are volunteered by their parents, would be turned into guinea
Now I know there are some who will ask, "Isn't it better to find out the
toxicity of a pesticide through controlled scientific means, rather than having
to deal with thousands of public cases stemming from a lack of research?"
I will concede that point.
However, the EPA's refusal to establish an independent ethics review panel
to ensure that these test subjects are fully-informed about the experiments
and will be given full medical coverage in the event of injury raises my hackles.
Do the American people really want the U.S. government to conduct Mengele-like
experiments on babies, kids, and convicts? I don't think so. Contact the EPA
with your concerns if you agree with me.