EPA decision on human testing expected soon

Some agency scientists say loopholes in drafted law would allow unethical pesticide studies

Anne Harding
Jan 23, 2006
The initial draft of the Environmental Protection Agency?s first-ever rule on human testing of pesticides has drawn sharp criticism from public interest groups, members of Congress, and scientists within the agency itself, who argue that the law would not protect vulnerable groups.The rule ?looks like it was written by the American Chemical Council,? Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, told The Scientist.The EPA issued the 30-page draft last September after Congress suspended human testing of pesticides in August, until appropriate legislation was in place to protect test subjects. The final version of the rule is due by the end of this month.Ruch and other critics say the draft leaves the door open to unethical conduct. ?I am somewhat dismayed that this rule was presented in such a complex -- and I would have to say, tricky -- way,? said Suzanne Wuerthele, a regional toxicologist...

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