The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to issue new regulations allowing the use of humans to test the toxicity of some pesticides. The proposed new regulations do not require manufacturers to employ all of the ethical safeguards recommended by a National Academy of Sciences panel last year, reports the Washington Post.
Pending the issuing of the new regulations, the Bush Administration has allowed the use of human testing in evaluating pesticides, a practice that was suspended in 1998 under a moratorium issued by President Clinton. The draft rule would allow some studies that use newborns, children and pregnant women, according to the Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the draft regulation yesterday.
Just last month the US House of Representatives approved a ban on the use of human testing by the EPA as part of its approval process for pesticides and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) plans to introduce a similar bill in the Senate today. Earlier this month, Senator Boxer and Representative Henry Waxman, (D-CA) issued a report detailing 20 industry studies using humans that are currently being evaluated by the EPA. “The Boxer-Waxman study proves that the Bush Administration is encouraging dangerous pesticide testing on humans with no standards,” Boxer said following the release of the report.