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OK to Test Pesticides on People

The government wants to allow chemical companies to test pesticides on people. However, the Natural Resources Defense Council calls this an "appalling suggestion."

Maggie Fox writes in Reuters that for the last 6 years, the EPA has allowed no human testing, but chemical manufacturers want to overturn the EPA ban because they say the new standards for pesticides are based on the worst possible effects they could have on lab animals and the best way to prove their products are safe is to start testing them on people. Some companies have started paying volunteers to eat or drink pesticides and other chemicals.

Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook says, "Our report in 1998 shows that pesticide companies are more about profits than human health. We cannot trust that the chemical industry will abide by voluntary ethical measures and not abuse loopholes in testing guidelines."

Erik Olson, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, says, "The academy report calls for the highest ethical and scientific standards but undermines its own recommendations by making the appalling suggestion that it is OK to experiment with toxins on kids."

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