By: Robina Suwol
The agency that Americans rely on for their protection, appears to be protecting the chemical industry more than the health of Americans and the environment.
According to a proposed rule by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, children, handicapped, neglected, abused, orphaned, and pregnant are being targeted for human experiments in a study deceptively titled "Protections for Subjects in Human Research". Targeting the most vulnerable offers little protection, especially for children.
This study actually advocates using kids who "cannot be reasonably consulted", and even allows human experiments to be performed without the permission of a parent or guardian. The study advises, "EPA will also accept human studies on pregnant women or children if the study is crucial to the protection of public health." More alarming, chemical studies on children who live outside of the U.S. are acceptable if "necessary for the protection of health."
Notably, the EPA withdrew a similar proposal earlier this year. EPA had proposed a study called CHEERS, which was halted due to public and political outcry. That study proposed exposing babies of low income families in Dade County Florida to pesticides, then studying the health effects of these toxins upon them. For their participation the EPA offered $940.00 a camcorder, bib, and certificate of appreciation. Soon after a San Diego University study revealed that college students had been paid $15.00 an hour to participate in a human experimentation study where they were exposed to a soil fumigant and a war nerve gas.
The United States Constitution promises that everyone has equal protection unders the law, yet somehow our children are being shortchanged. If children are counting on parents to protect them, so far we're falling short. Purposefully using human subjects for studies without their full consent or understanding is a violation of the Nuremberg Code. Using vulnerable subjects to test known toxins offers no benefit is immoral , unethical ,and unconscionable.
Comments on this rule, Docket ID Number OPP-2003-0132 will be accepted until Monday, December 12th, 2005 To review the proposed rule and to comment please visit:
Protection for Human Test Subjects http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/guidance/human-test.htm
For further information: http://www.organicconsumers.org/epa6.cfm http://www.beyondpesticdes.org
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