NRDC's War Against Quality Pesticide Safety Data
The National Resources Defense Council is continuing their long-standing battle against EPA's use of the most accurate data for determining safe human exposure levels to pesticides; data from tests on human volunteers.
NRDC's previous attempts to make a credible scientific argument against human volunteer testing was rejected by the National Research Council (NRC). Instead, the NRC committee studying the issue "recommended that intentional dosing studies in humans be conducted and used for EPA regulatory purposes..." provided that studies were "necessary and scientifically valid" and conducted in an appropriate ethical manner.
A recent article in Chemical and Engineering News noted that a forthcoming EPA rule will allow human testing. Failing to make either a successful scientific or regulatory case to prohibit EPA from using human exposure data, NRDC has chosen to go the political route. NRDC claims that two recent Senate amendments mean that Congress is siding "with people over pesticide-makers and EPA." The truth of the matter, however, is a bit different. Although one of the amendments would impose a one-year moratorium on EPA considering data from human volunteer tests, the other amendment would direct EPA to study the voluntary human testing issue and to issue a final rule within six months.
As the sponsor of one of the Senate amendments explained, "We cannot just say stop. That is not fair to the American consumer and it is not fair to the folks that are involved in producing food, fiber and shelter for this country."
Winston understands that the issue of exposing human volunteers to pesticides is controversial. He also understands that the issue is too important to be decided on anything but strict scientific grounds.
Click for NRC Study "Intentional Human Dosing Studies for EPA Regulatory Purposes: Scientific and Ethical Issues (2004)".
Click for ENS story.
Click for Chemical and Engineering News story.
Click for NRDC Press Release.
Click for CRE Special Projects: Human Volunteer Research.