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EPA makes guidelines for data use when testing pesticides on humans

[JURIST] The Environmental Protection Agency [official website] will soon release federal standards regulating how data from toxic pesticide studies on humans can be used, but politicians and some medical experts are claiming that children and pregnant women involved in the studies may be at risk. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility [advocacy website; press release], who received an early copy of the standards, said the regulations would limit pesticide manufacturers' toxic chemical testing on children and pregnant women, and would create an independent board to determine if established ethical standards are being met. The new rules, however, do not apply to studies undertaken before the guidelines become law. Though an EPA spokeswoman called the new regulations "very rigorous protections," Senator Barbara Boxer [official website; press release] (D-CA), a leading opponent of pesticide testing on humans, said in a letter to the EPA that the proposal does not do enough to protect the vulnerable from "tests in which human subjects swallow, inhale, are sprayed with, or are otherwise exposed to toxic pesticides." In April, under political pressure, the EPA cancelled CHEERS [JURIST report; EPA notice], its own Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study on the effects of pesticides on children. Thursday's Washington Post has more.

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