[JURIST] Children and pregnant women cannot be included in pesticide testing on humans, according to a proposed rule [PDF text] released Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency [agency website]. Under the proposed regulations, an independent oversight board would be charged with ensuring that all studies used by the agency were ethically conducted and in accordance with international standards. Review would include study protocols and post-study reports on how the study was conducted. Faced with mounting political pressure, the EPA was forced to act on the issue earlier this year when it canceled an agency program [JURIST report] that studied the impact of pesticides on children. Some critics, however, have charged that the proposed regulations are not strict enough [Public Employees for Environmental Protection news release] to ensure safety, specifically criticizing the decision to accept studies that are currently before the agency and may include children and pregnant women. The rule is now subject to a 90-day public comment period, with the EPA hoping to implement a final version by January. The EPA has a news release and additional materials on the proposed rule. AP has more.