Daily News Archive
Staffers Protest EPA Children Study
‘It is important that EPA behaves ethically, consistently, and in a way that engenders public health. Unless these issues are resolved, it is likely that all three goals will be compromised, and the agency's reputation will suffer,’ she wrote in an e-mail obtained by The Washington Post. ‘EPA researchers will not tell participants that using pesticides always entails some risk, and not using pesticides will reduce that risk to zero.’
Troy Pierce, a life scientist in the EPA's Atlanta-based pesticides section, wrote in a separate e-mail: ‘This does sound like it goes against everything we recommend at EPA concerning use of [pesticides] related to children. Paying families in Florida to have their homes routinely treated with pesticides is very sad when we at EPA know that [pesticide management] should always be used to protect children.’”
Linda S. Sheldon,
acting administrator for the human exposure and atmospheric sciences
division of the EPA's Office of Research and Development, defended the
study design and $970 paid to participants by citing the need for exposure
data the agency lacks to make risk assessments. Sheldon also argued
that considering the extent of tracking and monitoring required of the
adult participants, "Nobody can go into this study just for that
amount of money," Sheldon said.
The reality of the matter is that the entire EPA pesticide regulatory system relies almost exclusively on scientific studies generated and paid for by the chemical industiry - a system clearly riddled with inherent conflicts of interest. The central question, according to Beyond Pesticides, that people should be asking is "How is it that, without any label warning or disclosure, tens of thousands of toxic chemical products are now on the market without the most basic underlying science necessary to determine the protection of children from being poisoned?"