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From April 29, 2005

Take Action: Tell EPA to NEVER Consider Testing Pesticides on Children Again
(Beyond Pesticides, April 29, 2005) On April 7th, 2005, at the Senate Confirmation Hearings of appointed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Stephen Johnson, the grassroots won. Using over 80,000 petitions from the public as evidence, U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) were able to point to the public outrage over an EPA study, Children’s Environmental Exposure Research Study (CHEERS), and threatened to block Mr. Johnson's confirmation if he did not cancel it.

CHEERS was an intentional exposure study intended to use children aged 0 - 3 as test subjects. The study was partially funded by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), a chemical lobby group whose members include Monsanto, Dow, and Exxon. The study was contested by EPA rank and file scientists as “unethical” and “not scientifically sound.” By the EPA's own admission, the study results would not be able to be generalized to the public, because the study sample was too small, and the experiment was too short term. However, they tried to go through with it anyway.

It is a simple issue of unethical behavior, and special interests playing a very cozy role with our government agencies. It is irresponsible for the EPA, whose very mission is to protect human health and the environment, to propose a study with the confidence that innocent babies will be exposed for two years to scientifically recognized heath threatening toxic pesticide chemicals. It is unethical for the agency to accept pesticide industry study financing, and for companies who have a financial stake in the study outcome to be a part of the study design.

This issue galvanized the public. Over 80,000 individuals and organizations signed on to four petitions circulated over the course of four months. Now we are calling for a moratorium on all intentional exposure experiments (either by the EPA or third parties) that involve children and pesticides. This time around, we have less time.

We want 100,000 letters sent by May 9th, the date that the public comment period for the EPA Public Register Notice on Human Testing Proposed Plan closes.

The grassroots can surely win this one too, with your help. Please click on the link below to send the letter from the website.

http://www.childproofing.org/EPAsCHEERsLetter.htm

Sincerely,

Lois Marie Gibbs, Executive Director, Center for Health Environment and Justice

Ms. Gibbs is a former resident and community organizer in Love Canal, a community where 20,000 tons of toxic wastes were buried and 900 families were relocated in the late 1970s.